So for those of y’all that know me, you may have heard or seen that we’re doing things a little differently with our son. He is sixteen months old and still being fed purees by spoon. No finger foods, no solids (with the exception of Puffs. Oh my word, how that boy loves his puffs). He’s also not speaking real words yet. I hate labels, but we’ve been working with our pediatrician and a therapist on his feeding issues for a few months now. We have a screening next week to see if he qualifies for Early Intervention for speech therapy.
It may not seem like a big deal, so he has some delays, so what? But y’all don’t see what we are dealing with in the privacy of our home. Most mealtimes, we pray beforehand that all his food stays down. Lately, Stephen has begun violently throwing up every time he gets upset and starts crying. I’m not talking a little bit of baby spit-up, either. This is full-blown vomit – EV.ER.Y.WHERE. So when he trips and falls and gets an owie, the shrieky crying begins and we race to get him to the kitchen sink fast enough before it all starts. I hate that my first thought is to minimize the mess, instead of consoling my little guy, but there’s only so many times a girl can scrub the carpet in her apartment in hopes of not getting charged an arm and a leg to replace it due to all the staining.
I also went back to work a few weeks ago part-time as a nanny. I’m working for a family that I used to help out before Stephen was born – and they let me bring him with me! This is wonderful in theory, but exhausting in practice. They have two eleven year old girls, so the house is anything but baby-proofed. I spend the majority of my time taking things away from him and chasing him up and down the stairs. And let’s not forget cleaning up the vomit after one of his episodes. Yep, it’s already happened twice in the two weeks I’ve been back. I do get a break twice a week, once when he goes to the babysitter and once when my hubby stays home with him in the afternoons. I feel guilty for even thinking this, but my goodness, it is so much easier without chasing him around all afternoon long!
So between therapy appointments, doctors appointments, my work schedule and trying to work in a play date or fun outing, my weeks are exhausting. I just want for things to be a little easier. I’m so envious of all the families I see out and about with children younger than mine who happily munch away on whatever food is put in front of them. I have visions of Stephen being on a puree-only diet for years to come, because progress with the therapist is painstakingly slow. They say he has sensory integration issues – so I’m trying my hardest to give him as many sensory experiences as possible, in hopes that one day he’ll be able to eat table food all on his own. The perfectionist in me is screaming inside, why my son? But I quickly remember to be thankful for all of his amazing attributes. He is wildly funny – always looking to make mommy and daddy laugh. He goes down by 8pm and sleeps through the night – and has since he was 6 months old! And most importantly, he is a happy, social little guy that loves to play with everyone.
So I’m letting go of perfection. I’m hopeful for the future, even when the present seems so tedious and hard. And I’m praying for the patience to make it through these challenges. God only knows how frustrating things can get sometimes. But I lean into Him and trust that He is winding a path for Stephen towards greatness. And that makes me one very happy, very blessed mama indeed.