I Am Not Above Bribery

IMG_4637Over the weekend I made a plan.

I prioritized my mountains and I decided to put personal things on the back burner for a bit. I don’t need to exercise right now. I don’t need to paint Sawyer’s pink room. I don’t need to unpack every single box in this new house. All of that can wait.

PS. How cute is that room!?!?

What I need to do is figure out Cooper’s diet. I decided that he is going to join us at the dinner table for all meals when we are home. This is a huge mountain. Trust me.

I dug out the baby booster seat and realized that a 55 pound kid doesn’t fit so well. But I was able to wedge him in.

I decided that I was going to tackle fruit first. Cooper hasn’t eaten a vegetable since he was 11 months old. His last ‘normal’ meal was Thanksgiving dinner when he was 11 months old. It’s so crazy that I remember that. He ate every single food when put on his plate. He switched the next day. A few days shy of his first birthday. Every veggie since then has been thrown, smashed, given to the dogs or thrown up. That battle is too big right now.

The only fruit Cooper will eat is strawberries. Every other fruit is met with the vengeance that veggies are given.

So, I decided to start with raspberries. If he refused and pulled all of his old antics I would do the puree trick. I really wanted to avoid pureeing. That is super mom shit. Adding fruits and veggies to chicken nugget breading is more than I can handle right now. And I tried it once before. I would spend hours making zucchini chocolate flax seed muffins only to find he wouldn’t eat them. It really was exhausting. And expensive.

The other mountain was water. For me Cooper will only drink milk. For Jamie he will have an occasional sippy of watered down juice or a Capri son. He once took a sip of Gatorade and died a tragic death. The kid rocks the dramatics. I’ll give him that.

I started Saturday morning with Crystal Lite. I bought 5 flavors. And it worked. He drank three cups of water mixed with Crystal Lite on Saturday.

And just like that I thought I cured autism. The celebration was real.

And then on Sunday he acted as if I was poisoning him. The target had moved. He refused to drink Crystal Lite. Onto plan B.

FullSizeRenderEXCESSIVE BRIBERY. I am not above it. And I would have used it a long time ago if I thought it would work. The problem was how do you bribe a child that doesn’t care about anything. Literally, there were no foods, treats, drinks, presents, toys that would work.

So I pulled out a sippy of milk (which was half water). I dangled that cup of milk like it was worth a million dollars. He was hooked. The stipulation…drink a cup of fruit punch flavored water first.

He whined. He rolled. He threw. He pushed. He did an exact impression of Brittany Spears’ 2007 meltdown.

I looked him right in the eye and told him to pull it together.

And then he calmly sat down and drank his sippy cup of water.

I seriously died laughing.

This is going to sound funny and you may not believe me but understanding bribery OR ‘first this, than that’ is a huge milestone in development.

Onto the fruit. After a very similar meltdown Cooper now eats raspberries. Just like that. The first interaction required 2 Oreo’s for 3 raspberries. #WINNING

The next meal was met with excitement for raspberries.

I wish I understood. I wish I knew the reasons why and how and when the rules were going to change again.

Next fruits will be kiwis and blueberries.

These are some huge positives for Cooper and don’t get me wrong…I am thrilled.

But in saying that the kid hasn’t pooped since Sunday.

This tells me that learning how to poop is the biggest part of the puzzle. So, before I enter that gem into google does anyone have any ideas of how to get him to do it?

He has pooped on the potty once. I had to lay on his body and force his legs apart. Before you send me a nasty email about how I am abusing my son please understand that Cooper had been in pain for hours and standing in a rigid tip toe position holding the poop in. I had to get him into a position that he could poop. Normally I hold his body in the fetal position. That time I held him on the toilet.

Once he pooped he clapped and then promptly cried for 30 minutes over the poop in the toilet. #NOTWINNING

So, ideas to get him to sit on the toilet AND RELAX? Send them my way please!

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9 thoughts on “I Am Not Above Bribery

  1. You are AMAZING!!! You are doing the right thing! Just one piece of advice for getting Cooper to poop: probiotics! I put a packet of Culturelle in my sons nightly smoothie and it works by morning. The days I forget then I get no poop. Just milk, Greek yogurt and Culturelle. Add a couple of strawberries too since he likes them! Good luck!

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  2. I don’t have any real helpful advice, except have you tried stool softners in his juice (if he will drink it.) We have a small poop issue, my son is verbal… I keep telling him if he drinks more water and doesn’t hold it in all day (he refuses to use the bathroom at school, so he uses it at 7 am, and won’t use it again until around 3:30 on most days.) He gets afraid to poop and will make me get him water (he thinks water will magically make him poop, because I told him he needed to drink more water…) Anyway, have you ever heard of the My Autism Team site, they also have an app…? This is a wonderful resource and I’ve seen several people have experiences with extreme dietary problems, and these women are very experienced and give awesome feedback. If you go into your appstore look for My Autism Team Mobile for the app, DOWNLOAD IT! (If you already dont have it.) They also have a website,
    https://www.myautismteam.com/

    I hope this will be of service to you!

    Good luck!

  3. You go mama! Raspberries are awesome!

    Isn’t bribery the greatest?! It opens a whole new door and I use it every chance I get, especially when it comes to meals.

    I would do the same for pooping in the potty. I know it’s painful for Cooper, so he has every reason to avoid it. But, if when he goes, he gets a reward, it might make it something he doesn’t want to avoid as much, and if he goes more often it would hopefully be less painful in the future. Plus, lots of parents give their kids rewards for going to the bathroom in the potty anyway to keep them going in the potty. My little one is potty training, and we don’t give him any treats for peeing in the potty (just lots of praise!) but whenever he poops in the potty he gets lots of praise and a piece of candy of his choice from a little bucket we have. Bribery is the greatest. 🙂

    • Oh, and I meant to add about the relaxing on the potty part: Maybe try to keep him distracted on the potty so that he’s not aware of the pooping part and just goes? Maybe put the potty chair in front of the TV and watch something together. Make it a fun, bonding time with a reward after he poops. I dunno if that helps, but it’s an idea.

  4. I so want to give wonderful advice. I so want to help you. But both my kids suffer from awful bowel issues and despite medicine we have not found a consistent way to help them. It is awful and heartbreaking. I can not remember having a solid poo from my seven year old in about a year 😦

  5. Letting go on the toilet was a huge issue for our son. I think he was scared that he was losing part of his body. What helped us was the ‘poop’ video, made by some nice young therapists who step for step showed that doing a poop was a piece of cake (an oh henry bar)….yes, indeed, they pretended to flush the chocolate bar. It looked exactly as a nice solid produce! We watched it and watched it….and yeah…the fear went.
    Good luck!

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