Thursday, November 20, 2008

How often do normal kids puke anyway?

I've heard there are these children in existence who have only vomited a handful of times, some are said to have lived their whole lives without vomiting. I believe them to be mythical creatures, though, it is less depressing that way. BubTar is a healthy kind of kid and even he's vomited more times than I can count on my fingers and toes. And KayTar, well, she is in a different league altogether. She puked tonight actually. Josh said, "You threw up!" She said, "No Daddy, I PUKED." Throwing up is for novices, she's a professional. She is a puker. In the past two weeks, she has puked 4 times and she's healthy at the moment.

The first puke was a negative reaction to brushing her teeth with a different toothpaste than we normally use. Something about it was highly offensive to her delicate ladylike senses. Yuck. This one was really sad because it was in the early post-op days when she was still having a lot of throat and stomach pain and it hurt quite a bit to get sick.

The second and third pukes were voluntary. Oh yes, you read that correctly, voluntary...as in, she can contract her stomach muscles in such a way that in about a minute, she can produce satisfactory results, no gagging involved. This is a brand new skill, a skill we are not all that happy about. It is employed as a tactic to win an argument. As in, "KayTar, time to go to bed!" "But I don't want to go to bed! I want to play the laptop!" "Nope, sorry, it is bedtime." Silence and concentration, stomach contractions, then PUKE! Totally controlled. Totally voluntary. Totally irritating. How do you respond to that? How do you appropriately redirect or discipline when instead of throwing a fit, your child throws up? We are in such trouble.

The fourth puke was tonight. Josh, who is really skittish about this tube feeding business and is still afraid of hooking and unhooking her, was feeding her...he got to the end, flushed the line, and then she gagged and puked. A lot. There was a lot of puke. We aren't sure why. She had a few bites of ice cream shortly before her feed, maybe she was the tiniest bit overfull? She's starting to get congested and has some sinus drainage, maybe that made her oversensitive, it usually does. Maybe she just felt gaggy all of a sudden. Regardless, I think poor Josh has been traumatized. He is probably having nightmares right now of her stomach filling up like a balloon and bursting. Anyway, I asked her about it later.

Me: KayTar, how does your stomach feel?

K: Hmmm, too stomachey.

Me: How did your stomach feel when Daddy was feeding you?

K: Too burpy and gaggy.

Me: Did you feel full?

K: Yes.

Me: What does full feel like?

K: Full feels like hungry!

Suuuuuure it does, kid. We've known that she doesn't understand the sensation of hunger for a long time, but we didn't realize she didn't understand what it means to be full either. Makes sense, though. Now we know that if we tell her to tell us when she is full, her answer isn't exactly reliable. We learn something new every day!

27 comments:

Chaotic Joy said...

Good grief there is alota pukin going on at your house. Ben still pukes occasionally when something disagreeable finds it's way into his mouth or when he gets extremely worked up about something. But that has improved greatly. It wasn't until him that I realized that vomiting could be an emotional reaction as well as a physical one. But voluntary??? That's something I had only read about in books. Poor you!

That's very sweet picture.

Gwen said...

My oldest daughter is a puker. Any kind of illness--fever, cold, etc.--tends to make her vomit. But KayTar has brought it to an all new level. Voluntary puking? Oy.

Between this post and the one yesterday about not liking food at all, I have gained a whole new appreciation for the strange world that KayTar and you guys, by extension, live in. Honestly, it's hard for me to get my brain around not liking food. It's given me lots to think about, that's for sure.

ewe are here said...

Wow. She can make herself throw up just by thinking about it? I don't envy you.

InTheFastLane said...

I don't know if I know what normal is. My oldest...only pukes when she has a stomach bug. But, my boys take after there father and can puke any time (like Gwen said, that's my boys). So there is a lot of puking in my house.

But, KayTar's new trick? That is a whole new conundrum...what DO you do?

Hetha said...

I was just asking E's OT yesterday what a normal 3 year old can and cannot do because I have no frame of reference! You are quite the detective and have great skill at getting to the bottom of what your girl is thinking and understanding. I'm always getting ideas from you! Sorry to hear that she can voluntarily puke though. That totally sucks!

Jerri Ann said...

I have a 5.5 year old who has puked 2 times in his life, both times were in MY bed. Once was in a hotel and in MY bed. Actually it was an extended stay place and my husband had to go downstairs and wash laundry at midnight because they didn't stay open all night in the office.

The other kid who is known as "3.99 years old and not potty trained" would cry until he puked almost daily over something until about a year ago and no throwing up from him since either....

I am a puker. I lost 30 pounds in each pregnancy. I gagged and heaved changing my own children's diapers and many times I puked when someone else would change them. I am so glad my kids don't do that.

tierd said...

Oh wow - I can't believe she can throw up on on purpose.

Lainey throws up a lot because things gross her out. She's an "easy gagger." When Graham was younger, every single time he spit up she'd gag big, real gags and throw up about every 5th time. He had reflux so she threw up a lot. She'll also throw up if she smells something really bad or if she sees one of our dogs throw up. Or if she even THINKS they threw up, even if they didn't.

But puking on demand? What a powerful three-year-old tactic!

cinnamon gurl said...

Ugh. I'm kind of phobic about vomiting, whether it's me or my kid (who luckily hasn't vomited very much - maybe three times in his life?), so voluntary puking is just about my worst nightmare. No idea how you deal with that...

sheree said...

big props to you guys for dealing with all of that puke. I am a puke-a-phobe. It seriously gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Hope she puts that newest trick away in the trick bag for a long long while. :)

womaninawindow said...

