As we headed into the new year we definitely felt the pressure on our shoulders, this is a year of big changes for all of us in the Persin household. And now, just two weeks into 2015 we’re already making huge strides towards accomplishing these goals, and we are doing it our way. We said goodbye to the bottle completely at the beginning of the month and it hasn’t been the easiest transition, especially when Aleck continues to ask for, “Just one more bottle mommy, please” about every other morning. Unfortunately giving the sippy cup is still a slow going process as we are racing to get to preschool and therapy sessions sitting on the couch and watching him take one painfully slow sip at a time I’m reminded of how hard it used to be to give him the bottle and how I would sit and imagine just pouring it all down his throat so we could go on with the rest of our day already, but he’s getting better one sip at a time (oiy).
Aleck has started feeding himself during lunches and dinners, both at home and at preschool, and no we did not just let him starve it out to get to that point. There was simply no way we could stomach that process and we certainly didn’t want to make meals a frustrating experience for him so we’ve been easing him into it in our own way. We started with having him take the first 5 bites of his meals by himself. Using a short Nuk fork we put the bites on the fork for him and lay it down on the mat next to his plate. Once he finishes his own bites we will then feed him the remainder of his meal. Now he’s up to 10 bites by himself and I think we are going to keep increasing it by 5 bites every few weeks. What’s really beautiful about this process is that while he feeds himself his 10 bites Craig and I have time to eat our meals while they are still at least lukewarm instead of painstakingly ignoring our meals in order not to miss the window of opportunity when Aleck decides to eat; staring longingly at the parent who isn’t on Aleck duty at the moment, watching them wolf down a hot delicious meal, while ours becomes cold and unappealing as we negotiate for each bite. Last week Aleck became the newest member of the clean plate club and we couldn’t be happier. As we suspected the act of self-feeding has increased his appetite and his interest in food leading him to inquire often if we have more of certain things on his plate that he thinks he’s going to finish. He’s even asking for dinner at 5:45pm (we usually eat at 6:00pm) and telling us that he’s hungry and ready for dinner. It’s kind of awesome.
And even better, he’s actually keeping all of this food down. In November he really turned a corner with his vomiting and he went from throwing up once a week to throwing up once a month. Off the top of my head I can tell you exactly when the last two times he’s thrown up and it was once in November and once in December; he wasn’t a fan of my mom’s frittata that day. I think a lot of it has to due with his health, he had four upper respiratory infections from end of August until end of October, and now that he’s staying healthy, he’s completely healed from the second round of adenoid removal, his nose has become a whole new playground for the senses. For the last month he’s been sticking his nose into just about anything he can find. Everyday he opens up and smells the garbage can in our kitchen, he smells my coffee every morning, he smells everything he eats, he asks to smell everything we are drinking, and when mommy and daddy are on the potty, well, he wants to smell that too (yucky).
In his room we are starting to remove the “baby” items slowly but surely. Because of the very different way Aleck has developed he still has a mobile on his crib, he still gets changed on his dresser, and we still have a large mobile of dinosaurs over his dresser as well. So we are eliminating some of these things, one small piece at a time, trying to get him ready for the big transition we’d like to make this spring or summer, putting him in a bed. Last week we took off the light-up animals on his crib mobile and even though he doesn’t seem phased at all by this transition, I felt myself getting a little choked up as we’ve watched these softly glowing rotating animals lull him to sleep for over three years and have come to think of them as his “friends”.
Potty training is taking a back seat, mostly because he becomes very upset when we try to encourage it. It was so strange since he was interested in November so we encouraged it and then he suddenly wasn’t interested. The last thing we want is for it to be a screaming & crying experience however diaper changes have become a screaming & crying experience. He doesn’t like the wipes, he’s very vocal about not wanting to get changed, so we simply remind him that if he wants diaper changes to be over he can learn how to use the potty. Frankly, with all of these changes the last thing we want to do is push him too far in any direction and with so much to accomplish this year we want to make each transition as easy and painless as possible.