When I ran into you at the gym and you asked me how Rhema was doing I know my answer might have seemed a little strange.
I’m so thankful you asked. When people ask, I usually just cop out. I smile and say, “She’s fine” or “Pretty good.” I want to do better than that. But where do I begin? Do you want the long or short? Would you like to hear an awesomely gross story? I’ve got plenty! Should I tell you about our latest challenges? But I want you to hear about all the good stuff. There’s plenty of that, too!
And then I thought I was taking too long to answer you. So that’s why I just blurted,
“She dipped her tater tots in ketchup!!!!”
And I’m not even sure I can tell you in behavioral analyst terms why that is so absolutely awesome.
I just know that a bunch of years ago she had a feeding disorder and she could not stand two different textures in her mouth at once. Still pretty much can’t. And tater tots and ketchup have been on her “I Loathe This!” list for years. But one day she started putting her finger in Hope’s ketchup and painting the table and her pants with it. Then one day… whilst painting… she accidentally tasted the ketchup. Then she was obsessed with just eating gobs of ketchup. And then one day I guided her hand to pick up a tot and dip it in the ketchup.
So many things, it seems, we need to show her. Often in small steps over long periods. It’s just not intuitive for her. But we love teaching her and showing her new things; most of the time she is a willing learner.
But anyway, she seemed offended by it for some time – this dipping food in ketchup. Sometimes she would stick her finger in the ketchup and paint a tater tot.
But finally she did it! She dipped her tot and then she ate it!!!!
It’s such a simple, typical thing, I know. Things are not always so simple and typical for my girl.
Rejoicing in her accomplishments sure is gooood.
Thanks for cheering her on with us.