I need to make a confession.
My given name is Jeff Davidson, but at home, I often go by my aliases.
i have a secret identity.
I am the Food Whisperer.
I also have been known to go by the name The Meds Whisperer.
To help teach me patience, the Lord gave me a child with the oddest particulars and idiosyncrasies when it comes to eating. Throw non-verbal autism, cerebral palsy, and epileptic seizures into that mix along with the dairy- free, gluten-free diet and you have a challenging situation already.
That’s where I come in. I’m here to help.
I am the Food Whisperer.
I know…it’s a gift. (Cue my wife rolling her eyes at that statement.)
Our son must be hand-fed with assistance. So to help my wife, I took over feeding him his dinner several years ago. By doing so, I free up a little extra time for her on an otherwise hectic evening. So I take over with his feeding to give her time to get some other things done.
It is often exasperating, frustrating, and bewildering.
Then there is the gnashing of teeth.
I place a bite of meat on a fork and place it in his hand. He insists on taking it from there.
He will not eat until we have done several “drive-bys” with his food. The first few attempts he will bring the food close to his mouth, smell it, and then drop it on his tray. That’s followed by several more attempts where he touches it to his lips or chin, and then immediately throws it down.
The food must be at a precise temperature before he will actually place it in his mouth. He will keep spitting it out until he feels it’s appropriate.
He also will only eat meat for the first few bites. I can’t fault him for this as he probably learned that from me. Any attempt to give him anything but meat for the first few bites, will summarily be rejected.
Once he gets into a rhythm the real challenge begins. There are many foods he won’t eat in stand-alone bites. Especially, it seems, green vegetables. I have to carefully mix them in with very fine pieces with other foods to disguise them.
If I wait until he chews and swallows before loading the next bite, he reaches out and pats my arm incessantly until I have re-loaded.
I have become highly skilled and adept at getting him to take his medications as well. He will not partake of liquid medications or tablets either. So we have to place all his tablets into empty pill capsules. Three pills at a time, all encapsulated inside every one gel cap.
I’m going to write a book on “100 Ways to Disguise Medications in your Child’s Food” as my next project.
Tater tots by the way…
You can hide anything inside a tater top. My biggest fear is that one day he will eat a tater tot somewhere other than home, and be suspicious why it tastes so different than the ones I serve him at home.
I have to promise him a big bite of meat if he takes his medications for me. (My wife does the same with me by the way.) And the meds have to be given all consecutively approximately half-way through the meal.
He will only take his meds with food. It’s impossible to get them down any other way or time. (Never leave home without a jar of organic almond butter.)
Last night we went through the excruciating process again, just like every night.
“If only he would taste it and see that it’s good.”
“He knows he needs nourishment. He knows this is for his good. He knows it sustains him, refreshes him, and nourishes him.”
“He knows he needs the medications and the food. He knows they give him life.”
Why is it such a struggle to get him to realize it? Why does he resist and fight it so much?”
Then the Holy Spirit weighed in with a gentle prompt and whisper.
“When I try to nourish you, sustain you and give your life things that I know you need- why do you fight and struggle with what I am offering?”
He was right. So many times God has plans and purposes for my life that I don’t want to accept. I fight and resist, refusing to accept. There are times I surely exasperate God because I don’t like or want what He is giving me.
There are times I desperately need his help, his sustenance, his feeding me the Bread of Life, yet I fight him the whole time.
Sometimes I don’t like what He’s offering me in my life or His plans for me. I don’t like the path He has placed me on or chosen for me.
Yet He stands there and beckons me, “Taste and See, Jeff. Just taste and see.”
“Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8)
I may be the food whisperer. But God has been whispering life into all of us since the day we were born
Listen to his whisper. “Taste and see…”