Do you remember a few posts ago when I told you that Jordan looked up some of her eating habits and found that she shared some of the symptoms of Avoidant/ Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)? Well, I probably shouldn't' have been all that surprised with this news. Because her eating habits as a young child, I guess you could describe them as being ...difficult.
We often had dinner battles. She would scream for 45 minutes because we wanted her to taste a bean from my chili. One small kidney bean. She refused, and we insisted. She did end up tasting it, but after 45 minutes of drama, anger and hurt. Was it really worth it to win the battle? I'm not sure, but my initial gut feeling is, probably not.
For a while she wouldn't eat foods like corn, apples, and pears. Basically anything that had a skin, was a no-go. It made her gag and she would cry and say “I can't.” Sometimes Adam would cut the kernels off corn on the cob, which really didn't thrill me. At least then, she ate about half of the serving.
So, get this... I wasn't thrilled that Adam cut the corn off the cob for Jordan, but when Kevin was young, I would sometimes let him eat ice cream for dinner. He ate so little and his doctor said he needed to gain weight, so why not give him some high calorie, fat-filled ice cream?
Cringe. If anyone asks, yes, I do believe that we treat our first child differently.
With regards to Jordan, if I'm going to get pushed beyond my comfort level, then I feel the need to take the control back. I'm not sure if this is a terrible, or a necessary, character trait.. Good or bad, I am a competitive person. It has served me well with all of my years of competitive running. It has helped me to stand up for myself socially, and in the work place, if needed. But I wonder if it has contributed, or complicated, the task of raising am impossibly strong-willed child like Jordan.
What I am sure of, is I was becoming immensely attached and in tune with, Jordan's moods and emotions. To have a child constantly push me to such intense levels; I think it caused me to hyper-focus on her. I cried when she learned even the simplest tasks, like riding a two wheeler.
It was the realization that she struggled with things, not physically, but mentally. It made it very emotional for me. When Adam was helping her learn to ride her bike, he joked to me afterwards, saying she was a nervous wreck. And I agreed. She would just ramble on and on, giggling and talking incessantly, saying things like “Mommy, look. Mommy, I'm scared. Mommy...” She was saying something every second that she rode.
This wasn't like dealing with an everyday normal, childhood event. With her it was always so much more. Because of her anxieties and fears, she was constantly fighting an internal battle against her own mind. For Jordan, sometimes it seemed easier to sit an activity out, but along with that decision came a pile of guilt and self doubt. So when she did accomplish something, anything, it was a big deal.
So I began to hyper focus on her. This is probably why it became almost impossible for me to handle those early teenage years when she began to internalize her feelings and fears, and she inevitably began pushing me away.