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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fish Gummies and Hair Chewing: Ongoing Understanding of Neurotypicals

I'd like to thank the little girl with the face for making my shopping easier. It always goes well, until I have to stand in line....with...the people. Her mother had gotten everything. No, you didn't hear me. "EVERYTHING." She was about 3, I think. I never know, and she had obviously learned that smiling at people makes them smile back. She did it, and I looked away, because I just learned this last week, and I didn't want to practice. She wouldn't stop it, so finally, I caved and showed her my canines as politely as possible. Her eyes glittered. Wicked, how they do that, and at that moment, I smiled genuinely.

    I  learned peek-a-boo from my own daughter decades ago. Knowing that game pretty well, I gave it a shot, and she mimicked me, kicked her feet in the grocery seat where she was secured not too well and giggled. I asked if she was helping her mother, and she nodded, turned and got a can to assist her Mom in putting the groceries on the belt. She dropped it in the floor, so I retrieved it and handed it to her. She smiled more.

    She pushed her hair back, so I asked if hers often got in her face. She nodded, and I said, "Mine bugs me too sometimes." I smacked my hair back with both hands, and we spent several second smacking our hair. She stroked one side, and I told her I could make two tails, held my hair with both hands to demonstrate. I think she was impressed, but she insisted only one was the way to go, so I complied and did just the one side, not all of the hair, as she demonstrated, just part of it. She seemed to know what she was doing.

    She was barefoot, but I hadn't noticed when her mom asked where her shoes were, and went about emptying her cart anyway, little toes going everywhere, weaving happily in and out of the cart bars. I'm bendy, so it wasn't a concern, and I was surprised when another lady decided to alarm the child by telling her that her foot was stuck, and Mom might break it off when she tried to lift her from the cart, further, she should tell her mother, she was stuck.

     Of course she wasn't. The smile was gone, her lower lip began to swell, and her head turned down. I'd spotted some fish oil gummies (chewable candy supplements), and thought to hand them to the cranky lady, but I resisted. The little girl slid her foot out, easy as could be to comply, joy gone.
    The lady went on, having taken a dull adult position, to tell the child that she had children in college, as if that was going to have any meaning for the girl, and the little girl nodded solemnly, trying to interact as best she could to the stern voice. I told the lady, she was contemplating her words, at which point the lady (finally) laughed.

     The little girl smiled again, and we went back to demonstrating hair styling tips (which I followed as best I could), and how to properly entangle the toes in cart bars. I had to part her company when another aisle came open, though I was as always cut off by someone more adult that I am. <cough> and I didn't see her for a minute.

      Her mom paid and pushed the cart forward, and she peek-a-boo'd at me, while chewing her hair, so I chewed mine too, then she looked sad, and lifted her foot to show me her shoe was on, and she tried, but couldn't put her shoe'd foot through the small bars that had fit so well without them. I felt sad too.

      I hope the rest of your day didn't have to have shoes, little girl, and thanks for showing me that only part of the hair makes a fine ponytail on one side, and that it's pretty tasty really, if not just a good thing to do while waiting in a grocery line. I hope you smile more today. People need it more than they may know.

    With love, another (sometimes) little girl who doesn't like shoes either. Thank you! (and Sweetheart, feed those cranky sorts Fish Oil Gummies. Winks!)

tina jones

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