I’ve been trying to write this post all day and this is one of those things where the words aren’t coming out pretty at all. They’re just sort of spilling out of my fingers as fast as my brain can think them.
Seven months ago I poured my heart out about Joshua. Doctors and well-meaning people told me he was being manipulative. My heart said he wasn’t.
I vowed to call the doctor and make them take me seriously. And then life and adjusting to two kids and never sleeping and our new normal took precedence and I kept not making the call. It wasn’t that I didn’t think there was still something going on. I just didn’t have the brain capacity to focus on the problem when we were managing by sticking to what we know.
And part of me was scared. What if I had him seen and evaluated and we were told that he’d been snowing us the whole time? That my child is a master at manipulation? That would mean acknowledging shortcomings as a mother, and while I have those, I don’t want to be a pushover, you know?
At Emma’s 9 month appointment, I asked the nurse practitioner who has seen both kids since birth what we needed to do to have Joshua evaluated about his feeding issues. I explained that, while I know I’m his mother, I’ve looked at this objectively, reflectively. I’ve done a lot of wondering if I’m the problem and beating myself up.
While she seemed…reluctant? she said she’d have no problem writing the referral if occupational therapy was something I wanted to pursue for Joshua. So I got the referral and made an appointment.
This morning I took Joshua to a meeting with an occupational therapist who deals with feeding issues.
This morning someone else saw the fear in his eyes. This morning someone said she could help.
This morning I watched as my brave boy did for someone else almost exactly what he does for us at home. Only with less screaming and no tears. At least from him. I cried three times while we were there and have teared up three more times since.
We have an explanation now for so much of the fighting we’ve done to get him to eat. We know more about why he chooses certain foods and refuses others.
In just one visit, I’m relieved to know that there is help.
In one day, I have hope.