|that's what I do. I think. I brainstorm. I think. I obsess. I think.|
I am always looking for the better way g*ddammitt
I think I have an idea about this food thing.
But first, let me tell you how I reached my breaking point last Saturday night.
So, Jack and Ella came home from a day at their grandparents'. I enjoyed a day of wonderfully timed, PMS SOLITUDE, and made a trip to Wal of Evil, saw a really cute t-shirt I liked, and realised I had left my wallet at home.
On Thursday when I drove to Wal of Evil, needing to buy groceries, I pulled into the parking lot, turned off the ignition and realised I had left my purse (with wallet in it at the time) at home.
I can't help wondering if this is a sign.
When Jack and Ella got home on Saturday, I was at my wit's end about Jack not eating anything. I probably flipped out too much, but by the time he sat down to eat his cinnamon toast for his snack, ripped it to pieces and left 95% of it on the plate, and GAGGED when he tried to eat one piece, I freaked.
I got out a piece of paper and said that I was going to write down all the things he'd eaten that day, and all the things I'd eaten that day (and all the things Ella had eaten that day).
It looked like this:
Breakfast oatmeal oatmeal
cup of coffee chocolate milk
snack peanut butter toast nothing
lunch 1/2 salmon sandwich 1/6 peanut butter
snack handful of baked potato chips little bit of chocolate
dinner bowl of tomato soup banana
snack nothing 1 tiny bite of
I pointed out to Jack that I had eaten 7 things, Ella had eaten 10 things, and he had eaten THREE THINGS. Does that sound like enough food, I asked him? He said "no."
Then I asked him; if he were me, and I were him, what would he do? He claimed he would make me eat a peanut butter sandwich.
|yeah, that looks about right, but you'd better damn well|
cut those crusts off...oh, and that's waaaay too much jam.
You run a great risk of running into JAM BLOBS. Nice work on
not touching the edges of the bread though...
"But," I reasoned, "I tried that, and you screamed at me."
"I'M SORRY, MOM, I'M SORRRRREEEEEEEE!!!!!"
So then I got out a new piece of paper. I asked him to tell me some foods, think of some foods, come up with some foods that HE would be willing to eat. He actually came up with a half decent list, and sounded like he looked forward to eating hot dogs with ketchup on Sunday.
Then I decided to BACK OFF from trying to get him to eat ANYTHING for the rest of Saturday. If he were extra, extra, RIDICULOUSLY hungry come Sunday, it could only work in my favour...I hoped.
And so, after a day of fighting, and carrying on, and much freaking out and melting down on both sides, as I was walking him up to bed I said that we'd "try again" tomorrow, and have a better day, because he's so important to me. Then I burst into tears, and Jack put his hand on my arm and said;
"It's OKAY, Mom. Don't cry."
Because, it's not just that the kid barely eats anything ONE DAY and I lose my shit. It's that he's always walking around looking a little run down, with a pasty face and dark circles under his eyes. It's because he's the kid who gets a cold or some other bug and when he finally feels better and is desperately hungry, he literally can't think of anything to eat if he's still a little revolted by food. It's a kid who has to leave the room when I'm baking homemade mac and cheese because the smell is killing him.
THAT, partnered with several days of melt-downs is what BREAKS ME.
And because things always seem to improve after I've been BROKEN, the kid ate 3 hotdogs for lunch, a whole banana at his afternoon snack, and two more hot dogs for dinner. You should have seen him after his lunch: all hepped up on REAL ENERGY thanks to food! He turned into an INSTANT PEST, and even though his sister was none too pleased, his dad and I were snickering in the kitchen.
And this is my idea: we are going to do "FOOD SCIENCE" every day. I tried it tonight. I had a Ritz cracker with peanut butter on it I was hoping he'd eat, but I decided we'd use it for discussion purposes instead.
I took that cracker and compared it to the spice snaps cookies he likes. We compared texture, smell, which one felt harder when we broke it. I compared the peanut butter cracker to a plain cracker. Which one smelled more appealing? When he licked the cracker, what did it taste like? What did it taste like when he licked the cookie?
Jack is unaccustomed to salt, so I put 4 tiny grains of salt in his hand and let him lick it. How did it taste? Then in the other hand I put 4 tiny grains of sugar in his hand. How did IT taste? Which did he like better? If I put some salt on the cracker, could we actually smell the salt? Does salt have a smell?
What I'm going to do is become his own food therapist. We're going to do lots of sessions with getting to know food before we move to the next step which is actually biting food.
Tomorrow I'm thinking of comparing a piece of chocolate with a piece of cheese. Or maybe I'll do mashed avocado versus butter.
I get very tired hoping for services that either have endless waiting lists, or don't exist. In my desperation the other day I emailed our local chapter of Autism Ontario (there's not even a location in MY city) to see if they know a food therapist. I doubt they'll find one when I hear back from them. I would be pleasantly shocked. Oh, and it's a week later and NOBODY has contacted me. Big surprise.
I have no idea what Jack's going to eat to fill the hole left by cinnamon toast just yet, but I'm hoping my idea won't be completely crazy.
|a shit lunch to you--a MIRACLE to me. |
If he actually ate the bun, I'd pass out :)
** Hey everyone, some of you might not know the difference between a picky kid on the Spectrum, and your super picky kid, so you're wondering, "what the hell is HER damage?" Here is my favourite post I've come across about kids on the Spectrum with restrictive eating. Sunday really hits that nail on the head:
Your kid is picky, my kid is Stalin.