Ethan is smart. Of that I have no doubt. He was cruising along with the feeding program, eating new yogurts, sweet potatoes, mac n cheese, spinach souffle and then....BAM! Along came the pureed chicken nugget.
Pureed chicken nugget, you ask. Yes! Because we cannot rule out a medical basis for his eating issues, and because he hasn't had a swallow study yet, and because he doesn't actually have a history of eating 'real food', and because he apparently has an issue with lumps in his food (a genetic trait inherited from his dad), all of his new foods have been in a puree state. Puree means it is stuck in a blender with some type of liquid and blended until it looks like a soupy pudding. No lumps, no bumps, no idea what it actually was in its previous state except for the label on the container.
Enough about the puree ideology, and back to Ethan being smart...This week Ethan was introduced to pureed chicken nugget. Chicken nugget a la puree looks like light tan paste and smells like barf. I gag when I have to feed it to him. (I'm not allowed to show that I'm gagging, so I have to gag to myself!) He gags when it is fed to him. (So... not... helping with the whole gag to myself thing!)
The wonderful protocol that helps Ethan eat appears to be no match against pureed chicken nugget. Ethan has learned how to 'pack'. This means he takes the bites using the protocol (good boy) but he won't swallow. He did swallow at KKI during the week, he just started the 'packing' with us over the weekend...I think he knew we wouldn't know how to handle that without the KKI staff! Smart kid!
So, we're at his sister's house for the weekend, feeding Ethan in a beautiful, no, make that a gorgeous kitchen, and we notice that Ethan is no longer swallowing. We picked up on this subtle fact because Ethan's cheeks got bigger and bigger and bigger as we spooned chicken nugget puree in. We say (this is not part of his protocol) 'Ethan show us your bite' and we open our mouths to say 'Ahhhhh'. Ethan just shakes his head no. Dang, all of the sudden massive amounts of pureed chicken nugget come tumbling out of his mouth like molten lava. Protocol requires that we scrape up the spat food and re-introduce it. This little 'pack', 'spit' and 're-introduce' cycle continues until the meal 'times out' - that is until we hit the 50 minute mark. This is not fun....very messy and not fun! We know what to do if Ethan won't open his mouth for a bite, but we don't know what to do when he won't swallow! Oh, well, I guess we'll learn this week!
The non-feeding part of the weekend went great, but we missed Emma & Evan. A hot air balloon landed in the front of the house last night. It was sooooooooo cooool! I took pictures so I'll try to load them later!
Have a great night!
Molly, Mark & Ethan