We brought a few basic "safe" foods with us that we knew she would eat, like peanut butter and Veggie Straws, but we had to get creative a few times with what we could find around my brother-in-law's house. She drank a lot, which is great, especially because the temperature has been about nine hundred million degrees around here lately.
I try my hardest, but sometimes I get frustrated when Elsie spits out her food or when she refuses to even try something. Occasionally I have to hand her over to Clayton and ask him to feed her while I go in the other room and try to relax. And you know, she almost always seems to eat better for him.
Anyway, by Saturday evening I was feeling all worried and hovering and Mother Hen-like because she hadn't eaten a lot all day. Elsie was tired and grumpy from being in the car and not getting enough sleep the night before, and I knew she had to be starving, too. Imagine my surprise when she ate almost an entire hard boiled egg with mayo (egg salad) and 3/4 of a container of yogurt. That's the most volume she has ever eaten in one sitting!
The following day at church, she only had one tiny episode of spitting food out and ate a handful of baby cookies and Cheerios. Plus, for the first time ever, we let her take the sacrament (small morsel of bread and tiny cup of water) and she did fantastic. No choking or spitting. I was pretty dang happy! She later ate half of a piece of birthday cake and a few tablespoons of Ricotta cheese, plus a popsicle.
Today has been ... Monday, I guess. It was kind of a busy morning and I had a lot of things going on, and my frustrations with everything were through the roof. I don't ever want to complain about my kids, especially Elsie, but sometimes it is so hard, so please understand me venting my frustrations on this blog. Elsie is most successful when she takes small bites and swallows what is in her mouth before she gets another bite. In order to do this, it's almost like I'm spoon-feeding a 6 month old baby. I can't just hand her a bowl of diced avocadoes, because she'll shove a whole handful in her mouth and then not be able to handle it all and spit it out. I either have to hand her one piece at a time or spoon feed her one piece at a time. It's very time consuming. I also get frustrated and can't handle the spitting when it is something that I know she can swallow easily and has swallowed before. Often she will spit something that is in her mouth simply so that she can take another bite of food, or if she wants to take a drink but isn't done chewing yet. With Elsie's tiny little body, every single bite counts, and it's so hard for me to watch when she spits instead of swallows. We are watching her weight closely, and if it drops down below 10% of her pre-wean weight, then we would need to supplement with a tube feeding. So far she is doing ok and hasn't needed that yet, knock on wood.
Anyway, this really is a roller coaster ride, and every day is up and down. Some days are better than others. Some meals are better than others. I have to remind myself that this is how a typical child is. Heaven knows that's how Evje is! She certainly has her good meals and bad meals too, so I need to allow that for Elsie as well. I also need to remind myself that it is normal for toddlers to only eat certain things for periods of time. If all that Elsie swallows today is yogurt, cheese, and Veggie Straws, then I'm sure that there is another 2 year old out there somewhere who will only eat hot dogs and goldfish crackers today. It all balances out in the end. And now that Elsie recognizes what hunger is and how to fix it, she's not going to let herself starve. She will eat. Her body now knows what to do. For now, we are all still alive and are taking things day by day, meal by meal, Veggie Straw by Veggie Straw, one day at a time.