Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Not a Food Fight...A Food War!

  The food war is on. Every day battles are waged. Some are won. Some are lost but the war continues.

  Jellybean has been cleared to start practicing eating but we have one problem that cropped up just a few weeks ago. After my boasting that Jellybean had no oral aversions, I am kicking myself. Technically, I guess I was sort of right. It is more like a food-in-the-back-of-his-mouth aversion. Anything that squirts or squeezes food into his mouth can bring on a gag attack.

  At first, I was despairing because I love to feed people and how could a baby in my house not want to eat???? Apparently, it is very easy. Google "tube weaning" and you will find story after story of children who struggle to eat by mouth, not to mention the scads of websites that claim they can help.

  My goal is to offer as many interactions with food as I possibly can throughout the day but that makes it impossible to go anywhere and even harder to keep the house clean. Baby  food is on my coffee table. It is on the baby and his seat. It is on his toys and blankets. It is on just about every dish towel I own. It is on this laptop screen and for reasons I wish not to explain right now, it is on the ceiling. It. Is. Everywhere.

  Are we making progress? Um. Maybe.   

  Jellybean is a tough cookie to crack (no pun intended). He is not motivated by many things. Usually, we have two choices if we want him to do something - make him do it or forget the whole thing. Forgetting it is just not an option so everyday I am offering food in some way. 

 Two days in a row he took food into his mouth using the sponge brushes we use to clean his mouth then the OT came and he refused to use them and hasn't since. Yesterday he sucked a teething biscuit in a mesh eating utensil. He refuses to use it if you put fruit into it. He has rejected every bottle and sippy cup we own except to chew on the underside or handles which pose no threat of putting liquid into his mouth. 

  Sometimes, I admit, it is frustrating and in my head I am yelling, "Eat, just eat! It's a necessary thing and will be good for you to come off this feeding pump!" He would not understand if I did yell it out and there is a reason that he does not want to do it. Part of it is that he still cannot maneuver food with this tongue correctly and he just freaks out if something gets too far back. It is hard to watch and not be able to do anything except keep trying. 

  I realize that I do not do a lot things that I should for a lot more silly reasons and this helps to keep me patiently persistent. Sometimes I wonder how God is so patient with me or how godly friends are so gracious...or wait, are they just not doing something they should do? 

  We have things that we battle against as we follow Christ and many of us struggle with doing things we should do, we know we are commanded to do, and that honor God. Making disciples is a big one. I have heard every excuse in the book from women on this one yet, Jesus commands us to do it. Correcting a straying brother or sister is another. That one causes a gagging fit of words from us because we "aren't qualified," we "are sinful," and we "don't know how to do it." 

  Now, I am shaking the finger at myself when I say these things. There are really no good excuses. IF we are taking in spiritual food, we have plenty to give, plenty of resources to use, and plenty of qualification. I think we just prefer the spiritual tube feeding. It is a whole lot easier to sit back and just take it in. Easier for now...one day we will have to explain before God why we did not do what we should have and I think that will be the time that we get choked up without excuse. 

  So, to the battle in the armor given us by God! (It does sound easy blogging it but let us hold each other accountable) If you eat an elephant one bite at a time then we can serve God one step at a time. What does it look like to do that right at this moment? 

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