Did you just say she ate rice?
And you did not have to marsh it?
Yes o o , and I- a-m excited!
That now is a progress
Of course I know, that is the reason for the excitement!!
This was shortly after lunch on Sunday, I just got off the phone with my brother’s wife (broda waif)
My brother visited on Sunday, while making lunch, I decided to prepare the same dish for us and Ziim. Ziim eats rice on Sunday afternoons and one other day of the week. I usually cook basmati rice for her, it is believed that it is more nutritious with less carbohydrate (remember that she is on diet) Usually I cook the rice very soft and then marsh it as she could not tolerate the feel of grain in her mouth. But she just ate the rice ! And am I tripped!!!
Actually it was on Saturday that I first discovered that she could tolerate grain, but I was not sure that it was not due to hunger, so I decided to confirm the finding that Sunday.
Saturday morning, the Down Syndrome Foundation had their annual charity walk. I dropped Ziim off at her God mother’s and went to participate in the walk. I had hoped to get back about 12 noon, long before lunch time, but I did not get back until about 1.30 p.m. She was hungry, her food was at home and we needed to attend an event organized by the Committee for the disabled of the Church of the healing cross, Idi-araba. The venue was close by, if I had to go home to get her lunch before going to the event, we probably would get there after the event is done. We were late as it was. I decided to go to the event, just look in and take our leave. As we arrived, they were still serving food, pleasantries exchanged, I was handed a plate of rice with fish and chicken. Hm..Lagos party rice, the aroma hit my nostrils, nice. It was good in my sight, I was hungry, remember I just had a six kilometer walk. I was tempted! I tasted it, it was pleasing to taste. Real agoin rice! I gave my daughter, as I put the first spoon in her mouth, I braised myself up for a big cry. But none came, I watched her take the food in!! I gave her another one, to my
surprise shock she took it in, making a chewing movement!!! She even opened her mouth when she was done to take another spoonful. Of course she was taking her time and some of the food was dropping off her when I put it in her mouth, but who cares. She was actually chewing, slowly but surely! Ha…..This is Christmas!! It took us a loooong time to eat but we ate what everyone else ate, not marshed up food. We were able to stay till the end of the event without rushing off.
Sunday, I decided to repeat the “chewing test” lest it was hunger that generated that reaction. Coming from mass earlier, we had stopped at Auntie Pat’s, to thank her for her support during our fundraising event and to return table covers we borrowed from her. I also gave her my testimony for that day; we were at mass for an hour and ten mins, no bib on Ziim’s neck, no saliva streaming down her mouth! At lunch, I repeated the rice
eating chewing test, and we passed!!
Yesterday, Monday, I thought I should try out the “chewing test” with another food. Lunch was unripe diced plantain pottage with fish and vegetables. Usually, I would cook the plantain very soft and mash, but I just cooked it very soft added the fish (having de-boned it)and vegetable. My choice of vegetable was shoko because of its laxative properties.
Mr. Vin was feeding her, I held my breath, waiting for the protests that usually accompany coarse food, none came, she was eating, “chewing” albeit slowly ha! Lord! I dared to voice out my
observation discovery to my staff. But ma, I told you sometime ago that Ziim has started to chew. That was Mr. Vin for he feeds her more often. Really? Yes now, you will also notice that she does not bring out her food anymore rather she takes it back in with her tongue. I do no longer use the spoon to push it back in like you asked me to. I sat back and loooooked or rather observed, that was true!! Then I noted that she does not clamp onto the spoon as she used to! Ha Nonye, what’s wrong with you? Your baby has been making huge improvements you did not notice, you did not break into song! Ziim is finally losing those primitive reflexes; tongue protrusion, tonic bite and the muscles for eating are beginning to, like my friend aunty D would say answer, about 22 of them, yes, that is the number of muscles used in the process of eating!! That her drooling is reduced means that she has developed increased oral motor control. I should break out in song!
Please join me as I sing: (while you excuse my Yoruba)
Ese’ nibi ta ti bere Thank you for where we were
Ese’ nibi ta ti de Thank you for where we are
Adupe Jesu, ni te’mu wa lo Thank you Jesus for where you are taking us