Sunday, January 17, 2010

Note to Self: Wear a Raincoat

Liam has had some trouble with eating. He is gaining plenty of weight and takes a bottle like a champ, but solid foods aren't going so well. Anything with chunks or that doesn't have the same flavor as vanilla yogurt or bananas will usually result in heavy gagging, choking, and a general feeling of impending death. We're working with him on it, but he seems to be winning the battle.

On top of that, he is incredibly stubbourn about not wanting to wear his hearing aids. I know this comes as a shock to hear that one of my precious angels might be stubbourn about anything. Rest assured, though, it's true. I'm sure I have no idea where any of them might have gotten that trait from. The problem with him refusing to wear his hearing aids is that we aren't stimulating his auditory brainstem, and speech will be more difficult for him later.

We had his annual ECI IFSP meeting this past week, and I was instructed that it's time to stop telling him no with a smile when he pulls off his aids. I'm supposed to show him my grumpy face and firmly say no while also signing it. Have you met this kid??!? He is just adorable and sweet and happy and loving, and someone is telling me to tell him no??? (Actually, I'm fine with that. Just ask Aiden. I say no all the time. According to him, in fact, I am the "meanest mom in the world".) It's the part where I have to show grumpiness that I hate. Poor kid.

Plus, I'm supposed to start introducing more flavors. The best suggestion is to go ahead and dip his binky in a new flavor and offer it that way. Okay, I guess that seems reasonable enough, right?

Friday, I decided to get a babysitter so Byron could surprise me by taking me out on a date. (Yes, you read that right. Sometimes a girl has to take matters into her own hands if she wants to be taken out). Since Liam has some issues and there are five kids, we opted to bring him with us. I decided that this would be a great chance to work on requiring the aids and offering him new flavors.

We went to the Olive Garden so we could use Byron's gift card from Christmas. As soon as we sat at the table, Liam went for his hearing aids. He was determined NOT to wear those suckers no matter what. Three times in a row he did it, and three times in a row I showed him no with my very firm face and the sign while also taking his hand away from his ears. The result? A broken heart!!! Poor Liam's eyes just filled with tears and a big frown came over his face. It was like I'd just told him there is no Santa Clause. Finally, I just did him a favor and took the hearing aids out for hm so they could be put in a safe place.

Then the food came out. Byron loves to order extra alfredo dipping sauce for the bread sticks. Suddenly I had a really bright idea!!! I would dip Liam's binky in the alfredo sauce. What could go wrong there? I fed him a full container of his yogurt, and then dipped the binky in the sauce. I was just sure this was going to be my most genius idea yet...right up there with taking all five kids to Target by myself just for fun.

Almost as quickly as I put the binky in his mouth the gagging began, then some sputtering and then tears coming down his cheeks as he tried for all he was worth to hold his beloved yogurt with him. And then it happened. Picture a scene from The Exorcist. I had no idea that one little tongue full of alfredo sauce could elicit such a response, but I was wearing the proof that it was indeed possible.

The moral of the story? Next time I listen to and fullow through with instructions from ECI, I should be fully prepared to feel like an ogre...and I should at the very least wear a raincoat.


  1. Five kids to Target by yourself? You are my idol. :-)

    Good luck with the textures/new flavor thing. Nolan has major issues with that- he has severe GERD and the SLP/nutritionist that did his swallowing evaluation said it isn't uncommon for kids with GERD to have texture/flavor aversions. Luckily, now he just spits things out back onto his plate instead of at us- still gross, but not as messy!

    Food chaining has worked with us, so Nolan eats a LOT more foods now. It took a long time to get him there, but it does work!

  2. Keeping those hearing aids in is such a struggle. I could just picture his little face and his eyes welling with tears. Keep up your good work. Everytime I think of you I think, "trooper". Good luck with the feeding as well.

  3. Oh my, I could go on and on about our fighting with Thomas' eating issues! We had so many months of GERD that gagging and vomit were imprinted on his brain! We're still pretty much at about 12 things that Thomas will eat today, and he's 2!

    We had luck with first licking new flavors like frozen fruit, suckers and doctoring things that he did yogurt, apple sauce & mashed potatoes. We're still not even close to successful, but like learning to listen and steps!

  4. O no!!! I hated the introduction of new foods. For that reason lol. So I did the mix a old flavor WITH a new one. So we had our trusty bananas.. mixed with just a lil carrots
    Slowly adding more and more each time. Seemed to work better that way to slowly work up to the full flavor.