Recently it has come to my attention that Bronwen has the nose of a blood-hound. She complains about smells before I even notice them (like the over-scented air freshener in a public bathroom or the needs-an-air-freshener scent of her brothers' bedroom.) If I approach her while eating something or immediately after, she always notices and usually is dead-on in her assumption of what I've been eating: "I smell peanut M&Ms!" Busted.
I've been researching (again) Sensory Processing Disorder lately in regards to a couple of my kids. (I'll write a post all about it soon, as so many people have sensory issues these days and don't even recognize it. But that's for another day.)
Last weekend we took a family road trip to Southern California and while Jared was driving, I was filling out a checklist on my kids, determining which areas of sensory input are issues for them. Perhaps this made me more aware of it, but Bronwen's superhuman smeller was cracking us up the entire way to Dana Point.
We were driving along, talking to each other, while the kids were watching Pinocchio, headphones glued to their ears, not making a peep. All of a sudden, Bronwen starts screaming as if she's in agony. After about a minute, her shrieks were finally intelligible. She was saying, "somebody goed stinky in the car!" (No, her grammar isn't perfect yet:) We realized that we were passing a huge cattle farm and indeed, there was a strong smell. But she noticed it before most of us and reacted strongly.
Later, we had to rearrange bodies in the car so that I could sit by Margaret and calm her down when she was THROUGH with being in the carseat. This put one of her brothers directly next to Bronwen, and her complaint? "He's smelling me with his breath!" This wasn't just the typical case of "he's breathing my air" or "she's looking out my window," Bronwen didn't want him near her because she could smell his breath from the next seat over (no one else noticed it at all.)
As the ride wore on and on, she began exhibiting signs that she would benefit from a nap. We pulled out her blanket and encouraged her to go to sleep. Bronwen insisted (by crying and whining) that she couldn't sleep with her shoes on, so I helped her get them off. Instead of this rectifying the situation, she now had something new to cry about: her feet were stinky and how could she sleep with such smelly feet? Sigh. She finally overcame her hardship and drifted off, much to the relief of everyone else in the car.
I foresee her father using this to his advantage when Bronwen is old enough to date. His meet-the-date "interview" with her beaus will involve feeding them raw onions or better yet, he may tell them that she loves cologne! They won't last the evening!
This ultra-sensitive smelling power could be crippling in some situations (like in the fragrances section of the department store,) but I intend to find a way for it to be an advantage to her. Perhaps she has a future as a truffle-hunter. Maybe she can check airplanes for otherwise undetectable peanut fragments before those with heinous allergies board. Or check for poison by smelling all the food and drink of the president or royalty or paranoid celebrity before they eat it. I'm sure that pays well.
Do your kids have any super-human abilities?