June 03, 2016

Have His Cake and Eat it too

Bridger's first birthday.

Spent in the hospital, getting a gastrointestinal tube (g-tube) placed in his stomach, which process begins with a nasal gastrointestinal tube (ng tube) placed for a couple weeks.  His "birthday cake" was some vanilla formula through the schnauzer enjoyed in a laundry basket I had brought from home and strapped him to with a Leckey vest to hold his body upright, since he could not yet sit, with the blankets holding up his head so he could enjoy a makeshift hospital ball pit.  Watch out, we know how party.

Bridger's third birthday.

Still 100% g-tube fed. We had been working with the feeding therapist for 9 months with the goal that Bridger would eat birthday cake on his birthday.  No frosting, no colors.  Just letting a crumb of plain yellow cake touch his tongue.

I can still feel the excitement bursting inside me in this picture taken on his birthday, when he finally tasted that celebratory crumb.  

Fast forward to a couple months ago.

Bridger's 9th birthday.  Still has the g-tube. Still will sometimes let a crumb of yellow cake touch his tongue.  And sometimes, he surprises us.  Like when I went to get the birthday candles and turned around to catch this.  His birthday excitement overpowered his sensory limitations.  This cake was supposed to be just a prop -- a cake for the rest of us just so he could have his candles that he likes to blow out, then cry when they are out, then relit, then blow, then cry, then relit . . . repeated 10 times.  {And, while we are talking about birthday routines, don't you dare try to sing happy birthday -- that will launch him into uncontrollable screaming and crying, no matter who's birthday. No singing here.  None.  Never.}  He had some plain vanilla ice cream ready in the wings for him - that he may eat . . . or may not.

Seeing this, our jaws dropped in astonishment and we laughed as we just let him go to town. 

By all means, he can have his cake and eat it too.