Food has been a battle in our house since the Lion was born.
As a baby the only milk he took was during the night when he was fast asleep. Each ounce gained was celebrated and cherished. Not one taken for granted.
We were encouraged to wean him, told when we did things would improve.
Except they didn’t.
Instead they got worse, as he slowly rejected one food after another.
The only victory was that when everyone else was dropping milk feeds, ours were increasing. Finally we had a way of nourishing him. Albeit not the one we expected.
When he was put on the feeding tube list it wasn’t a shock to anyone.
What was, was when at 18 months he suddenly started eating enough to sustain himself.
His diet although very limited began to improve, as gradually he was more willing to swallow first one food, then several.
Now at almost three, very little has changed. He eats – mostly reluctantly – a small number of foods. Every calorie is hard won. Food is something we never take for granted.
But in many ways, that is our norm. Something we no longer consider.
Until that is, he is sick.
Like most of us, when he is ill, the Lion becomes reluctant to eat – and lately also to drink. But unlike with the rest of us – with the Lion getting him to trust food again when he is well is often a challenge.
And of course the vicious cycle is that the less he eats and drinks, the weaker he feels, and therefore of course the less he wants to eat.
It’s a world that before the Lion I could have never imagined.
Yes, I was one of those mothers, that thought when a child was hungry enough, they would eat.
But the truth is, that simply isn’t always the case. Far from it in fact.
For some of us, feeding our children will always be our number one priority.
Because, as much as would love life to be otherwise, getting calories down them simply isn’t that easy.