Our big dipper

Dear Acquaintance,

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.


Your friend,


12 thoughts on “Our big dipper

  1. Totally get it. I was telling Jeremy last night that I might need to start putting salsa–Ian’s one dipping choice–on everything Ian won’t eat (which is a lot) to try to get more variety in him.

  2. We have so many eating issues in our house that I TOTALLY get this. My son likes chips but only plain chips. Nothing on it. He doesn’t like sauce of any kind. Only dry foods. The other day he dipped a chip in some salsa and looked at it. He didn’t eat it. But he dipped it and looked at it. That was a first and that alone made me happy. I feel like it was one small step closer to him eating something new. Yay for the Tater tot/ketchup combo. 🙂

  3. Yay!!! Go Rhema! I often stumble around while trying to answer the question, “how’s the Roc?” I love that you told this story and I love that you shared it not only with us, but with your acquaintance. xo

  4. Woo hoo! (Tomorrow is Isabella’s 7th birthday. If you had told me seven years ago that I would get excited about a post like this I might have looked at you a bit strangely. Now, I know to rejoice and I don’t ever want to go back!)

  5. Awesome! I can relate, another mom once asked me what my youngest son was up to, and I told her that I was so excited he had eaten pudding for the first time that day. We made a video of it and everything. Not the response she was expecting, lol. We haven’t made it to dipping yet, but you’ve given me hope! And an urge to eat some tater tots. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s