Thursday, March 25, 2010
Irony, thy name is projectile dinner vomit
I totally rolled my eyes at Jack's speech-language pathologist today when she suggested we put tiny pieces of bubble gum in the back corners of Jack's mouth to encourage him to chew things up. I mean COME ON. Like I am going to give my not-quite 2 year-old gum. Does she get a kick back from a dentist to give that advice?
Then Jack took too big a bite out of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup after dinner and projectile vomited all over the dinner table, and we started thinking about helping him chew.
But no gum. Or gummy worms or Twizzlers or fruit snacks which were her other 3 suggestions. Seriously, she gave some terrible nutritional advice. Like frying all his vegetables. Or encouraging him to dip all his food in ranch dressing. WTF?
The thing is, Jack has to have huge pieces of food (like a whole apple) or teeny little pieces (chopped apple). Medium pieces (apple slices) are hazardous to his health because he shoves them all in at once and sometimes doesn't even chew. He's almost died on orange slices a couple of times (you'd think once would be all it took for us to start cutting up his oranges. And yet.)
The SLP thinks that this might be due to oral motor difficulty-- the same difficulty that delayed his speech (I say delayed in the past tense because he has 75 words now and normal for his age is 50 words, so he's not delayed per se. Still, he has pronunciation problems), so she comes to see us every month to 6 weeks. Today, she wanted to talk about feeding issues, which was annoying because I am determined to make food NOT an issue in our house. We don't make the kids eat anything ever. Our job is to offer healthy choices; their job is to decide what and how much they want to eat. Period. She thinks we need to get Jack to try different textures of food-- and I get that, I do-- but I am not going to ever go down the road of bite negotiation ("just take 5 bites..."). That's just not how we do things, and I don't think she understood my nutrition philosophy.
Jack was playing with this giant red ball with a handle that he loves to hop on but can never go near when Harry's around, and he periodicaly put the handle in his mouth and chewed on it, which I didn't think anything of. She started talking to me about how when I saw him with something non-foodlike in his mouth, I should redirect his oral sensory skills toward food or drink to encourage him to experiment with edible textures. I think this is just crap advice. If he is hungry or thirsty, he'll tell me. With words. So I just sort of smiled and nodded. A couple of minutes later, he chewed on the ball handle again, and she paused and looked at me. I smiled. She stared at me again. I kept smiling. Then she said, "Okay, so this is one of those moments I am talking about where you need to offer him food or drink, something positive for his mouth." As nicely as I could, I explained that he just ate a snack and had some milk and I thought he was okay to chew on the ball. She repeated the "positive in his mouth" bit, and I tried to explain that I don't think that's a healthy habit to teach-- that the only positive things for our mouths are edible. But my 3.5 year old LOVES to chew on the straps of his back pack and frequently walks into school carrying his back pack in his teeth. So maybe I'm weird.
Such the helper
I meant to take a picture of Jack with my vacuum, but he ran away before the camera flashed. I actually really love with picture because this is just how he runs, and he runs wherever he goes.