There are many times when you think “Wow, I never thought I would say X as a parent”, but you find that it’s just a typical part of parenting. I have found myself saying; “stop touching your penis at church” or “don’t drink the water from the goldfish tank”. The list can go on as kids, particularly boys, definitely do the unexpected.
Today was a different type of “I never” statement as it pertains to my own life code? Maybe “life code” isn’t the right term but it’s the best I have right now. For the past 20 years I have eaten a primarily organic, non processed diet and use natural laundry detergents as well as hygiene products . My plan was always to have any children I was blessed with do the same. So when I said to my husband, “I’m so elated that Remy tasted a hot dog”, it was not only something I thought I would ever say, it was something I never thought I would have him try.
When Remy first started eating solid food at 6 months old, he was every parents dream from a culinary standpoint. After the typical introduction of fruits and vegetables, he ate what we ate. We used a modified “Baby Led Weaning” approach to feeding. He loved flavor and different food textures which was well balanced and nutritious. It was a year and a half of culinary bliss. Then things changed and they changed rapidly at around 2 years old when he started dropping various food from his diet, refusing them, despite using every “trick”.
After a short time I could count the number of foods he would eat on my hands. Other ASD parents will sit here nodding their head as I list his acceptable foods of : Chicken nuggets/tenders, Pizza, grilled cheese, bread, milk, crackers, popcorn, cereal, Belvita ™ blueberry breakfast biscuits, and vanilla ice cream. Now when I say vanilla ice cream, realize its not every vanilla ice cream. It has to have certain specifications because God forbid it have real vanilla flecks in it because or the pizza has more basil that he is used to, then you would think the devil himself served it. The bizarre thing is it doesn’t seem to be sensory based as is typical with autistic feeding issues. It was almost like he “forgot” (which he doesn’t forget anything) that he liked an item and he won’t eat anything foreign to him.
Back in April 2018, Remy had a low grade fever. It wasn’t something I would typically treat, but I sat their concerned about how to medicate him if things got worse. There was nothing in his repertoire that would “hide” the acetaminophen and he can “smell” a change to a beverage like a polar bear sensing a seal under 3 feet of ice. It was then that I decided it was time for professional intervention.
He started food therapy or what we call “Food School” with a fabulous SLP named “Sha-Sha” who has had decades of experience in the food therapy sub specialty. I’ve seen my son blossom over the past two months and we have been so proud of his progress. While he isn’t fully eating a food yet, he is taking tiny bites and swallowing. It’s a long way from him exclaiming “No, no , nooooo” to the mere mention of a new food.
So yesterday was a lesson in action of putting your selfish wishes aside, even if they are with the best intentions. So, no, I never thought I would feed my child a hot dog, let alone be proud that he tried one, but just like we say to new mothers stressing out over formula and breast feeding, “Fed is Best”.