We all scream for ice cream

March 19, 2009 at 9:32 pm 13 comments

     Every once in awhile, I am reminded of how challenging it is just to be C. He courageously tackles demons most of the rest of us don’t even consider a threat. To face those fears on a daily basis requires a certain kind of strengh above and beyond the normal.

     C’s big fear? Food. It’s all tough for him, from the earliest retching when we’d open the fridge to now swallowing the gag when he looks at unfamiliar foods. If he could just skip eating completely, he’d probably be a much happier kid, but nature calls, and eat he must.

     Last week he helped his class win a pizza and ice cream party, and he was probably the most excited of his classmates. Yet he doesn’t eat pizza and ice cream – can’t eat pizza and ice cream, but more telling, doesn’t even want to eat pizza and ice cream. He’s never had cake, pie, pizza, soup, casseroles, or a salad. 

     The night after the party, when he asked if he could try some ice cream, I jumped on it. He wanted to try the sorbet in the freezer, and I popped out a spoon. Try it he did. What most people won’t understand, however, is the massive aligning of the planets it took to actually get that sorbet in his mouth. No setting down a bowl in front of him. First he had to look at it, and I was careful to cover up the chunks of fruit on one side. He then had to smell it, with my enthusiastically stating how much it smelled like strawberries, his favorite. I got out a spoon, scooped out less than 1/8 of a teaspoon, and slowly glided it into his wide open mouth so as to ensure it didn’t touch his lips.

     Then started the reaction. Eyes scrunched shut fighting back tears, jumping up and down, and what I call the “closed-fist hand flap” motion to distract himself. This was followed by his covering his ears. This all took place in the span of the three seconds it took him to swallow the sorbet.

     This was a mild reaction, believe it or not. I immediately responded with, “Wasn’t that great? Want more?” Sure enough, he did. Five more spoonfuls, and a request to have it for breakfast the next morning.

     Brave kid.

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13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jessica  |  March 19, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how something that seems so simple can be such a big moment?

    It is – sometimes I chuckle at the things we celebrate around here.

  • 2. Bobbi  |  March 19, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Wow, what a brave boy! That’s awful that he has such strong reactions to foods, poor little guy. Good for him trying it! Isn’t it wonderful when they eat something new!

    It is wonderful…definitely worth celebrating!

  • 3. T$  |  March 20, 2009 at 4:13 am

    hmm, sounds like a ploy to get ice cream for breakfast. 😉

    Yup, smart kid…

  • 4. Good Fountain  |  March 20, 2009 at 5:38 am

    This is great!

    So I’m wondering – once he tries something new and likes it, does that mean it’s forever in his repertoire?

    Does he generally like everything he bravely tries?

    I heart C and his bravery!

    Once he tries it – and even if he loves it – it doesn’t mean he keeps eating it. Often we have to reintroduce again and again to get it in there. But that’s getting better. There’s only been a few things he hasn’t liked (mashed potatoes, smoked salmon, sweet potato fries, etc.), but mostly he seems to like the things he tries. Sometimes I’ll take him to the store and let him pick out a new fruit or something to try so that he has some buy in before I even push a new food. It’s never easy, though!

  • 5. pixiemama  |  March 20, 2009 at 7:57 am

    WOW! Wow.


  • 6. therocchronicles  |  March 20, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Awesome!! It’s so hard to get them to try and then to get them to keep eating it – that’s even harder! Go C!!

  • 7. Jesch  |  March 20, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    C continuously redefines my definition of courage.

    Yup, me too.

  • 8. goodmum  |  March 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Aw, this tugs my heartstrings because I’ve been there. I’ve SO been there. It’s funny I read this tonight because we just had a similar situation in our house only it was with a different toothpaste. Little Man has always used baby toothpaste. He wouldn’t even TRY any of the flouride stuff or even a different brand than what he always uses. For some reason, today he decided it was a good day to buy a different toothpaste (Power Rangers – go figure, he’s never even SEEN THE SHOW!) and try it. Try it he did. Three times before bed tonight. We celebrated by having a family toothbrushing ceremony. We all brushed with PR toothpaste.

    All this to say, trust me. I get it. I really, REALLY get it.

    YAY C!!!! I’m so happy that you’ve found a new food to enjoy. You’re so very brave, little guy. Way to go!!!!

    It is incredible what we celebrate. The toothpaste story gives me hope – he’s tasted some once or twice, but isn’t interested in trying it. Maybe I should go get some PR toothpaste, huh?

    Anyway, it’s so nice that people get this, because frankly, as you know, most people don’t. I’m so glad to have you, K!

  • 9. Kathie  |  March 21, 2009 at 9:19 am

    that is so awesome AND his reaction to a new food is exactly like my son’s reaction to new food. I find it endearing…NOW. It took a while to get there. Good job, C!

    It’s funny because this is so much better than it used to be! This reaction was hardly anything compared to what he used to do. It’s amazing how our perspective changes on things, isn’t it? I’m still working on finding it endearing though. LOL!

  • 10. babystace  |  March 21, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    That’s great!! My daughter wouldn’t eat cake and ice cream either, even on her birthdays. Then when she finally got the tubes put in her ears that I had been telling her doctor she needed, she all of a sudden started trying new foods. Ice cream is one of her favorites now. We’re still working on the cake though, lol. It hasn’t erased the ASD, but it helps if I can get her to do some things that I can usually expect out of a three-year old.

    By the way, I just happened upon your blog. I love that you are so open about this. Thanks for sharing everything!

    That is awesome that you found a help for the food – it probably really hurt her ears to swallow or something and the tubes helped. For us it was treating “invisible” reflux that made a huge difference. At least now he will try new things on occasion instead of just retching! There’s always hope.

    Thanks for visiting, and for the kind words. I hope you stay awhile! 🙂

  • 11. robinaltman  |  March 21, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Oh man, I can’t imagine having every new food the poor kid tries being such a hurdle. You are so right to acknowledge his bravery. If eating was that tough for me, I’d put a tube in my stomach. Wait a sec! I’d be thin! Crap!

    And this one was relatively easy…I kid you not.

  • 12. Holly's Mom  |  March 22, 2009 at 1:38 am

    I so feel for you, and pray that things with Holly get easier… She is not this bad yet. I applaud you and your determination, and I am amazed by C and his bravery!

    And this is good compared to how he used to be. I saw a big change (for the worse) when C started to realize he could refuse food, which he didn’t really “get” for quite awhile. Once he started to understand that he was his own person, we went through a loooooooonnnnnnnnngggggggg period of complete refusal. It was tough, but then with feeding therapy we got through it a little bit. And now he’s doing really well (relatively speaking, anyway). There is hope, I promise!

  • 13. Erica77777  |  March 22, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    As you know, our sons are so similar; we are right there with you. I celebrate the small successes along the way–B ate 3 bites of a potato chip a few weeks ago!–but get so tired of the food reintroductions (he’s refused to retry one ever since). It is so nice to hear that C seems to be more willing to be reintroduced as he matures!

    Yes, sometimes the reintroductions are almost worse than the initial introductions. But I have definitely seen that lessen in the last year or so, so there’s hope for you! I think C is so darn bored with everything he eats that he’s a little more interested in keeping something new in his repertoire.

    Potato chips. That’s the perfect example – who would think a kid wouldn’t eat potato chips??? But that’s what people don’t understand – it’s not that they don’t like the food.


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