Wednesday, October 13, 2010

He Throws a Fit

We had to laugh.  It was the cutest fit I have ever witnessed.  Up until now Aaron has only cried with silent tears running down his face but last night, he threw a fit that had us both smiling, even as we comforted the little guy in all of his misery.

He didn't want to go to bed.  He wanted to stay up and watch 'discs' with his big brothers.  Oh the agony as he was carried up the steps for his bath and bedtime.  He stomped, he cried, he hollered, he bounced, he growled and we very quietly, so he could not see us, laughed.  He cried big crocodile tears until he was sitting in the midst of his bubbles in the bathtub, alone, without an audience.  The pain of being little.  The hardship of being in a family of big people who love him dearly but also need a few hours each night without him underfoot.  All was forgiven after bathtime when he lay snug in Mama's arms for book reading time.  Then Pooh, the squirrel, the racoon and Bob the Builder were all tucked safely under his covers and after kisses and prayers, the little fit thrower fell promptly asleep.

He had a big day yesterday.  He went to school.  Though we are a homeschooling family, one day a week we drive into Charlottesville to a huge homeschooling Co-op (450 students). The boys can take up to 5 classes each while I teach history and creative writing classes.  Aaron is enrolled in the Pre-School/Kindergarten classes and yesterday he went to his first classes.  We started him slowly.  He only went to two of the classes but it went amazingly well considering everything.  Dad and Ben were with him in his classes.  He loved it.  I heard all about his classes on the way home.  Of course I could not understand 90% of what he told me but he didn't seem to mind.  He had a lot to say about his 'skool'.  Life is good.

Thank you for all the comments and suggestions concerning the food and language issues.  In regards to the language, we do have a lady (Tatiana) here in the area who has been helping us out on the telephone.  Before we take Aaron to each big event (Dr. school etc), she has been explaining to him on the telephone what he will be doing.  He does not talk to her on the phone but he does listen and it has helped considerably.  She speaks both languages that Aaron grew up with which is a great benefit.  Tatiana explains everything to him in both languages.   It is working.

In regards to the eating issues, at the institute, Aaron was fed by the caretakers since he can't get his hands up to his mouth.  They crammed the food into his mouth at breathtaking speed.  It made me ill to watch them shove cookies and candy into his face during snack time.  (Most days the snack consisted of pieces of wrapped caramel candy).  He was never given time to chew but had one after the other shoved in without any regard to what was already in his mouth.  I had a hard time watching the practice.   They made him drink his juice at the same speed.  After a few weeks, they allowed us to give Aaron his snack which was a great relief to us and also to him.  What was interesting was that if we carried his snack out to where we played, he wanted nothing to do with it.  He would not eat the cookies - ever.  He would only eat the candy if he was allowed to unwrap it and was able to chew it at his leisure.  If he was given a rotten apple, I usually tossed it.  In our last weeks, we brought Aaron bananas, oranges and other snacks that were healthier and much more satisfying. 

I said all that to shed light on some of his possible eating issues.  Though he had soup and bread every day and would be most familiar with those foods, like the cookies, he has not wanted any of these foods after he left the institute.  We have tried soup and we have tried bread but neither food brought him pleasure.  So we stopped offering either after a week or so of trying.  Finally, on Sunday night, for a bedtime snack, Rob was eating a bowl of Campbells Chicken Noodle soup - the only soup Rob could eat every day of his life.  Aaron was watching him eat the soup.  We did not consider offering it to him since 'Aaron doesn't eat soup'.  After a few minutes Aaron went over to Rob (who was sitting in Aaron's seat) and head butted him off his seat.  Then he got up in his seat and started staring at Rob's soup.  Okay.  We fixed him a bowl, put an ice cube in it because he is terrified of hot foods (past experience??) and offered it to him.  He inhaled it.  Go figure. 

The next day I went to Walmart and bought a loaf of bread that looked like the loaves they sold in his country.  I cut him off a piece (mind you, I've tried this before) and put it on his plate for dinner.  He ate it.  He loved it.  He also ate mashed potatoes with ranch dressing mixed in that night.  The little boy is starting to eat.  We do not spoon feed him most of his meal.  We cut everything up in bite sized portions and let him feed himself.  We buy yogurt he can drink with a straw.  He is a very polite eater.  You hardly realize he is taking the food with his mouth.  He loves the freedom of choosing what he wants to eat and he loves chewing at his own pace.  We only feed him what he can't do on his own.   Hopefully we are turning a corner.  The horror of having food shoved in his mouth is over.   Though the memories will last a long time, he is learning that they are now just memories.  We will not pour soup down his throat and cram bread in his mouth.  He can enjoy these foods with pleasure instead of agony.  Life is good.



