The Plans of Mice and Men

02 Oct
Photo by César S

Some of you have asked how our campaign to get Jenna to take her formula by mouth instead of g-tube is going.  It’s not.  Going that is.  Sigh.

She did fabulously for one week.  She never seemed to like the taste and made some really horrible faces (I should try to get it on video…), but she would drink what she needed to earn a prize.  Each day, I gradually increased the amount she had to drink to get a prize.  She was up to 30 mL (out of her 90 mL a.m. feed) when we hit the proverbial wall.

Here’s where we messed up, I think:

  • We didn’t do it over the weekend.  After a Saturday and Sunday break, Monday she put the brakes on.
  • On Monday, I slipped up and presented it poorly.  I asked if she wanted to drink it and get a prize, instead of phrasing it better, AND had already started her movie, so I couldn’t use that as leverage.
  • We possibly increased the amount requirements too quickly.

Instead of pushing, we’ve completely backed off.  Occasionally, she’ll ask about getting a prize, and we’ll remind her that she can get a prize when she drinks her “dinosaur juice,” but she immediately says, “No!” and we just leave it.  The current “plan” is to start again next Monday.  We’ll start over at the beginning, make movie-watching contingent on drinking, and increase the amount even more slowly than the last time.

We’ll see how it goes.  The best laid plans of mice and men…


Posted by on October 2, 2008 in G-tube issues, Jenna, Special Needs


12 responses to “The Plans of Mice and Men

  1. Heather of the EO

    October 2, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    What a precarious road to travel. You don’t want a power struggle, but you don’t want to give up….
    must be really hard. You sound pretty laid back about it though. Which is so good. She’ll get there! She will!

  2. iMommy

    October 2, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Ugh, that sounds tough.

    While we aren’t dealing with the whole formula/g-tube thing, i find that the whole “work up to a goal slowly, be consistent, and use bribery, etc etc” scenario is one of the hardest things to do, and also unfortunately also the most likely way to have success at anything with a toddler.

    Parenting is hard, huh?

  3. Barbara

    October 2, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Good try ‘though! What good parents you are to know when to back-off, and to not give-up. You won’t regret it.

  4. Insta-mom

    October 2, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Maybe if it were princess juice instead of dinosaur juice. We need to talk to the company about packaging for girls.

  5. Kate

    October 2, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Progress always seems to have stops and starts. At least you made some initial progress – and that’s encouraging. Sounds like you have a good plan for getting back on track – but “baby steps” can be very frustrating!

  6. psychmamma

    October 2, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    What great support you guys are! I love you all! Yes, parenting is hard work. The hardest I’ve ever done. On the days that I feel so frustrated, it’s always good to remember the days that we DID make some progress in the right direction. Baby steps are better than no steps!

    Insta-Mom – Princess Juice is brilliant! That probably WOULD make a difference to my pink, glittery, princess girl. Sigh. She does like dinosaurs, but she ADORES princesses. Between your t-shirt idea and this one, you could make some big bucks! {wink}

  7. jen

    October 2, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    i think instamom’s comment is absolutely perfect!
    princess juice!

  8. CanCan

    October 3, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Good thinking backing off. Dare not enter into a battle of wills! Phew!

  9. Deborah

    October 3, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Have you tried changing the temperature of the drink when you want her to take it by mouth? When going through this with my Ashley (now 13), she would only drink the Pediasure if it was ice cold. Room temperature, like we would use for her tube, wouldn’t cut it when drinking. I had a doctor tell me one time that it was because the cold temperature disquised the taste some…

  10. psychmamma

    October 3, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    CanCan – Never, EVER enter into a battle of wills with a toddler. It won’t be pretty. I’ve learned the hard way. 🙂

    Deborah – We’ve actually tried it every temp. She said she wanted it cold, and she DID seem to drink it better that way. Then, she decided she wanted it warm, but later decided she didn’t like that. We tried room temp and got lots of face-making. Cold DOES seem to get the most success, and I think her other requests were just feeble attempts to avoid drinking it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your tip & experience!

  11. anymommy

    October 4, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Your patience and perseverance amaze me! Parenting is hard and you are handling this tough transition with so much grace and wisdom.

  12. nancy

    October 25, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Would you be interested in participating in a survey for parents of children with gastric tubes? I am an OT researcing for my masters degree. Interested in speaking with parents who have a child with G tube. $25 gift certificate for answering questionnaire. Thansk


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