Tuesday, August 12, 2008

oranges for the starving

i'll get to the oranges in a minute. our two RADicals have food issues (as well they should thanks to their sucky first parents), but we didn't notice it at first. they don't hoard like we were prepared for, not at all. they just whine because they're starving. well, more like staaaaaarrrvvviiinnnggg. we just chalked that up to their whiny, victimized outlook on life (again, thanks to the suckos). but recently we've noticed an increase in their fear and concern about where/when their next meal or snack is, especially with em. we've always been careful about food, knowing it can be a big issue for adopted kids. we always let them know it's coming, keep it visible, give plenty of snacks (both healthy and just yummy), we never punish them with missed meals, and if they are "starving" rice cakes are always available. (you know: i'm starving, have a rice cake, i don't want a rice cake, then you're not starving...)
but they are still very, very concerned when they'll eat next. if you don't have a RADical, you'd think oh they're just snacky, all kids are like that, but you don't live here. if you did, you'd see the panic and real fear on their faces. in their brains (which are developmentally stuck in the past) they just know they might not get food and they may die. even though they've not missed a meal in the two years they've been with us, the meals they did miss before that are fresh on their messed up little minds.
dad asked em why she was so scared about food (trying - in vain - to get her to use logic) and she didn't know. i told her that her brain was just still afraid she might not get to eat because when she was little she didn't always get to eat when she needed to. she "gets it" but she doesn't "get it". story of her life.
anyway, we realized that they would hoard food, they're just too afraid to get in trouble! so it needs to be treated the same way, eureka! so we told them we'd leave something out on the table so they'd never have to worry about food again. they can go eat whenever they need.
now of course we hope they don't eat all day long and they come to realize that yes, it's there and they are not going to die. we figure they'll go crazy for a few days though!
today it's a box of oranges. em's had quite a few and mr's just glad they're there. the funny (in a profoundly sad way) thing was when we told em she could have an orange anytime she wanted all day, instead of the fear leaving, she just asked what would be on the table tomorrow. i said (to deaf ears) just worry about today. if i said you could eat oranges all week, you'd worry about next week. just know you'll have something everyday.
ah my poor little RADical orange eating girl...


Maggie said...

Food is a big issue around our house, too. In addition to past food neglect/RAD issues, Slugger also has a medication component that meses with his feelings of hunger. In the evenings, Slugger just can't get enough. He'll eat and eat and eat until he makes himself sick. At the suggestion of his therapist, I'm supposed to just back off and let him learn the lessons the hard way. I just have to make sure the foods in the house are healthy. If he overeats, it's his issue. I'll tell you what -- he didn't like that first time he had to clean up his own throw up.

I'm not so sure that this tactic is going to work. Slugger also has FAE, so his cause and effect reasoning isn't very good. I'm willing to give it a try, though. The tactic I was taking before was causing a lot of anger/defiance.

I'm glad you stumbled across my blog. My guess is, we probably have a lot to share with each other!

Alyssa's Mom said...

We have certain foods that are always in the house - apples, fruit snacks, raisins, etc. We have given Alyssa permission to eat any item on "the list" any time she is hungry. Granted, the first two weeks were AWFUL! But, she has relaxed alot and now has no issues with food at all!

Good Luck!

Lisa said...

Wow! I am just excited that I found you! My friend sweet Gerri has been holding out on me. That little stinker! ;-)
BTW....my J does the staaaaarrrvving thing ALL the time.
You're a fabulous mom!

CJ Merrell said...

We go through seasons of food issues. Especially if he's bored, he wants to eat. He's a stress eater.. That has really challenged me to try and be a better example.. Although we often argue over who ate the last cookie, and pie for breakfast... lol

CJ Merrell said...

This story has really helped me solidify some of the BCI concepts on food.. Thanks again for sharing this-- I'm looking forward to swapping homeschool stories :)