Monday, May 17, 2010

Questions, questions

So, after peeing like a champ in the potty for a couple of weeks, Frank simply...stopped. Why? I asked him, point-blank, if it was because we didn't have any more prizes, and he told me yes.

I was annoyed, but a bit unsure as to what to do: I mean, he'll eventually have to use the toilet without the promise of a reward at the end, and he does know what to do, and what that feeling of needing to go feels like now...but maybe it's too soon to wean him off prizes for it? Darrel made a decision:

"Frank, you are a big boy. You know how to use the potty now. You do not need prizes. You WILL go pee-pee in the potty every day from now on!"

Picture the above said by a six-foot-three-inch tall bald man, glaring down at a three-foot-two-inch tall preschooler. I expected tears. What my husband got for his tirade was a very meek, "Okay, Daddy, I'll do that." And he does.

The same went with the McDonald's Chicken McNuggets. Darrel informed Frank, in very no-nonsense tones, that he WOULD in fact be eating that chicken, and if he didn't eat it tonight, he'd get it for dinner tomorrow night, and so on. So, tonight, the third meal he was presented with the chicken, what did he do? Well, first, in a gesture tried by children who have pets in the house across the nation, he tried the "Oops, my food fell on the floor! Oh, look, the cat is eating it!" move. Let's just say, he needs to work on subtlty here- he basically pulled this right in front of us. Madison, the cat in question, reacted with glee and trotted right over, only to be thwarted by both of us yelling, "Frank, pick that up and eat it NOW!" in unison. Madison scrambled for cover. Frank sobbed and picked up the chicken and proceeded to nibble on it.

He eventually ate all the chicken tonight.

His OT, D, told me several months ago that quite freqently, food issues like his often become a behavioral issue as opposed to just the physical issue we started out with. It seems this is what is happening now. I am so torn by this- I don't want to force him to do something that is physically painful/unpleasant/whatever for him, but at the same time, if it's something he can handle, and needs to be pushed, well, he needs to be pushed. But how do you know which is which? How do you know when he's using his history to manipulate things, and when something is truly not right for him?


Uinipooh said...

hey, if Darrell told ME to eat my chicken or pee on the potty, I would! ;-)

Keri said...

Oh man. It's so hard to tell the difference between behavior and sensory sometimes, isn't it?

I've learned my son will ALWAYS resist anything new the first time (food, place, clothes, even toys) so I keep re-introducing it...kinda like the chicken nuggets. Maybe 75% of the time he'll get used to the new thing and if he doesn't then I know it's probably a sensory thing.

That's my very unscientific method anyway. Lol!

But having a different caregiver offer him the nuggets was a good idea to get to the bottom of things. Often my son will eat things with his grandma that he does not at home just because he can't pull the sensory card with her.

That led me to think the whole eating issue was just a behavioral thing so I experimented and signed him up for school lunch. His teacher told him to eat one bite of each thing including the meat and the poor guy tried his best, gagged, and had the biggest sensory meltdown! So go figure...I felt terrible of course but now I know aversion to meat really is a sensory thing.

Btw, hooray for the potty training!