Hang out the bunting, Calvin joined us for dinner and ate REAL food.


Calvin’s brain and bowel have finally woken up and decided that maybe, just maybe it’s ok to try and eat some proper  nosh. After spending another unexpected, extremely tedious week in hospital with my daughter after  her bowel decided to go to sleep, I came home with her  and decided to make one of my casseroles so we could have a family meal after another disrupted week. I also knew it was a sure-fire way of enticing  my three year old, Taz, otherwise known as Protein King , to eat a meal. Protein King bears an uncanny resemblance to a donkey as he refuses to eat vegetables, unless I bury them inside something he considers more palatable. He’s not that keen on fruit either. And his food allergies don’t help when he’s already on a restricted diet. I know. I know. I could do without that too (if only the electronic world could see my raised eyebrows and resigned parent face who has run out of energy and good intentions by the third child).

Back to my story; I made comforting beef in red wine casserole for everyone to eat as a family. As I was serving it up, Calvin came in and sniffed the kitchen aroma. Usually this elicits  some kind of annoyance or distress because he finds the smell can often make him nauseous.

“That smells good. What is it?”

“Beef casserole…….LONG PAUSE……would you like to try some?”


I serve a mouse portion and push my luck with a tiny new potato, savoy cabbage and peas. Calvin sits down with everyone else and just starts eating, whilst we are all open mouthed, glancing askance but trying not to stare. Remember, this is a child who has been tube fed an elemental diet for the last seven months, give or take a few weeks. What was meant to be a six week temporary solution to circumnavigate  his inability to eat normal food conventionally,  became the only way he could actually eat and thrive . It’s weirdly become part of the routine. He hasn’t sat at the table with us for months. he hasn’t pick up cutlery for months. He hasn’t taken any from pleasure from food for a very long, long time. He’s had no desire to eat a meal without me persuading him for about nine months.

With sheer delight I watched him surreptitiously  as he ate it all, and then, asked for more! Oh you lovely little Oliver Twist (without the pickpocketing and abandonment issues, of course). To see that nine year old boy pick up a knife and fork , join us  and eat with no upset, was unadulterated joy. I forgot the taste of my own food and just wanted to soak up the view as I watched him. Boy, that moment has been  a long time coming. As we cleared the plates we glanced into the dining room and watched Calvin lick his plate. Go ahead, kid, lick it all you like. Normal rules don’t apply here. He didn’t feel sick afterwards, he beamed broadly and said it was nice to join in again. Result!


It’s been a week since then and of course, nothing ever runs smoothly, as he’s declared war on two of the three foods he has been trying to eat for the last month – vegan chocolate drops and chocolate coconut milk . So he’s been left with plain crisps as his only back up and I suspect they will drop off the favourite list at some point. Twas ever thus.  His brain went from love to hate in one huge swingometer action. NOPE . NO WAY. NO CHANCE. The old grey matter decided to revert to type and decided those few little smackerels of food were to be side lined into a  demarcated no-go area. Nausea and fear of eating won the day with those and yet, and yet, every evening he’s been trying little smatterings of dinner; grilled white fish – tick, a few chips – tick, even lamb Bolognese  – tick. Apple- tick. Vegetables seem to be the easiest for him. Chicken – nuh-uh. Not yet, anyway. My home made bread, cereal, oat milk, our batches of free from friendly  cookies and cakes   – definitely not even a flicker of interest. That’s ok. I can be patient. I shall just keep on waiting for his brain to make those positive connections.

It may be very early days but along with his new psychological therapy this has been a giant ‘s leap for a small boy to take, and it’s generally in a forward direction, definitely up and down but with an onward trajectory. Now you know why I’m hanging out the metaphorical bunting.


About mumannie123

mum, wife (when I remember), journalist, Queen of poo, self taught allergy cook, totally unqualified nurse, likes to fundraise for research and raise awareness into rare childhood bowel diseases, self-appointed expert on accessing education and healthcare for my child, wants to signpost for others who may be struggling, thinks her jokes are funny even if no-one else does.

Posted on October 29, 2013, in Emotional rollercoaster, Feeding the allergic child, Tube Feeding and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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