Monday, July 26, 2010

Frustrated to tears

In preparation for Lexi's evaluation on Thursday, we have to keep a 3 day food journal of everything she consumes. Not what she is offered, but what she actually takes in her mouth and swallows. Do you know how HARD that is?

So Saturday we started her journal...and let me tell you, when you actually count out the pieces of food she eats, weigh it and write it down...IT'S NOT MUCH! For example, yesterday...Lexi CONSUMED 6 blueberries, 7 grapes, 11 pieces of cereal and 1/2 slice of cheese...ALL DAY. She also drank 18 ozs of milk. And I will tell you that the grapes, cereal and cheese were all eaten between 6:30pm and 7:30pm after I had a mommy melt down. To see that your child is bearing eating anything...really made me feel guilty. Am I offering her enough choices? Should I offer more food throughout the day? Is it too hot? Is it too cold? Should I cut it smaller? Is it too small for her to pick up? The questions and thoughts are endless.

I had Lexi in her booster seat at our table. I offered her some Gerber Stage 3 food...she spit out the first bite. Started to WAIL. Commence questions...too hot? too cold? She would not eat...kept pushing the spoon away and WAILING. I admit, I got frustrated...she had only eaten 6 blueberries up until this point, so I told her if she was going to act like a baby, I would treat her like one...and I put her in the highchair (which she really no longer sits in as she prefers the booster). More screaming. I offered her cheese. She threw that on the floor. So I took her out of the highchair and placed her on her feet on the floor...she proceeded to lie face down on the floor and scream. DH said just to give her a bottle. My response was that I knew that was exactly what she wanted and that I'm not giving in to her temper tantrum. I proceeded to walk away from her. She followed me and wanted me to pick her up. I ignored her for about a minute (or until my heart broke and I couldn't any longer) and picked her up. As soon as I did, she hit me. I immediately told her, more sternly than I meant to, that I would NOT tolerate her hitting me and that if she hit me again I would put her to bed.

DH got a bowl of cereal and grapes and put it on her little table she uses for coloring. She ended up sitting with him and ate her 7 grapes and 11 pieces of cereal while he read a book. Though I think the only reason she ate that was because he wouldn't turn the page until she ate a piece of something.

I just can't believe that I'm fighting with my child to eat. She gladly ate solids when we introduced them to her at 5 months of age. I just don't know what to think. I never realized before this weekend how little she actually consumes on a daily basis. No wonder she lost weight last month.

I know this entry is all over the place and a little incoherent. I'm so frustrated and sad right now. I feel like I'm failing her somehow. I know I'm taking the steps in the right direction in getting her evaluated...I just feel guilty that I "let it" get to this point.


Shelli said...

Amy, I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. Don't beat yourself up over this. Food consumption in little ones is such a grey line and so cyclical. The fact is, you recognized the problem (doesn't matter when) and you are seeking out medical advice. Just go with it for now. Be kind to yourself, you are a good mom.

Anonymous said...

When Miles had been eating solids for a good while, he all of the sudden started refusing everything. Pushing the spoon away, turning his head. Turns out he wanted to feed himself. And if you tried to do it for him, he refused everything. Have you tried something "fun" to feed yourself like mashed potatoes or mac n cheese? He loves it when its messy and I don't care about the cleanup because he's eating!

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Denise said...

Oh, Amy, I'm so sorry. I completely relate. I agree that the food journal is REALLY difficult. We had to do one for the twins and two of the days had to be while they were at day care. I'm really not sure how accurate it was, but it was enough to let the dietician know they weren't getting nearly enough calories.

I'm sure you have/will receive lots of assvice, so just take it for what it's worth and know that you ARE a good mommy. I was told by many that feeding becomes a power struggle with toddlers and the more you show your frustration, the more they push back. I've spent months struggling to hide my frustration from my kids, but it really does seem to help if I ignore them. And of course, when they do eat something, I act like a crazy, excited fool praising them. Throwing food became a big issue, so they ALWAYS eat strapped into their high chairs and if they throw food, we turn their chair around so they are facing away from the action and tell them they're in time out because they threw their food. It actually seems to be helping.

Mealtimes are so frustrating when they won't eat. Hopefully the evaluation will give you some good ideas. It doesn't sound like your pediatrician was concerned with medical issues, so maybe it is just Lexi asserting her independence and controlling one of the few things she can at this age.

s.e. said...

I wish I could hug you right now and wash away your mommy guilt. I know what you are feeling. I force feed bottles for months trying to get Claire to take the allotted calorie intake. The daily frustration is so tiring. You must accept you have not caused this. Lexi is reacting to some unknown and hopefully, the evaluation will shed some light for all of you.

You are not a feeding expert but you ARE a good mom and I am not sure you could love your little girl more.

Now wipe away your tears!

Rotten said...

I totally feel you pain. No one prepares you for a child that won't eat. It's always that joke that your kids will eat you out of house and home and then you end up with one that won't eat anything. I get beyond frustrated when I try so many different things and still C doesn't want them. So I get it. Don't feel guilty. You are doing the best you can. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

have you tried a muffin tin of choices? all different colors and textures of foods. some crackers, raisins, broccli enev a muffin tin of dip. Do you have a resturant you can take her with different options. We take our daughter to places with a salad bar and make her a plate of all the different choices on the bar. We get a good feeling of what she likes that way.