Pizza, Easter Eggs, and Physical Therapy

No, we did not serve pizza and eggs for Easter dinner.  Besides, A wouldn’t eat an egg no matter what color we made it.  Kind of makes me feel like I’m inGreen Eggs and Ham some days, except the ending would have to be rewritten.  Hhhmmmm…I think I feel a new project coming on.

Anyhow, pizza.  It’s good, cheesy sometimes, and not usually considered healthy.  I, however, am endeavoring to change that.  I like to make pizza with the kids.  G loves it, especially when I let him pick the cheeses to use.  The last few times we’ve had pizza, A has refused to try a bite so I quit offering it to her for a while to see if reverse psychology could help me out.  To my surprise, it worked almost too well last Saturday.  I cut one large slice in half and A not only took a bite, but she ate the whole slice (both halves)!  She even went on to eat a small scoop of ice cream afterward!  I was completely overjoyed and obnoxiously happy about the whole thing, much to A’s amusement.

Thankfully this was not an isolated incident.  She repeated her amazing pizza eating feat again this past Friday.  Of course, it was just plain homemade cheese pizza both times.  So, now I just have to see if I can alter the recipe enough that I can slip some healthy stuff in there without her knowing.  I have one recipe that uses sweet potatoes to make the dough and I think I’m going to start with that one while I hunt around to find some more.  I am looking for simple, but nutritious recipes that tolerate being topped with cheese and I welcome all ideas!

Another thing we learned this week is that A loves eggs.  Especially if they are filled with candy, chocolate candy.  Empty eggs or regular eggs, not so much.

I let the kids color some hard boiled eggs this year.  Still not sure what I was thinking…oh right!  I figured that maybe dyeing the eggs would get A to at least try a bite of one.  Yeah, I know, wishful thinking.

She did enjoy coloring them and I learned that she does actually know some colors even though she can’t really communicate which she wants beyond pointing and saying “dat un!”

A’s Easter dinner was fabulous!  She enjoyed a lovely dish of strawberry yogurt, and a biscuit, all washed down with a nice cup of juice.  Yep, yogurt and a biscuit.  Sounds fabulous doesn’t it?

Okay, sarcasm done, for now.  Sadly, no matter what we tried, the ham, sweet potatoes, and rest were not coming anywhere near her plate.  I wasn’t too surprised since she hasn’t been eating much of late, but it was still frustrating.

A goes through cycles where she’ll eat more solids, then she has zero interest in anything for a week or so.  Of course, her system is not used to large amounts of actual solid food (instead of yogurt and the like) so I think it plays havoc with her sense of hungry and full.  Right now, we’re in the zero interest in food.  If it weren’t for yogurt and instant breakfast I don’t think she would eat.  Not something I like to think about if I can help it.

It’s harder knowing that she’ll be going in for a weight check soon (about 3 months, but with how time has been flying by…). Her pediatrician wanted to keep her on whole milk even though A is 2 (when most kids switch to 1 or 2% fat milk).  I made the decision to switch her over to 2% because I noticed that she was drinking the milk throughout the day and not eating much.  I wanted her to rely more on actual solid food for her calories than on the milk.  This may seem a bit pushy, but I didn’t want her becoming dependent on the milk and her development suffer more.  Thankfully, we have a wonderful pediatrician who agreed to try switching her but, it she doesn’t show progress in the weight gain department it’s back to whole milk we go!

It does seem a bit strange to be worrying over a child being underweight, especially when that can be subjective sometimes.  In A’s case though she is actually underweight.  She looks and is healthy, but her development is suffering because she isn’t gaining weight like most toddlers.

Her lack of caloric intake means less energy available to run around and do all the climbing and playing like most of her peers.  This, coupled with the other sensory issues has resulted in A having low muscle tone throughout her body, but especially in her legs.  We have known about this for a while and A has done one round of physical therapy, made good progress and was discharged with a program of home exercises to do.  Unfortunately, this hasn’t been enough and she is now back in PT, this time twice a week.

It is very hard when you are handed an evaluation report on your child and what you knew is staring back in black and white, only it’s a bit more than you expected.  I knew A had low muscle tone, but the extent was more than I had realized.  I know it’s not my fault that I didn’t know, after all I’m not a physical therapist, but it doesn’t make it any easier.  Skimming that report in the office was like being punched in the stomach.  I sat there thinking what did I not do that I could have done? Why didn’t I think to try to do more?  Did I do some of the exercises with her wrong?  Did I forget something?

Oh wait, I did forget something!  I forgot that it’s not something I did or didn’t do.  It’s just A.  It’s part of her unique sensory issues and I have been doing what I can.  But there is only so much I can do before I need someone who is trained to deal with this to step in and take over.  After all, I have a disabled husband, our son, A, plus a small house to take care of.  I can’t afford to buy the equipment I would need nor do I have the space for it.

Okay, deep breath.  Check. Pull self together. Check.  Hug daughter.  Double check.

Did I still want to cry?  Yes.  Did I still feel like I had let her down somehow? A little.  Would it get better?  Definitely.  After all, the sun still rose this morning and last time I checked it planned on rising tomorrow.

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