I thought...

I thought life would calm down a little after Oddmall. I guess from the hurry-up-and-get-your-inventory-ready standpoint, it did. But what has NOT calmed down is my daughter, Kaia. She has been an eating terror for the past few weeks and I'm seriously running out of things to try.

Kaia has always been picky. And sensitive. She doesn't like certain textures (especially purees) and was very reluctant to take a spoon. For all you fellow moms out there, I'm sure you can appreciate the challenge of feeding a baby who still had no teeth even though she refuses purees and spoons.

Kaia has gotten a LOT better and she has a much more diverse diet -- thanks to occupational therapy and amazing patience from my family. But now we're getting into some new territory. Apparently, this little person has developed tastes. And, as a two-year-old, she's more than willing to exert her individuality and do everything possible to get her own way when it comes to the menu. There's just one problem. She can't tell me what she wants.

The first ten months of her life were spent in Korea -- so naturally, Kaia has been a little slower than her peers to pick up English. Oh, she has the words... and she knows them when you say them to her... but getting them out of her can be torture. Enter in the menu conflict. How does a person who doesn't have the words to say "I don't want Cheerios. I would rather have something else, please," tell you what she's thinking? Well, right now, she acts out, flings food, and refuses to eat.

And mom freaks out. 

After all, the kid has been living on Pediasure an pretzels the past couple days.

Today, the occupational therapist suggested that Kaia may need some help communicating what she wants to eat. She suggested pictures that Kaia could point to. So, when we got home from the therapist's (and after Kaia magically ate half of my Spaghetti-O's -- yeah... who would have guessed that?!), I started working on these...

So, if you've been wondering why the blog has gotten a little sparse lately... or just plain where I've been... you now know. I've been drawing pictures of Kaia's favorite foods and laminating them to construction paper with packing tape (note to self -- will need more packing tape before shipping next order). Hopefully, as my dad says, "this too shall pass," and I'll be back to my regular stuff in no time. In the mean time, can someone please pass me the crayons? I need to draw a picture of Spaghetti-O's.

A little post script... the plushie that Kaia is holding in that first picture is a little treat I got for myself at Oddmall (yeah, I know, I know... silly naive mom... you don't get treats now until the kid is 30). It's an Abbydid original Mr. Spunkity monkey and everyone in the family just loves it. And yup... that is a twin in her shop... I sure hope it gets a good home by Christmas time!


  1. You wonderful, wonderful mum. I love the idea of the food pictures and I'm sure that will be a help to both Kaia and you. I'm sure the food flinging is pure frustration that she is unable to communicate with you.
    My eldest daughter (now 20) has a slight disability and although she had reasonable communication skills she would often loose it over the smallest thing. Pure frustration.
    Keep working, trying and experimenting with different stategies during this difficult stage with gorgeous little Kaia. You WILL work it out.
    The blog will be there when you have time, we understand, Kaia is your priority. :-)
    Take care and good luck,
    Anne xx

  2. What about sign language? They can teach that from a very young age, and little ones pick it up fairly easily.

  3. @CMC - She does do some sign language and it has helped out tremendously. Unfortunately, she has her own interpretation of the signs so it's hard for anyone but immediate family to understand what she wants (and sometimes even hard or us!)

    @Anne - Thanks for the encouragement. We tried the cards last night for the first time and let her pick out her snack... so far, so good. She happily chose (and ate) goldfish!

  4. Karla, I think the cards are an excellent idea! I read of a similar approach so they could point to the emotion they are feeling. I want to try that sometime.

    You ARE doing an amazing job, and Kaia looks mighty content. I get frustrated with my picky eater (2 years old and still doesn't weigh 23 pounds). Seems like I repeat questions for every meal with Joshua. I ask, "Do you want...pizza?" He shakes his head and says "noooo". "Do you want...grapes?" Same response. "Do you want...mac and cheese?" I finally wait for a pause or for him to repeat the word. That's what he gets (in addition to other things that I hope he will try). I also started keeping his favorite snacks in a shelf that he could access. Now, he grabs crackers or points to cereal. That has helped some. He knows the sign language for some foods, but usually hasn't used them to make his request.

    I recently read not to worry if your child seems to exist on crackers and milk. Keep exposing other foods, but know that the child is doing okay. It did help me relax some. Keep up the great work!