Monday, December 14, 2009

In Which Connor Has a Good Meal

Yesterday the first snow flakes of the season fell over our town. They didn't stick around, but melted in the late afternoon, only to refreeze in big sheets of ice during the night. So Connor's school was closed today, Jer's meetings on post were canceled, and we all got to sleep in and have a lazy day inside! It was very nice, though I did almost do the splits taking the trash out to the dumpster.

I am no longer flexible enough to do the splits. It would not have been pretty.

By the afternoon the temperature rose enough that the ice all melted, and so I packed Connor up and we went out to pick up the week's groceries and to do a little thrift store shopping while Jer stayed home and played video games. Connor was a little bit out of sorts so I tried not to linger anywhere too long; he doesn't like changes in his routine and was fully aware that today was supposed to be a school day. I believe tomorrow it's supposed to be above freezing again so hopefully he'll be able to go to school and his mood will improve. Since it's above freezing I'll also be able to start work in on the garden again, though the rain has returned with the warmer weather. Oh well.

We went to the bookstore yesterday and while we were there stopped to get some lunch in the cafe that's attached to it. I always try and order something that I can share with Connor; in this case I asked them to put whipped cream and chocolate sauce on top of my drink. Connor ate ALL of the whipped cream and asked for more! The night before he consumed a large portion of Jeremy's garlic mashed potatoes and a generous dollop of my ice cream. Apparently at school last week he even tried taking a couple of bites of a Cheeto! (He still is very inconsistent about swallowing the food in his mouth at school though-- probably due to sensory overload. Oh well.) It's so funny that I'm excited about my child eating junk food; but trust me, Connor eating any food, no matter what the nutritional content may be, is a very exciting thing. Not only is he eating larger quantities of what we're feeding him, but he's really improving when it comes to experimenting with textures and with thicker foods.

I think having better torso control due to his growing ability to sit independently is helping in a lot of other areas of his development as well, including eating. It's just so amazing to see the kid lunging at the spoon and taking a real bite without needing major prompting and then swallowing instead of holding the food in his mouth forever. He even asks for more! The really interesting thing is that he is much more likely to try a food if it on Jer's or my plate and he sees us eating it rather than if it's something on his plate. I think Jer and I will have to start adding a lot of thick sauces, bisques, curries, and pureed foods to our diet! He's come such a long way in the past few months, and he continues to improve every day. While it's not likely that he'll ever learn to chew (he doesn't move his move side to side at all, and is possibly lacking the nerves to do so) it would be fantastic in a few years if he got to the point where he didn't need the g-tube for his nutrition.

Now if only he'll get comfortable enough at school to actually swallow the food they're putting in his mouth there . . .



Julia O'C said...

I'm wondering if some of Connor's feeding/swallowing issues have something to do with the P-ACC? Emmett also has a partial corpus callosum and as a result, some mid-line skills can be difficult for him. Swallowing, chewing and sitting up are all mid-line skills.

Can Connor clap? That was a tough one for Emmett. We do a lot of exercises now that require crossing the midline and it's made a tremendous difference - and yes, these skills are connected, just like you said. The day that Emmett learned to clap, he also all of a sudden was able to drink from a straw.

Any exercise you can do that gets Connor to have his arms or legs cross the midline is helpful. You can google "midline exercises" for more ideas. Since we started making a concentrated effort in this area, Emmett has made very good progress.

But anyway: YAY for CONNOR!! Your little miracle guy.

Julia said...

Interesting stuff about crossing the midline. Our (otherwise very unhelpful) TOD once told us that, of the various signs for "rabbit," she prefers the one where you cross your arms and wiggle your fingers, because it promotes midline crossing development. Good news that Connor is developing more adventuresome tastes. Oh, and I have *never* been able to do the splits, despite many years of ballet. I have not recently experimented with ice as a mechanism for accomplishing such a feat.

xraevision said...

Well, I say that Cheetos are part of any good meal! Even my maincoon kitty loves them.

Xander has particular eating issues too (not nearly as serious as Connor), so I understand your excitement about him eating anything! Good for Connor!

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