Thursday, January 29, 2015

Letter to my oral adverse child

Dear Son,
It is time. Time for you to start self-feeding a significant amount of your nutrition. More than just a few cherrios and sips of milk. You should start to use a spoon soon. Everyone says so.

As such, I'm giving you opportunities. Every meal I put puree on your tray. I give you crackers and spoons to dip in the puree. I give you opportunities to touch and play with different textures of food, even if you're not willing to put it to your mouth yet. And then I try to feed you myself with the spoon, as much as you'll allow. I don't force, but I do offer. You used to be much better at it, never needing the feeding tube, but you've become stubborn as of late. Now sometimes you take it, but most times you refuse and fake-gag, waiting for the sippy cup of milk or the feeding tube to satiate you.

Please, it's time. Practice learning how to self-feed. I know you're smart enough for it, I know you can do this.

Your Mom


Dear Mom,

I understand your concern. I also understand that the puree on the tray is really really slimy gross. Have you seen that stuff?  And the spoon is the terrible device that brings that slimy gross stuff to my mouth and face. Is it any wonder that any chance I get, I put as much of the slimy stuff as I can on said spoon and then throw it vehemently on the floor?

It's okay once it's IN my mouth, but lately you've been asking me to TOUCH it. And when it touches my hands and face? Well, you can understand why a civilized boy like me wouldn't like that sort of slime around him. Of course there will be push back when you're asking me to do the unthinkable. I hope you understand.

I try to be kind. I don't make too much of a fuss, I simply wipe it off my face with the back of my hand and then find the closest towel-like-thing (usually my hair) so I can wipe it off my hand as well. Yes, I make a face, but let's face it, purees make slimy messes. And I hate slimy messes. They lead to the second worst thing in the world: baths. Or washcloths. Both of which also aren't fun.

As such, and as I've showed you at multiple meals, I propose a different method of self-feeding, one which I think will serve me well for life.

"self feeding"
You have this tube you hook up to my stomach, as you alluded in your letter. I haven't figured out how you attach it to my second belly button (I've tried, but it's hard to see what you're doing when you hook it up under my shirt). But, once it's hooked up, I think I can do the rest.

I've tried to show you this. I begged and pleaded (and you FINALLY got the message and let me try), I know how to put the food into the syringe that leads to that stomach. I told you I knew what it was doing -- going down-down into my stomach. It's not that complicated, and if I pour it in, I don't have to touch it. It's brilliant.

I'm two and a half, mom. I can gavage my own food.

I even know about the plunger. When food stops being dispensed in to my tummy because it gets clogged, I push the plunger gently and the gravity feed resumes. I've shown you I can do that too. I've been insistent about it.

You want me to learn how to self-feed. I understand. You're a busy woman, and I'm a grown toddler. I propose, however, that you allow me to self-feed my own way. Don't teach me to tolerate slimy foods. They feel funny. Instead, just give me some expensive medical equipment, and let me do this my own way. We'll both be happier.

Your Son

P.S. Yes, in hindsight I realize that trying to put my cheerios down the feeding tube wasn't the best idea. I'll refrain from that -- and small toys -- in the future.


  1. Dear Mom, I am 56 years old and I have 2 boys 25 and 20. I love the story of your son,
    and I understand your letter but I eat raw honey nut cheerios right out of the box. With sips of milk

    1. True. So do I (sans milk). But I hope there's more that you (and I) eat, too. We're getting there with him. Man cannot live on honey nut cherrios alone. Or, well, maybe we can. Shall we try?


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