Owen is always hungry. At least, he pretty much never turns down food. He will not eat asparagus these days, and he doesn’t like eggs too much. True he picks the onions out of any dish that they are pick-out-able and leaves them in a pile on the plate. But that’s about it.
As a little guy seated in the front of the grocery cart, I remember Owen reeeeaching down behind him into the cart to grab the broccoli up and gnaw on it as we shopped. What could I say?
Nowadays, he will eat an entire extra-large bag of pears from BJs Wholesale Club in a couple hours if I don’t hide some of them first.
Is he really hungry? Or is this a behavior? Boredom? Some version of sensory under-stimulation that causes him to eat and eat, as if he can’t tell what full feels like?
Another possibility could be that his “Specific Carbohydrate Diet,” (click to read more: http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/), somewhat similar to that trendy word “Paleo,” means that he needs to eat more to replace those filling grains he isn’t eating. I know while I tried eating with Owen for a while the lack of grain bulk left me kind of empty.
Last Friday we had a party at our house that left behind part of a massive chocolate cake. I stored the leftovers for Sunday church refreshments. I didn’t realize that Owen had been raiding the fridge until Sunday morning when I discovered crumbs and a diminished under the foil cover. There will be hell to pay this week, I expect, as the problem sugar/starch molecules work their way out of his system. Carbohydrates like that affects Owen’s mood, and gums up his ability to communicate as it also gums up his bowel. His face is less expressive. Oh – and he didn’t want to eat much all day Sunday.
But I believe in a period of “carnival” now and then. We all do it. Why not Owen too? For one thing, I am hoping he will develop awareness of what feels better – as I hope for the sensitive-systemed eaters in my care. Don’t laugh. Remember this is the kid who chewed on the broccoli tree instead of the chocolate castle cake, long before his SCD Diet began.
This recent fridge raiding reminds me that increasingly Owen notices what he isn’t getting. And after getting mad at him for getting into what I have been sneaking myself ever since Friday – sugar in all it varied forms – I know that it is time for a shift. Owen is 21. He is not a little boy anymore. True, he will always need support, and to be prevented from eating stuff off the floor, or emptying the fridge of its contents entirely at will. But he needs some “self-serve” options. I determined that will set up that snack cupboard that I have been intending to set up for him, one that he can get to from OUTSIDE the kitchen.
And now that the party cake and candy are gone (what a shock for my kitchen raider early Monday morning!) we will all have to cope with the intense sugar cravings and frenzy that happens to all of us here at the Simonses’ when we have strayed.
Sigh. Could go for a piece of that chocolate cake right now…