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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Huge Milestone... Sort Of

During our first few months with Tongginator, back in 2005, we experienced many, many challenges when it came to feeding her.  This spring, in the months just before we traveled to adopt Mei Mei, I braced myself for more of the same.  I didn't know what to expect exactly, but I knew that Mei Mei's orphanage made those same thick bottles filled with rice flakes.

So I prepared.

I bought twice the number of bottle nipples, so that we'd have plenty of extra to cut with holes, then slits.  I made, then froze, lots of older baby and toddler foods that once tempted an orally defensive baby Tongginator.  I bought dissolvable puffs rather than Cheerios. I gathered and sterilized many of the occupational therapy tools we used with the Tongginator to help grow her accustomed to objects in her mouth.  I brought a couple of Chewy Tubes with me to China. 

I prepared.

Good thing I did (heh).  Mei Mei isn't orally defensive AT ALL.  She doesn't have many issues with food.  She gnaws on her Chewy Tubes like a dog with a bone.  She took to stage three baby food like a duck takes to water.  She waggles her tongue like... umm... I'm trying to think of an animal reference here, but I can't, so just go with it.  Mei Mei hardly noticed (much less complained about) the lack of rice flakes in her bottle.  We met her just a little over a month ago and she's down from eight scoops to half a scoop of rice flakes in each bottle.  She should be arrested for the way she gums to death those ever-popular teething biscuits, although she's had the most "solid" success with dissolvable puffs.

She can't manage other solid foods, but that's only because she has yet to master the pincher grasp.

Which means she can't pick up any finger food.

She doesn't let that stop her with those puffs though.

just lick, stick and pick (or flick, if you're bored)

It just goes to show that we shouldn't compare our children.  Or assume that they'll be the same.  I knew that, but I didn't really know that.  In fact, I think I'm still learning it.

(And the blueberries?  Are just there for show.  And to make my momma's heart feel better.)


Aus said...

Morning TM - yeah - three different adopted kids - three different eating behaviors - and #2 child couldn't do that pincher thing either (but it didn't take her long!!) Keep putting the sweet stuff out there - it's a good motivator for them to learn to pick it up!!

hugs - glad to see all the progress - how goes sleep?

aus and co.

Myrnie said...

Haha- at least 10 ten times a week we look at each other and exclaim over how all the kids are SO different :). Wonderful!

Jennifer said...

It's true with biological children too! My two have very different eating patterns, and the one who is a better eater? She's the one who had speech therapy from 9 days old!

sosopie said...

Give her a few more weeks, she'll be gobbling those blueberries up in no time. I think our baby at 12 months, coming from Korea from a stable foster home from 3 months on wasn't used to much solids either. If we were lucky, she would eat two spoons of baby pureed food, that's it. 10 weeks home, she's finally eating some solids.

autumnesf said...

Hah! You are much safer and will remain much more sane if you expect the kids to be NOTHING alike!!! LOL!
What wonderful news that you have an eater!

Girly Girl Mommy said...

Those puffs are the best! My two bio girls could not have more different eating habits- night and day. Love seeing her tiny hands :)

Claudia said...

same with mine, and they're TWINS! (although they are both good sleepers. I fall into the trap of thinking that's normal because they both do it, but I suspect another kid would wake me up to that real fast. D;oh. Pun not intended).#

Glad to hear her eating is going so well - that's really really great news!

Cedar said...

That is great news! Ummm, we are not nearly that prepared for food challenges. So good you are blogging about it! Love the little glimpse of Mei Mei!

jen@odbt said...

Once one of those blueberries makes its way into her mouth...she won't stop eating them. Yum. My little one loved those puffs too.

LucisMomma said...

So fun, hearing how well MM is doing! Glad this area is easy for you.

How is Miss T doing with all this new?

Christi said...

I think that God designs it that way so that we continue to rely on Him (or Mother Nature does it to keep us from getting cocky, if you prefer). I can't think of a single thing that applied to both children, even common childhood illnesses. My daughter had recurrent ear infection but never got strep, my son had strep several times but never an ear infection. My kids are not adopted either so I can't blame it on genetics.

the meaklims said...

You are a fabulous mother, and your daughter is perfect...in her own way, she's simply perfect.

How is the tongginator? And when are you changing the name of your blog?! ;)


heather said...


and seriously? those puffs stick to anything...including (just one time) my butt! loved figuring that out AFTER a day running errands!

Kelley said...

Oooh! I'm so glad Mei Mei is doing so well. I know that you'll continue to be awed, amazed, and delighted at how different, unique and special each of your girls is. Enjoy the ride!

Suzy said...

I'm glad you didn't NEED all that you prepared for, but I'll bet you felt better going into this adoption feeling prepared ; ) I'd much rather be blindsided by easy than difficult.

The Gang's Momma! said...

Oooooh. Love those chubby baby fingers grasping for the puffs. Tooo adorably cute.

Li'l E had the pinser grasp thing down pat. In fact, had the whole fine motor skills thing down pat. Which is why we were so surprised at her evidencing struggles with the gross motor skills as the days went on. It was so opposite from what I was used to with my older kids. Took me more time to adjust to the flip flop than it did for her to get her gross motor skills up and coming.

And I love the over-preparedness. It's so cute :)

Aunt LoLo said...

Haha. My niece, Bookie, was the same way. No pincher grasp for her - it was all see-what-sticks-and-lick-it-off.