Thursday, August 21, 2014


As we were coming out of school last year and into the summer I wrote a venting blog about Emma.  A big issue going on at the time was control issues over food.  She was not eating meals with the family but was getting up in the middle of the night to make junk food raids. 

I said that she was stealing food and that has made some people upset.  It is my take on it.  When she gets up in the middle of the night to go into her grandmothers room to take her sugar free candy stash, go into her dads office to take his favorite snacks, into my desk to do the same.  I call it stealing food. 

I am curious, do you have a stash of your favorite foods?  I purchase the kids their snacks and candies and then I purchase mine.  I do not like theirs.  I don't eat what I buy for them and I put my favorites in my desk.  Apparently in some homes this is just wrong to do.  I don't know, my parents used to have their favorite stashes.  In my house we have our favorite stash.  Sarah has one too.  But that doesn't mean that the younger kids are denied their favorite foods.

Apparently the kids should have total access to all food.  We don't.  I never have with younger kids.  I can't even imagine how I could afford that, our grocery bill is closer to $2500 these days. At breakfast they prepare what they want.  At lunch too....unless I am cooking.  At snack times they can go get an appropriate snack.  If you come to me and I am preparing dinner and ask for food I will tell you to wait for dinner (unless it is hours away).  If you get up from the dinner table and want to go and eat junk food I will direct you back to the dinner table.  For school lunches I provide either money to buy them or all the stuff to make them.  I give them snack and fruit choices, sandwich choices.  I am curious, do you allow total unlimited access to the kitchen to their younger kids? 

I have been called abusive to Emma because of limiting her food choices because she needs to have a stash of food. I want to make this clear, Emma does not stash food.  Emma does not store up for a later time.  When she is given a larger amount of candy (Halloween, Christmas, Easter type days) she will consume all of it within the day if you allow her to do so.  I just started giving less at those times and allowed her to gorge.  The problem is she will eat hers and then get up in the middle of the night to eat yours.  She doesn't go for the healthy food, the fruits, crackers, cheese, granola bars or even cereal.  She goes for the junk food, candy, grandmas sugar free candy even.  If she thinks it is candy/snack food she goes for it. She does not take it and stash it for an emergency.  She eats it all because she refuses to eat what is provided by her mom.

Emma has been in our home almost 3 years.  The first year was intense eating. The girls had to eat every two hours.  We let them eat every two hours.  Slowly they missed a snack on their own.  Slowly they started to eat at regular intervals. Then last December Emma started eating less meals.  At one point she totally stopped eating dinner.  I had to investigate.  Why was she not eating meals that were prepared for her and the entire family ate together?  The answer was she was self feeding in the middle of the night, junk food.

I stopped the self feeding and made sure that all food that she got was provided by me. I didn't let her go hungry, that would totally defeat the purpose of having her learn that I will provide.  The peanut and butter sandwiches that she got when we went out were actually her comfort food.  This happened a total of two times, we can't afford to eat out that often.  She actually had no problem with it.  She sat next to me and I fed her.  I provided her meal, it was made by me. She took her lunches to school prepared by me.  She had school snacks provided by me. For about 2 weeks we did this and then we relaxed, we caught her going back to her old ways.  We tried again for a little less than a month.  Intense mom provides.  Worked with the school to ensure that I was there for parties to provide.  Then we gave her freedom again. 

This time I felt a change.  She came to me for food.  She came to me for affirmation in other areas (something that she had never done).  She became more centered on me.  Wanted me to watch her.  Wanted me.

Emma has done a lot of healing over the summer, we seriously worked on attaching, learning trust.  I worked on ensuring that she trusted me to provide for her. Her fear wasn't about food, her fear was that an adult would not provide for her.  She feared relying on her mom.  She was in seven different homes, one an adoptive placement.  Adults were someone who let her down.  I didn't let her down.  She now eats with the family. She eats whatever everyone else does when we eat out, new places she wants a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made by me.  She knows that I will provide for her.
Learning to trust me has been a huge jump in her life.  Her summer was one of great growth.  You just have no clue what a change this has made in her life.  She is so much more content and less vigilant.  I love this child, many days I listened to her screaming while my heart broke.  Six months of screaming for hours and hours.  No one was willing to stay the course.  We stayed the course.  She is worthy of someone staying the course for her.  Every child deserves the love and security of a parent who they can trust.  She now feels that, the love of a mom....even if she is a little crazy

Interesting that today I realized how much the school has actually been listening to me.  Emma forgot her backpack and realized it when I dropped her off.  I went home to retrieve it.  With my older kids they would have been out of luck, lesson learned.  It is different parenting hurt kids.  I had to show that I would provide, even if it was a backpack.  When I walked in to the school with the backpack someone in the office offered to take it to her.  The secretary said no, that she would call Emma down so that I could hand it to her to show her that I brought it to her.  Yep, they have been listening.

I spent a long time today looking over old pictures.  Some of them have not been on the blog because at that time the girls were not ours.  I can show them now.  And yes, she gets dirty in 30 seconds flat and enjoys cutting her hair often.  I love it when she has the long blond hair.  Here are a few....

When she would tantrum I would occasionally take a picture to mark the time.  At this point those pictures stopped.  Those are not pictures I will share.  Wonder if they went with the bangs!

Right dimple

Left dimple

1 comment:

  1. You need to do what works with the food. I made some mistakes with the boys concerning food. They stole ALL. THE. TIME. and it wore me down. Finally locked everything up. And like yours, they did not want to eat what I provided, would even tell me they didn't want it and then would go steal it on their own. I didnt' handle it as well as you do because it felt very personal and they did not come from a hard place like yours did.