I remember when I was a veritable bottomless pit at some point in my teenaged years through my mid-twenties, when I used to be sucking down food day and night. I think most teenaged boys do that at some point, frankly.
All of a sudden, well before his teenaged years, the Monster’s turned into that bottomless pit.
This actually goes well beyond the “Can I have more, please?” thing that he’s been doing frequently, which annoys my wife to no end since it’s unclear. It’s… interesting.
The Monster does understand the whole point about being hungry, even if he doesn’t usually use the word ‘hungry’ unless he’s prompted. (“Are you hungry?” “Yes!”) He’s recently developed a new phrase that comes out, “It’s Eating Time!” (Or the related “Time for eating!”)
The fact that he’s aware of his needs is a nice change – that he’s expressing it clearly is even better. I think that even someone who is not used to his usual utterances would understand clearly what he’s trying to get across, which is a good thought, not that I know if he’d announce to a relative stranger that it’s ‘eating time’. The harder part for us is trying to find out what he wants to eat.
One of the issues I’m finding – when we do try to use Proloquo with him to let him make clear his decisions – is that the wife and I have very different styles of trying to leverage technology with him to help with his communication. Her method is to try to guide him, verbosely, through the system of icons, asking him in turn as if he were using his PECS board. I prefer, on the other hand, to hand him the device, to let him pick the symbols himself to try to get used to it and to allow him the freedom to choose. Of course, with both of us present, you’re going to end up with a conflict, and after he’d pointed at the toast three or four times, we figured out that he meant french toast (our son does not eat toast), and moved into placating him.
Yesterday… well, yesterday was two servings of french toast, an apple, apple sauce and a few other things before he had a hot dog (“hot dog on bread!”) and a slice of pizza. Today’s been – so far – pancakes, apple sauce and a graham cracker.
I wonder if this is a growth spurt, a sign that we’re not feeding him enough, or perhaps that he’s eating more because he’s bored…