Saturday, March 21, 2009

So Dakin has outwitted me.

Let me give you some background: we have battled with Dakin over the eating issue for over a year now. We have tried every which way from Friday to get him to eat, with enough success that he could get his feeding tube out. We have sung to him, read to him, let him watch TV, etc., etc. It has always been at its core a power struggle, since eating is the one thing that Dakin knows that he controls--he can't crawl or walk or stop us from doing breathing treatments that he must have, but he can control his eating. There is nothing on earth I can do to make him swallow. When I figured this out initally several months ago, he ate a lot better because I let him win. Once the power struggle was off, he ate better.

Well, last week I decided that I was done with the pandering. I quit doing the things he had come to expect to be entertained while eating. He figured out very quickly what I was doing and acquiesed for a day or so, though I was mildly worried because I could see him scheming behind his little brown eyes. And he checkmated me: he will open his mouth now, but he spits it all back out. Yeah. I've been outmanuvered. By a toddler.

So what can I do now? I have no idea. I'm torn: do I go back to pandering to him? Do I inform him that if he is going to continue spitting I will only attempt to feed him for a few minutes (because when he wants to eat he will suck it down like it's going out of style) and then quit and let him be hungry for a bit? I am trying to figure out how I can take the power struggle out of it again, and I don't know what to do. At night he will take 500 ccs of milk without pausing for breath because he's half asleep and forgets he's playing his power game. We have come too far for me to quit now. I don't want him to get a G-tube, because his disorder doesn't include compromising of his swallowing muscles. It's not that he can't eat, or that it's even a danger to him--(his swallow study was perfect) it's that he is S-T-U-B-B-O-R-N.

I have to keep reminding myself to be grateful for that stubborness.


Josie said...

Oh my gosh Bailey SO does that exact same thing when I try to put something in her mouth! Doesnt it make you so mad! haha!

Keri said...

Sadly, I have not one good piece of advice for you. Logan will not eat or drink anything by mouth. It doesn't help he has dysphagia. Top it off with severe oral defensiveness... It's become a waiting game for us. Guess Logan will eat when he's ready.

Hopefully you'll be able to think of something to keep food in his mouth. What are the chances of Dakin being less stubborn???

MJMILLS said...

This struggle hits home with me! My perfectly healthy 18 month old will not eat much! Ive tried it all. I fear her main source of nutrients will be DAMNED formula til she's 5! Seriously, she did not get that from me!