Everyone knows that kiddos with sensory processing disorder live by rules and routine. As a parent of a kiddo with sensory challenges, you learn to always respect that. If you can’t respect that, than you warn them with PLENTY of advance notice. Every once in while though, even though you know what you should and should not do, you either forget or test the boundaries simply because you like to torture yourself 😉
I made the HUGE mistake of pushing B too far Tuesday night. Everyone knows about B’s eating issues. This is one aspect I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I do not mess with. So then…what the heck was I thinking?
We’ve been very relaxed at meal times over the entire summer. No pressure, no intricate food discussions, no cooking projects. Low and behold, no meltdowns.
I decided to eat a fresh peach for dinner that night. After devouring the delicious summer fruit, I asked C and B if they’d ever seen the pit of a peach. I cleaned it off and C touched it. She felt how hard it was. B was immediately uncomfortable. I mentioned that she didn’t have to touch it or look at it. She did smell it, but didn’t really want to. I’m almost positive she did it for me. I then went on to say that maybe in a few days we could “learn” more about it.
Her initial response was a very emphatic, “I don’t want to touch it. I don’t want to look at it either.” I reminded her she didn’t have to do anything until she was ready. The entire scene went spiraling out of control. She turned into a crying mess. “I don’t want to ever learn about it.” Then, “I’m just not ready to learn about any new foods!” At this point I realized I went to far, but I couldn’t undo what had already been done. “I don’t want to cook new foods either!” Complete the scene with a sobbing, hyperventilating 6.5 year old.
I know no parent is perfect. I know I’m going to trip up and make mistakes. However, this eating thing is my biggest downfall. My greatest challenge. I think I’m encouraging her. That I’m broadening her horizons. Deep down I know that what I see as encouragement…she sees as pressure and control.
I don’t really have a point to my post other than that I realize I need to let go and accept who she is. I need to accept how she eats and even what she eats. I need to understand her sensory challenges and how they impede her specific food choices. I need to stop pushing and analyzing. Instead, I need to show her my unconditional love and support. Tomorrow’s another day, and today I must respect her rules.