Frustrated. Upset. Angry. Ready to throw in the towel. That’s how I had started to feel about mealtimes this summer. I kept having thoughts like, “Do we need to go to feeding therapy all over again?” “Should it be this difficult?” “Why can’t she just eat this?” Periodically during our feeding journey with Charlotte, these types of feelings and thoughts reoccur. I was at my wits end earlier this week, and if I’m completely honest, I was just happy to know that I would going to be going back to work shortly, and would no longer have to witness every snack and mealtime.
But then I took a moment to calm down, to start thinking about what to make for dinner—a task I used to love, but one which has, from time to time, become arduous—and I started making a list of our family meals and I was more than a little surprised. Earlier in the week, Austin had told a family who was receiving a chair for their son that we were probably up to about ten family meals. Well, after I finished making my list, I discovered we had 30 family meals. In that moment, I realized how far we really had come, and it put things into perspective. Yes, we still have mealtime “battles” that we’re working to overcome. Yes, we still prepare snacks and foods that we expect to be easy peasy and it turns out to be disastrous. But when we started this journey, Charlotte was only able to eat 12 foods and 0 family meals. Now she has more foods than we can count and we are up to 30 different family meals.
The next time I’m worked up, fearing we’ve failed Charlotte, I’ll make a new list to help me decide what to make for dinner. Because last night, when I was trying to decide what meals to make for dinner this week, I was served up humble pie with a slice of perspective and it might be just what I need to serve myself every now and then when I lose sight of the amazing progress we’ve made.