Crud and a half! Is it never simple?

"Full feels like hungry." HAAAA!

and I'm sorry to say I never got your e-mail. I am at eabones@hotmail.com Can always reach me there!

I am LOVING this revived inspiration of yours. Your photos are rocking!

Kristin said...

Yeah, no clue how often the normal ones do it...although mine is certainly puking less than yours and he's gotten better.

However, like your silly girl mine can also puke at will. Time outs are a favorite spot and we've been known to shout "YOU MAY NOT THROW UP, SIT THERE QUIETLY" in the direction of the naughty corner.

motherbumper said...

I have a really REALLY hard time puking, even when I need to - let's just say the first half of my pregnancy was HELL. Anyhow, that girl blows my mind each and every post. She keeps you on your toes momma - certainly, how does one explain feeling full after so long.

Lisa b said...

oh boy. I don't know what you do with the puking as defiant act.

I've got a puker. Julia's NICU nurse kindly pointed that out to me and mentioned that she hated pukers.
lucky us.

amanda said...

I feel like Charlie Brown- Good Grief! I am not sure what I would do with the voluntary puking, although it is a pretty impressive feat, no?

I am afraid I have no words of wisdom but I wish you luck...

~aj~ said...

Voluntary, controlled puking?! I had no idea such a thing existed. I hate that you and Josh have to deal with all of that, but especially hate it for KayTar.

You can tell from the pic that she's put wout with the whole thing as well. :)

phd in yogurtry said...

No idea why, but we're one of those families with little or no puking (unless it's mom with a hangover). My three kids are all nearly in Jr High and I can count on one hand how many times all three have puked, ever (not including projectile vomiting as newborns). My hubby has only puked once during 18 years of my knowing him. Don't think I don't know how lucky I am. I know it, full well.

crazymumma said...

My elder used to puke every time she got a cold. The phlegm you know.....

I love that photo of her, she looks like she is hatching a plot.

KC said...

I hardly ever throw-up and NEVER did as a child. I think my only legitmate yuking was after a long night of being introduced to yummy girly drinks at a frat party. Joles has been the same - I think only once ever (besides the usual baby spit-up).

Maybe some kind of reward for puke-less days?

deb said...

My Katie girl is a champion puker too, less so now that she's sixteen. When she was small it was so normal for her to vomit at supper time that we forgot how gross it was until we had visitors over.

And yes, an overfull stomach from the tube feed will come up and out.

But the voluntary puking, that's tough. Prepare to be manipulated.

flutter said...

I used to puke at the drop of a hat. anytime I was upset...yak, pissed off? yak. Happy? yak, sad? yakkity yak

Cori said...

Luke had reflux.. but I would not consider that real puke. Other then that neither of my kids have puked. Knock on wood. They will probably both be blowing chunks tomorrow.

My niece did the same thing as Kaytar. She would puke whenever she got in trouble. (thinking she would get out of trouble) she ended up getting in MORE trouble bc he was TOTALLY on command. She got time outs.. then VERY important things got taken away. My sister made it very clear that was not acceptable. My sister would make her help clean it up too. (I dont know if that would make Kaytar sick though)

I think this shows how smart she is!

Amy Y said...

While I am quite impressed with the voluntary puking thing ~ that one I've never heard before ~ I'm a bit astounded at the frequency of KayTar's puking! Holy crap!

I've got one kid that's puked maybe 5 times in his whole 7.5 years and another that's maybe at 10 or 20... That's a good thing, though, as I hate puke. But... most people probably do, eh?

turtlemama said...

Voluntary puking. Nice touch, kiddo! :) Watch out, some kids are voluntary fainters, too. They purposefully hold their breath long enough to pass out. We used to see them on the 0-4 floor where I worked as a peds RN. They would be there just long enough to make sure nothing else was wrong (wasn't usually). These poor parents would just throw their hands up in the air. Just like the vomiting, though, DON'T BACK DOWN.

Good luck. She sure is a cutie.

Mimi said...

Oh Lordy. Munchkin was a BARFER when she was a wee tiny baby, but it was all breastmilk and more messy than really gross.

Since she's been eating food, she's only had one episode of vomiting: wow. We didn't really like that. But that's it.

I had a friend who could hold her breath until she passed out. Less gross but more scary than puking to get your way?

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

I wrote about puke several times last spring. I am puke-phobic and am one of those people who, sorry, really has only thrown up a handful of times. My son is also afraid of puking and almost never gets sick in general. My hubby and daughter are pukers, though, and I steer clear of them whenever they look like they might blow. I don't know how I would handle your situation, really, puke is worse than potty disasters and blood for me.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I don't know where to start. Unfortunately I am going through the same problem as having a voluntary puker. As a matter of fact I am washing bed sheets as we speak. My boyfriends little girl lives with us full time, and since she turned three (she is almost 5 now )She started making herself vomit. EXTREMELY aggravating, but what to do. We have tried the taking away of important items, time outs, cleaning it up. Nothing worked, until I discovered that if I reminded her if she kept making herself vomit, then we were taking her to the hospital where she would stay until they knew she wasnt going to keep doing it. She does still make herself vomit. But as soon as hospital comes out of your mouth, She immediately stops. Needless to say I never get a break from it, bc i take care of her full time. Her father does help when he is home but man oh man... I am scared for her health...

Anonymous said...

I have a 3yr. old that can puke at will...it is usually when we don't give him what he wants.He will start crying then coughing..I immediately tell him to go to the trash can if he is going to puke.I try not to make a big deal of it..but it is so frustrating. I hope that this is something that they grow out of soon. Good luck.