Let me make this clear: I really love to eat. There aren't really any foods I don't like (except maybe really fishy-fish). And right now, food is a big focus for me. For two reasons.
1. I'm trying to figure out the 7 foods I will eat for my first month of the 7 month fast. Please note the "I really love food" part of the above statement. This is gonna be tough! :)
2. We are slowly but surely getting to the heart of Amani's food issues and things are going well. I really wanted to share this post with other adoptive families because this is an attachment trick that has really helped us a lot.
I blogged before about our first visit to our attachment therapist (who is really amazing). She gave us the "Skittle Trick" which I turned into the "Chocolate Chip Trick" and I really have enjoyed giving all three, but especially my youngest, some moments of sweetness to help with attachment.
What I didn't blog about was the other strategy she gave us. I didn't blog about it because, honestly, I didn't do it. She told us to start having Amani eat while sitting on our laps. Sounds like a great idea, right? Just have him sit on my lap for meals.
Uh... have I mentioned I'm a mom of three kids five & under? I don't sit down for meals.
Seriously. The only meal I sit for is dinner and that's only after having popped up a million times to get refills of drinks, or grab whatever I forgot to put on the table in the first place, or clean up a spill. I often am finally sitting down for good after getting someone else seconds.
So while I thought her idea sounded great, I just couldn't figure out how to put it into practice. And I guess I didn't think it was important enough to put into practice.
Then comes our next visit with the therapist. She asked how that was going and I hedged a little, not wanting to admit I'd only done it once or twice. Then I got into the heart of the matter: we were still really struggling with food issues. Amani was having meltdowns at the end of every meal. He was shoveling food into his mouth as fast as he could and begging for more. I was starting to really worry about his food intake.
And she reminded me that he isn't "food hungry" he's "love hungry." That his flip outs over meals really didn't have anything to do with the food itself (and that was why it didn't matter how much I fed him, he always wanted more.) And, like a true great therapist, she said "I wonder what would happen if you started feeding him on your lap." She could have said "I told you how to fix this earlier and you didn't do it." Have I mentioned how awesome she is?
So we started that very day. Here's the technique: just like with the Skittles trick, I say Amani's name and wait until he makes eye contact and then give him a bite of food. And he sits on my lap facing me so that we can snuggle and hug and be close during the meal.
That's it. It's that simple. And you know what? It worked the VERY FIRST time that I did it. I wanted to jump for joy (and pull out my hair for not having done this sooner). When he sits on my lap and we basically snuggle our way through meals, making TONS of eye contact, he has no problem whatsoever when the meal's over and we leave the table. Night and day from before.
You know what else? I thought I couldn't sit with the kids at breakfast and lunch 'cause I was too busy getting ready for the day/unloading the dishwasher/etc. But when I slow down and take that time to be with my children while they eat, the day still goes on just fine. I find other times to do those things. What I thought would be a challenge and a time-sucker has wound up being a blessing! I think the older kids like it when I'm there at the table with them, too. That doesn't mean I'm doing it three times a day - let's be honest. I'm still a mom to three kids five & under! :) But we are doing it at least two meals on most days.
And as for #1 on my list above. I'd love some input. I'll be eating only seven foods for the first month of my seven-month fast. Here's my list as it stands right now:
6. Sweet Potatoes
7. - here's where I need help. Should I put milk, eggs, or cucumber here?
What do you think?