Tuesday, August 4, 2009

When Pretend Feels More Real Than It Should

Like many girls (and boys) we have a play kitchen in our house. It's stocked with all sorts of pretend food, utensils, pots, pans and other necessary objects for a kitchen. With help my daughter will happily stir food and pretend to eat it. She very dutifully answers yes or no about the "taste" of the pretend food. Sounds like a great moment, right?

Not exactly.

The thing of it is that all our daughter does is "pretend" to eat food. She will happily ask for food and put it in her mouth. After a few moments or minutes the food comes right back out again. You can imagine how great our floors look sometimes. At this point it has pretty much become a part of our world. I've bought and tried every food possible - spicy soup, bright green pudding, ice cream, Fruit Loops, pickles, mango, the list goes on and on. So far nothing has worked. Since we know she can swallow we hope that she will soon figure out that it is okay to swallow.

As many parents of non-eaters know, it can be tremendously hard to have a baby who doesn't eat. On so many levels. One of the hardest areas is socially. Eating is so.....normal. People just can't grasp the idea that someone willingly will not eat. I've had family, friends, strangers, doctors, etc. tell me to try all sorts of things. And I do. I have. I will. But so far none have worked. Most people are well meaning. They truly want to help.

Then there is the flip side. Some think that we just aren't "doing it right." If only that were the reason. If only it was a matter of me being retrained because let me tell you - I would sign-up for that course in a heart beat. And I'm positive I wouldn't be the only one there. But alas. That's not quite it. It isn't a matter of buying the right food or feeding it to her in a certain way.

I know in time it will happen. It will. Until then I smile and try not to laugh (or sometimes cry) when I ask my daughter if that bite of air was indeed delicious.

It usually is.

Of course.


Laura said...

I will be sitting right next to you in that class. And I will pay any price to attend if it means my boys would eat. It will happen.

Trish said...

Sign me up, too. Oh but how I wish I were just incompetent.