Feed me

feed me

Husband and I are different in many ways. It’s a case of opposite attract. He loves football, I love books. I am loud, he is quiet. I am decisive, he just goes with the flow. He balances my crazy with his very own brand of crazy. It’s why it works.

When it comes to parenting, like most couples I suppose, it’s no different. While we try to show a united front; some things, no matter how hard we try, we just can’t find common ground.

Generally speaking, there are so many things we deal with, that we tend to let most of them slide. Not with Poss, we try to be as consistent as possible with her, but instead with each other. Pick your battles.

Some things are important to him. Some to me. He worries about the state of her bedroom and I’ll back it up, even though a messy floor doesn’t really worry me. He backs me up on the issues regarding the crazy neighbours, even though he knows if she plays with them, he’ll get an hours peace watching the football.

But eating, or should I say, feeding, is one of the issues where finding common ground just seems out of reach.

You see, there are times when Poss is too tired, too overwhelmed, too something, to feed herself. It doesn’t happen often, and it happens less these days. But it does happen.

Often it’s with a new meal, or a slight change to an old meal, or sometimes a new place, but there is no real pattern. The actual act of lifting the spoon to her mouth is simply too difficult, so unless I feed her, she goes hungry.

And to further complicate things, even at the best of times, she just doesn’t care about food. It’s not a source of joy, or comfort, but simply a necessary but inconvenient process that must be endured.

Sometimes we try to compromise. “You do some yourself then mummy will help you”. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I just do it for her. Each mouthful requires me to remind her to chew, to swallow, then to do it all again. And again.

For him, it’s embarrassing. She’s eight. She’s not two any more. At what point do we stop feeding her and she simply goes without? In public it’s the worst; for both of them. Her senses are heightened, she’s overwhelmed; he senses an audience, a group of people judging.

For me, she’s hungry and I don’t care. I don’t care that people are staring. I don’t care that she’s old enough to do it herself. At that moment, for whatever reason, she can’t. And if I don’t feed her, she won’t eat.

I guess the mumma instinct is strong; there are many things I can’t fix, but I can make sure she’s eaten. I can make sure that she goes to bed with a full tummy. I can fix that one.

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  1. Argh. Food. I hear you. Nemo is not too skinny but if I am not after him like a drill instructor, it’s certainly not his priority, like, never. There are certain meals he likes and will eat, but make it something more average and distraction around – and it’s just not happening. And we regularly all fight when I cook “disgusting”things (he won’t even try) as those angry statements usually trigger my husband’s instinct (respect your mum stuff)..
    Of course on occasion I have fed him. Or pushed some precut meat in his mouth. Or blackmailed him (does not usually work well). But I have also adapted some things. He eats mostly from low bowls and with a spark, for easy scooping of (precut) things. We do watch TV again at dinner, but never for the other meals, and always seated at the table. And finally, I allow him to finger feed when he feels it works better. And I stay seated with him until we have reached a compromise, or eaten fruit/yogurt alternatively.
    But I do not force him to eat all up. We eat early often so if he didn’t eat all, he’ll be hungry by bedtime. After his teeth are brushed, of course. My solution for that is a piece of cheese.
    See I understand your husband a little…but also know how you feel. I am sure you tried lots of things..x
    nikki recently posted..The a.card or how not to make friends.My Profile

  2. You do your best, and as the for the audience, well, you know what they can do…
    Caroline recently posted..The Yellow Brick RoadMy Profile

  3. I totally get this – I’m not sure if my hubby is embarrassed by M or just thinks she should be feeding herself, but quite often I spoon mouthfuls into her, or forkfuls, or she would go hungry. It doesn’t bother me apart from when I really need both hands to eat mine and it’s getting cold, but I never let her know it bugs me as it’s not going to change her. I can’t stand the thought of her (or any of mine) going hungry.

  4. Can’t feed mine, that would be a sure fire meltdown. Once she’s decided not to eat, that’s it. I figure, maybe she simply isn’t hungry. Sometimes I’m not, and I won’t eat if I’m not. But more than likely I’m making myself feel better for the guilt that she is going to bed hungry.

    I’m single now, but there were many things he didn’t like in public. As a result, he would inevitably trigger a meltdown and bring attention to us from every person in a 5km radius by confronting her.

    We were never in tune. The times I felt he needed to put his foot down and the situation would resolve quickly, he would pussyfoot around facilitating it until she was hysterical. On the other end, the times I felt he should just ‘fix’ the situation by removing or avoiding the problem, he would charge straight at it like a rhino, triggering hysteria.

    She is much calmer now, hardly ever has meltdowns and her self confidence is booming.

    On a different note, I have enrolled her in equine learning. It’s fantastic. Have you heard of it? The use of interaction with horses for kids on the spectrum. She’s been going for a few months now, and I can’t tell you the difference it has made. It’s the most amazing thing to watch. I have always been heavily involved with animals and animal behaviour, but even I am amazed at what I see happening and how it is changing our lives.
    I’m in brisbane, if anyone wants the details let me know.

    • Thanks for that Trine! I love the idea of Equine learning. We did pony club with Poss for a year when she was first diagnosed and it was so fabulous for her. We really should look into it again, but she already has so much on her plate!

      If you wanted to send me the link, I am happy to pop it up on my resources page? Let me know.
      Renee recently posted..And then there was pie…My Profile

  5. I’m totally with you!While Olivia is amazing at drinking her horrid green veggie juices, sometimes dinner is just too hard for her. Her concentration is so poor that sitting at the table is difficult and so is the act of eating, especially after a hard day at school. I don’t care who watches, if it takes me feeding some of it to her, I will do it. You do what you have to do Renee, it’s as simple as that, in my opinion.

  6. blinkers. You will develop them. And then you won’t see the looks or hear the remarks.

    Until then death stare the shit outta them. Arsehats.

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