Monday, November 19, 2007

Little foodie

A little over a week ago, KayTar was refusing food, except for yogurt. She was usually eating a single yogurt between the hours of 8am and 6pm. At 6pm, Josh would coerce her into trying something else, usually unsuccessfully. If it did work, she would eat two jars of baby food. She was subsisting on 4-12oz of food per day. Our nutritionist recommended backing off a bit, letting her call more of the shots when it comes to eating, so that is what I did. If she wanted A yogurt. I gave her A yogurt. We could always do Pediasure to make up for it, and KayTar wold be happy that she was allowed to make her own food decisions, hopefully saving us from adding "BATTLE" to the list of things that keep her from eating. Josh wasn't entirely keen on this idea, but I reminded him that usually a very poor week of eating is followed by a much better one. And then KayTar reminded him, because she went from that single yogurt to a pseudo-children's diet. I got to say, "See? I told you it would work itself out!" Even though I had no real idea of just how well it would work itself out.

A typical day that used to look like this:

1 Yogurt

Now looks like this (yesterday, for example):

Dry toast
Sausage (2-3 patties)
Yogurt (self-feeding!)
Chicken "muggets" (2-3)
2 jars of vegetables plus crushed vitamin
Garlic mashed potatoes (3 adult spoonfuls!)

I am reluctant to post this, because we have been here before or at least CLOSE to here and seen it all go away. KayTar and food is a dance between advancement and regression. Next week, she might go back to not being hungry at all, or her sensory issues might have her back in the box-o-baby food. Or the episode that is due this week (since we are back on a lovely time schedule) might tear down the progress she has built up recently. I can't just enjoy it, because I know how precarious it is and if I get too used to it, I'll be even more disappointed if she loses it all. But right now, today, she is eating so well. Sometimes even instigating meals or asking for food. This is huge for a child who doesn't feel hunger usually. She could go for days without eating if left to her own devices, which is a huge part of our battle. If you never felt hungry, how would you feel about being forced to sit down and eat three times a day? Likely, you wouldn't be a fan, because you'd feel fine without it. It would just be a pointless chore without hunger or enjoyment, and sometimes it would even be scary or painful, depending on how it affects her senses on a particular day. It would be very difficult to like food if that were the case. But here she is, eating, although she is still very cautious about what is on the accepted list. It is hard not to be excited, even when I know how many times she's gained and lost in this area.

This video was taken right before her episode in September. That weekend she was eating ANYTHING and EVERYTHING offered to her. Diced veggies, hot dogs, dry cereal...she was just a normal kid for the weekend. It was sudden progress, she just woke up and was doing it. Then she has an episode that Sunday night and it was long gone. Like it had never happened at all, except for this video.

I think that weekend, the upcoming episode must have flipped some neurological off-switch on her sensory issues, because we've never had progress like that, not even now. She won't touch cereal or diced veggies or a hot dog; nothing small, nothing wet, nothing slimy. It went as suddenly as it came. But her current progress has more to do with her personal preferences, being careful not to offend her senses while experimenting with table foods, and letting her make decisions, so I hope this one sticks. I always hope. But looking down the barrel of the next episode has me wondering if we will be serving single yogurts again next week. I hope not. I hope this is the year that KayTar finally gets a bit of real Thanksgiving on her plate instead of pureed sweet potatoes and turkey with a jarred green bean chaser. Or a yogurt, for that matter. If she gets to enjoy Thanksgiving, then THAT is what I will be thankful for, even if it slips away the very next day.


Jenny, the Bloggess said...

Mmmmm...garlic mashed potatoes.

I wonder though if she might be moving in the same pattern as a typical toddler. Like when Hailey was potty training she'd occassionally have a great week where she never had accidents and seemed like she was just totally trained and then suddenly it all crashed and it was like it had never happened. Now she's potty trained again but I have no idea for how long.

Beck said...

You know, The Baby goes through eating and NOT eating phases. Right now, she is in an eating phase, which means that I keep getting asked for "Mo food, mama!"

Chrissy said...

My 3 year old is going through a phase where she is really eating nothing for four days, and then eats voraciously for one or two days.

Gotta love those chicken Muggets!

Julie Pippert said...

Oh Kyla, FANTASTIC. I am just going to be so happy that she is doing this now. Sounds like a lunch date!

Now that I am detoxifying myself I am losing allergies. We did a test so although I'm still nervous, peanuts seem okay. The relevant point here is that Chik-Fil-A is back in play!

Using My Words

Janet said...

Awesome. It's funny how life balances out like that, isn't it? Take a vacation from the medical and you're given this gift.

S said...

go, KayTar!

that's an amazing change!

i will hold her in my thoughts and hope that it sticks this time.

Amy said...

She is eating stuff currently that Julia still won't touch. YAY Kaytar.

Here is hoping for a feastful dinner for Kaytar come Thursday!

Mimi said...

Well, she's eating better than Munchkin now -- ahh, jarred veggies. What would I do without you?

Hold on to your hope. And watch her eat! Wonderful!

flutter said...

good work, little one!

~aj~ said...

This is fantastic news. I hope it's not just a temporary thing, but even if it is, it's great to know that she does have interest in these foods and is willing to try new things. I'm super excited for her and hope she has a super yummy Turkey Day!

Becca said...

Go Kaytar!

I thought about you guys all weekend because Charlie had to have antibiotic shots Fri, Sat, and Sun for his ears. He knew exactly where we were and was totally unconsolable every time a doctor or nurse came into the room. It was so sad.

I now have a tiny taste of how good this doctor break must be for all of you. And it seems to be reaping rewards already!

Anonymous said...

That's some pretty great news! Ethan has never had a day like that, sausages AND nuggets? You go Kaytar!

What's interesting to me is that he is like Kaytar in that he never feels hungry, but once he is eating something he is unable to feel full, so he gorges. Does she do that also? This sensory stuff is so confusing.

Chaotic Joy said...

I think this is fabulous progress. Ben's diet is Oatmeal for breakfast, Babyfood for dinner and at lunch we try-try-try to get him to eat one of the table food items we have had some successful. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesnt. And like Kaytar, sometimes he just starts eating something and we get all excited and then he won't touch it.

One thing I have noticed is that any texture advances he has had have been of his own doing, not therapy. So I think you might be right on track. And the whole getting hungry thing...I so hear that. Although, Ben is starting to experience (or at least identify) hunger the last couple months for the first time that I can remember. Very exciting stuff.

I really hope Kaytar's streak continues.

kittenpie said...

I am keeping my fingers crossed she enjoys Thanksgiving for the food and for having a good few days over it. So you can all enjoy it to some degree. that woudl be something to be thankful for, in an otherwise sucky fall.

Junie's Blog said...

YAY Kaytar!! Please let this stick! I'm keeping everything crossed!