chewing, chewing beef jerky
a work in progress
This has been a weird month. No one ended up in the hospital, which was good. But it appears I got shingles (!), and then everyone got an epic stomach flu that lasted nearly five whole days – PER PERSON, then there was a respiratory thing that two of the kids caught, ending in a blown eardrum and Omnicef.
Through all of that, school was missed, whining was abundant (mostly from me), medications were taken (and thrown away after the side effects were awful), and now we're all worn out.
One of the biggest things was that Ike-a-saurus had to miss several consecutive feeding therapy appointments. Turns out it's hard to get to feeding therapy when a) your mom's head is exploding from shingles and/or some kind of brain explosion and b) when you are puking. So he reverted back to a lot of bottle drinking. I mean A LOT. Water, pedialyte, gatorade, Boost. For a while there it was all bottles all the time and I was sure we had decimated everything we'd learned in the previous months of feeding therapy.
He'd been working so hard to practice chewing difficult foods – and swallow them. The swallowing is often the tricky part. I bought him everything from sour patch kids to beef jerky to help him work those mouth and facial muscles. Practice, practice, practice, and then it was all shot to hell by a solid week of sickness.
Today, though, he's feeling much better. The stomach stuff is gone, the respiratory stuff is almost gone and… wait for it… he's eaten almost an entire piece of bologna with melted cheese on it. I know that doesn't sound like much, but for this 26-pound 3.5-year-old, it is epic. I feel like we need a party!
I'm trying to be calm and cool about it. Not too excited so that he wonders what in the world is wrong with me, but not so nonchalant that it goes unnoticed. I'm trying to be encouraging without, you know, weeping.
Maybe all that beef jerky chewing time wasn't lost after all.
Maybe this kid's knobby knees will fill out a little bit.
Maybe he'll lose that Mr. Burns backbone.
Or maybe I'll settle down and enjoy the moment. Now that I know he can do it, physically as well as psychologically, maybe I'll be less of a push over when he asks for a bottle.
Hooray for sickness? Did it push him over the ledge of figuring food out because he couldn't eat for so many days and finally, finally, felt really hungry? Or did something just coincidentally click in his brain? I guess it doesn't matter.
Ike-a-saurus at a big breakfast today.
HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND!