Friday, October 23, 2009

Monkey see, Monkey Do

I wasn't handling it very well. When her mealtime would approach, my stomach clenched and my entire body reacted with such high levels of stress that I thought I was going to lose it. As Sweet One continued to turn her head to pretty much every spoonful of food I would give her, I desperately clung to any ounce of composure and patience that was hiding somewhere. I know damn well that it was the voice with the heavy chinese accent in the back of my head saying how she is too small, if she is waking up in the night it is because she is not eating enough during the day and that even children in India would be staying along the curve at this age.

For a number of days following our 9 month check up, Sweet One ate with vigor. She would scarf down everything I put in front of her face with excitement and delight. The look on her face once her desserts of fruit came out was wonderful. You'd think she was eating a Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake! But once she got sick she stopped wanting to eat. I figured this was par for the course because who really wants to eat when they're sick? My concern came when she started to get better and was eating large bowls of oatmeal and fruit for breakfast but nothing once lunch and dinner came around. I was freaking out inside! Why wasn't this little girl eating? I read about food refusal and knew I'd have to figure out another approach.

Today was overcast and so with Big Love on his day off we decided to go out to lunch. Prior to leaving we attempted to feed Sweet One beets, which she actually ate the night before, and some noodles and parsnip. No luck. As a last minute thought, I put them in her diaper bag as we left the house with her booster seat in tow. Once we were sitting at the restaurant and eating our own food, Sweet One started to take interest in what we were doing and actually ate her beets up! She also ate the parsnip I brought. With this newfound interest in eating I was desperate to find anything for her to eat and so gave her a little bit of haddock meat from my plate. Success! She she seemed to like it.

Suppertime came around and once again Sweet One had no interest in her food. I was in the kitchen trying to get the roasted butternut squash separated from its peel but it was taking much longer than I had anticipated. With more stress in my voice, Big Love decided to take over and I went into the dining room with a bowl of greens for myself. I'm not kidding when I say that as soon as I started eating, Sweet One did too. She even ate the chicken pureed with butternut squash which she wouldn't touch for the past few days! Following that, she seemed to want a neverending supply of homemade pearsauce! Who knew that the simple act of eating with her, rather than after her, would get her to eat.

The relief over this simple concept of getting my daughter to eat is amazing. I was beating myself up for not finding a way to get her to eat and I felt like, once again, I was fucking up. An added bonus is that I will eat more regularly and possibly not find myself starving in the middle of the afternoon! Lets just hope that this will continue to encourage Sweet One to eat.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you found something that works! Sometimes the worst thing I could do was to read books. It made me feel that I was doing everything wrong and I got more and more depressed. Now that I don't care how the experts do it, we're doing so much better.

    And my 4 yr old doens't eat much either. I wish eating with her worked, but she's more interested in playing. Grrr.


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