  1. Ya'll are remarkable! How awesome! I remember one day when we had to call a translator because Erika was throwing a fit..... it was a very funny scene.
    We were so thankful for the people at our church who spoke Russian.

  2. Oh, that is THE cutest picture! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sounds like he is opening up to his new and very gigantic world. He's looking great, thanks for the continued updates!

  4. It is amazing to read of all the changes happening with that sweet boy! What a blessing you are ALL finally home to get started on life with THREE boys!!! God Bless, Jennifer

  5. Hopefully you will be able to have Aaron work with an Occupational Therapist who will get him some adaptive equipment to make feeding himself even easier and more satisfying. Kudos to you for giving him some control and independence!

  6. I love hearing about how he is doing and how you are all adjusting :)

    I still think of poor Brady everytime I hear about how things were there....especially for Brady having a hard time eating and all.

  7. I feel so much better knowing that I am not the only one laughing at my child's fits! LOL Liza had one yesterday and it was just so adorable and funny :)

    So glad Mr. Aaron is finding his way and beginning to open up. He is a so cute and he just looks like the sweetest little guy in every pic I see of him.

  8. I am having just the opposite problem...can't get them to stop eating...and they will eat fresh cooked HOT food without even flinching. I sat a HOT bowl of oatmeal on the table, full steam coming out and all, turned around to put Caden in the high chair and get drinks ready, and Cole was eating it like it was ice cream. Neither of them have a clue that the food is too hot to eat. I screamed, scared him to death, oatmeal in the floor...bad morning! Aaron looks so good with you all, though. I am glad that he knows it is ok to throw a "fit"..


  9. We had to laugh, too, when Isabel tried throwing fits to get her way. Only tried it a couple times before finding out it was useless!

  10. Hehe Put the kid to work! I'm so happy to hear that he is settling in. I mean, he is comfortable enough to throw a fit, that's huge! :) We talked about you all at dinner tonight, you are, afterall, our adoption heroes!

  11. Julia,

    It's good to read this and hear that he's adjusting. Philip and Leeza are on their way home tomorrow and he's had a hard time with her. She won't eat much but bananas and has had a few fits when he tells her she can't go back to 'groupa' when it's time to eat or sleep. We know she'll adjust soon enough, but it's wonderful to see Aaron doing so well to remind us to be patient! Have you tried taking him to church yet? We're going to play it by ear and see how she's doing, but we're really hoping to get to go with her this weekend, even if it's just for a few minutes so she can see it.

  12. Poor baby. He was probably just feeling a little sick to his stomach for those first few weeks. Nerves can take away any appetite! So glad he's doing better now. What a precious boy.

  13. I just adore your little man SO much! I can't even begin to express in words how happy I am that he is home with all of you, and how happy it makes me to be able to follow your story. THANK YOU so much for allowing me in to Aaron's world, and yours.

    Love and Hugs:)

  14. So awesome as you see him learn to engage in his new and wonderful life with his own special spot in your family!! May the victories be plentiful and well-celebrated and the challenges just enough to keep you dependent on the One who knows all!!
    So awesome to have the translator fluent in both languages!!
    Let us know when the first doctor's appointment PA, that is... Assuming the other one just routine with a family doc!?!
    All our love!! : ) And thanks for all the wonderful pictures! : )

  15. Love it--all of it. . . . and the fit-throwing . . that's actually a good thing that he feels safe enough now to try that. ;-) You might get a few (or a lot) more. It'll even out.

    LOVE the photo of him helping . . . he looks SO proud and pleased to be part of the family--being like big brother! God bless you all . . .

  16. I was thinking the same thing as Heather. Nervous tummy. I also got that ill feeling when you described how the food was shoved in his mouth at the institution... Poor boy! I am glad the corner is being turned, and he is showing signs of enjoying his food. Praise the Lord for that! You guys are doing a great job.

  17. God he's cute. And to see him with his brothers? Priceless.


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