Sunday, February 15, 2009

Patience Please

First, I would like to thank the readers who have prayed and have spoken words of encouragement while John has gone through his first illness. It has meant a lot to me to hear such encouraging words from others who have been through the same. John is feeling much better today. He is definitely making up for lost time as he just can't seem to eat enough. The positive side is that he is gaining his weight back; the negative side is that he is going through diapers at an alarming rate. Oh well, I would rather have the weight gain.

Now on to my thoughts for the day....

The phrase patience is a virtue has always been a phrase I've heard almost all my life. My parents tried to instill patience into their children and I have always admired people with patience. Working as a Physical Therapist Asst. with people have tested my level of patience such as raising children or being married have. My world has been surrounded by reminders of the need for more patience. So before John, I considered myself to have patience...but John taught me that I needed more as it has required me to learn to have more patience in dealing with a child with a special need.

For example, we have now been feeding John solid food for about a month. It is naturally difficult transitioning an infant from bottle/nipple to spoon anyway, but the transition is made more difficult when your baby continuously thrusts their tongue out as is the case the children with Down syndrome. This doesn't mean that the child cannot learn this new skill; it just means that it will require more patience than was needed with children without Ds. This is something that we have come to understand about teaching John whether it is feeding him solid food or other things.

When we first introduced the spoon to John a month ago, he was interested yet unable to get very much intake. But the sessions persisted as long as he kept showing interest. During that time, it was very discouraging as their seemed to be more disadvantages to feeding him solids than advantages, but we were on a mission and that mission was to teach this little boy how to eat from a spoon. By the time we finished, he and everything he was wearing was a mess.

For me, the time it took to feed him was a little discouraging but I will say that after a month of 2 a day practices with the spoon, things are going much better for him. He loves and has come to expect his solid food 2-3 x/day. He still is not as efficient at it than my other kids were but he is getting it. His appetite has increased so much for solid food that he eats 3/4 jar at one sitting. His favorites are carrots, table applesauce, smashed bananas, and sweet potatoes.

It still takes me more time to feed him than it did my other kids and it is messier but I am learning that if we are going to teach this little boy, we are going to have to slow down and work with him at his pace instead of pushing him to meet our demands.

So for a guy who thought I had a lot of patience, I am learning that I need to have more if I am to be a teacher to this little guy.


Linda said...

Amen! I previously thought that I had a lot of patience but my daughter pushes my patience more than either of my other children. The beautiful thing is that she is worth every bit of the extra patience she requires. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You always inspire me.

Jeanette said...

Oh yes, patience is definitely a work of will. We are on the other end of where you are. Sydney loves baby food and doesn't want to move on. She eats finger foods, sometimes... but I am learning my patience now as well. thanks for the reminder to take a breath. Somedays I am more patient than others. Sigh! The will get there, we just need to let them go at their own pace. =0)

Lovin Mama said...

I was just thinking about patience, and how much of it I have, but probably don't realize it because its always being tested. I admire your dedication with the feeding, I admit to putting solids off as long as possible ;) John looks like he's having a great time with the spoon!

Becca said...

Ah, yes, solids. Our road to solids was a pretty long and somewhat tedious one. Patience is a good thing to have. Cute, cute pics, Jay!

luvmypeanut said...

The picture of him grabbing the spoon is just too precious!

Feeding can be a challenge - so WTG John!