Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: One Small Step for Erik, One Giant Leap for Mommy

Saturday, January 06, 2007

One Small Step for Erik, One Giant Leap for Mommy

We're smack dab in the middle of a winter storm warning today until about 4 p.m. Brian reported the presence of a small bird outside on the porch as he came through the door last night. When we peeked out the window a couple of hours later, it was still there, deathly still with feathers fluffed to the max, perched on a ledge where the porch support and roof meet in a sad attempt to escape the wind. I don't see him this morning, and I imagine he did not survive the night. We have maybe an inch of powdery snow this morning that has been blown into feathery mini-drifts by the angry storm.

I did not have a good night. I would call it more of a wrestling match with my pillow than rest. Even before bedtime, the wind was already howling around our unprotected house, rattling each window and pounding against the walls. The wind was whistling through something on our house and sounded exactly like Erik crying. Brian and I both were both completely fooled by it. I retrieved the baby monitor, which we never normally use at night, and kept clicking it on to check if Erik was truly awake and upset. To my knowledge, he only woke up once.

I don't have volumes to report this morning, but, as a lot of you with children know, the small things can be cause for celebration. Erik blasted off the WS growth charts long ago and seems to be the William "Refrigerator" Perry of the WS world, although he still remains at approximately the 5th percentile on the regular charts for weight. He remains of average height for a typical child and seems to be getting taller daily. Eating is no longer a problem for him, but finding things he enjoys is an entirely different story. His old favorites include cottage cheese and berries, cheese, ice cream, PB&J, grapes, apples, frosted shredded wheat, and, of course, pizza.

I have cut chicken into strips, dipped them lightly in mayonnaise, and lovingly rolled them in lightly seasoned bread crumbs only to have Erik completely reject them, leaving me and Brian with a tiny appetizer to eat ourselves. I have cooked up Barbie-sized plates of miniature pasta with a tablespoon of tomato sauce and a Lilliputian-sized serving of shredded cheese only to have Erik snap his eyes tightly shut and shake his head. No way, Jose. When he was a baby, I spent entirely too much time steaming vegetables, mashing them, and packing them into ice cube trays, only to have to dump these cubes into the trash because he gagged upon seeing them. I can't express how hard it is not to give up. It seems easier to purchase stock in Gerber and feed him number threes for the remainder of my lifetime. Can you picture it? Erik at a party years from now. His peers are enjoying a lovely buffet of chips/dip and a gorgeous array of finger foods. Erik gags on the artichoke dip and says, "Dude, I have something chilling in the fridge." He returns with a baby blue, rubber-coated toddler spoon, a jar of strained peas, and a sippy cup of pinot noir, officially making him the biggest dork alive and me the worst mother on the planet. What do I do, though? He refuses to eat most of the healthy food I cook at all. All I can do is keep trying. And I am one stubborn broad.

This week I made spaghetti sauce in the Crock Pot. It contained turkey sausage, ground beef, garlic, and onion, all of which Erik usually refuses to eat. I boiled a family-sized batch of tiny pasta salad noodles just in case Erik would eat it with us. To my surprise, he consumed an adult-sized portion of noodles and sauce from his large giraffe bowl for the very first time. He did it as if he had eaten pasta and sauce for years. I almost fell over. Like usual, I was so excited that the next day I ran to the store and bought a bag of turkey meatballs and some fairly healthy "Chik'n Nuggets." Meat is not on Erik's list of favorites, being a true-blue cookievore. Miraculously, he ate at least one of those meatballs dipped in barbecue sauce the next day. Last night I served some of the store-bought breaded chicken cut into small pieces with catsup to dip them in. He ate probably a total of two nuggets, along with a large serving of frozen peas. HOO-RAH!

I have always been a big believer of hanging in there, baby. Remember that cheesy 1970s poster of the kitten hanging from a tree? Easier said than done, but that kitten knew that she had no choice. Hang on or fall, and falling is simply not an option.

Like I said, I am one stubborn broad.


Blogger Lisa R said...

If Emma's eating habbits are any indication of Tatum's we are so screwed...she is so picky...She does like store meatball though...she knows I do not cook.She likes in lunch meat no bread...funny eh...Glad Erik is doing so well

2:39 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

That's great news about Erik! I remember Michael ate everything, but moreso he would at least TRY anything as long as he could dip it into something. To this day he eats probably a cup of ketchup at each serving, but at least it's healthy for him - antioxidents and all.

Brady - another story! I think he'll be the one carrying his bottle to that party he goes to with Erik. So, don't worry! Erik may be eating strained peas but Brady will have that hat with the two straws on either side coming out - but not with beer - 1/2 Enfamil, 1/2 Calcilio with 2 tablespoons of Polycose. Yum!
Happy Weekend!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Ella is a great eater as long as we are serving mac 'n cheese and fruit. Emerson puts everything into her mouth and then spits it right out if it doesn't meet her standards. So far, neither child is very impressed with my cooking!! ;)

Erik is such a big boy, how great! I love the picture, Erik showing off and his mama looking so proud.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Amy K said...

Ha, I promise I wasn't copying, I just wrote about food too and then read yours. Great minds think alike! BTW I am super proud of how well Erik is doing, sometimes it makes life seem a little normal, huh?

7:35 AM  
Blogger Aspen said...

That is super duper! Way to go little Erik man! Once again, you need to teach your friend the joys of actually eating food. He doesn't seem to get it just yet...

Love you Nancy!

7:31 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

What a cute pic! The storm sounds scary, poor bird!
Sometime kids never outgrow that picky eating phase. My 16 year old will eat anything (and does), my 17 year old is as picky an eater as he was when he was a toddler.

A stubborn broad? We should start a club. :)

8:10 PM  

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