Wednesday, January 4, 2012

“Hate Chicken”

Typing has finally clashed with Lilli's special diet. I know some of you who have spent time at our house are going to laugh about this because you know what we feed her. Lilli finally told me tonight what she thinks of her food.

This process of getting to know the details about Lilli through typing is slow. Now that she is typing short sentences, I am just bursting with questions. I can't ask her hundreds of questions every day, that would annoy her. But I have a long mental waiting list. I wait for the right times to ask her certain things. It's probably good practice for when my kids are teenagers someday, right?

I have to explain to any new readers that Lilli has been non verbal and only recently started to learn to type to communicate. I had to look back at my posts and check. Yes, she has only been typing to us for a month. One month. It is crazy! She has gone from typing "yes" and "no" at the beginning of December to short sentences at the end of the month. I cannot explain it. Well, I can, it's truly a gift from God. Her homebound teacher told me she was amazed at how much her typing progressed over Christmas break. She had expected Lilli to be like most kids, who need to ease back into school in January and refresh their memories. But Lilli typed with us a lot over break. She typed with her ABA therapist, who came almost every day. She even typed with my mother in law who came for Christmas. The teacher told me she was almost brought to tears because it was so incredible her first day back, typing with Lilli.

I recently started giving her more choices about things, giving her another opportunity to type. Choices about movies and what to wear are great. But food? We don't usually give Lilli a choice about food. She has been on the "Specifiic Carbohydrate Diet" for four years now to help control her seizures. It has also earned a reputation for helping kids with autism. We feed her the (very healthy) foods according to the diet and she eats them. She rarely complains. A few weeks ago I tried spaghetti squash instead of butternut squash and she was not happy about that. But overall, she eats well. Possibly better than any typical seven year old in America, I would venture to say. No candy, no junkfood. Everything is home-made and organic. She doesn't drink anything but water. Her dentist just loves us.

Last night I asked her if she wanted green beans or broccoli for dinner. I figured, why not? I gave five year old Chloe the same choice. I should give Lilli a choice too. I typed both words on the ipad so she could see how to spell them. She typed "gr." I helped her type the rest of the words "green beans." I was happy to know what she preferred. This is all so new.

Tonight I asked her the same question, and typed the words again for her to see. She typed "bro" and stopped, so I helped her type the entire word "broccoli." Wow, this is good for her, I thought. I should give her more choices. So I asked her if she wanted chicken or meatloaf for dinner.

That's when she blew me away. She typed "hate ch."


You hate chicken? I am still getting used to this little girl of mine, who has been unable to speak, typing such a strong word as "hate." Is this how a typical almost-eight year old talks to her momma? I guess it is. I know I don't write enough about everything that is happening because I have not yet explained how Lilli has typed to me she that "hates" certain things. What a sassy personality she has, with strong opinions emerging everyday through her typing! I laughed, because she gets chicken every day. I do not blame her! Ok it is organic, roasted chicken with broth and organic onion. But even though it is healthy, it is boring. So I guess she hates it!

Our "conversations" are interesting because they are not always spelled right, and most of the words are unfinished. But I piece it together. If I am confused, I ask more questions. I press her to type more letters or words. But this time, I kind of knew what she was going to say. I figured it had to do with what her sister and brother were already eating at the moment. I asked her what would she like to have for dinner? She typed "we." It might have been a stretch but I said, "do you mean you want to have what "we" all are having?


She is definitely a corner-cutter. She knows how to spell yes and no, but she types "Y" or "N" often. Again, can you blame her? All of us, who type "u" for the word "you" when texting, certainly can't pick a bone with Lilli about her shortcuts.

The other two kids were already at the table, eating chicken nuggets. I sighed and picked up the box. They are Applegate Farms gluten-free chicken nuggets. Would it be that bad to let her have what the others are having? I read the ingredients. She is not supposed to have them. But compared to a lot of things, they are not bad. She steals them anyway off her siblings' plates. So instead of her stealing them, I would just be putting a few on a plate in front of her and giving her the green light.

I made five nuggets in the toaster oven. But I took only four out and put them on a plate. I hesitated, took out the fifth, and then put it back in the toaster oven. Maybe I would give that one to Josh. Five seemed like a lot for her first-ever, off limits chicken nugget meal. Please understand I am not a mean mommy, I just know that the diet has helped her health immensely and we really stick to it. She was failure to thrive years ago, not gaining weight, gastrointestinal issues. She has come so far. This was a big deal for both of us.

"You still have to eat your vegetables, Lilli!" I said, pointing my finger at her. She silently chewed on a spoon she had swiped out of the make-shift utensil holder-vase, and looked away. (Moved the silverware out of the silverware drawer to prevent the swiping. Not working.)

She seemed a little stunned when I set the little plate down in front of her at the table. Maybe she didn't think I was actually going to give them to her. They are off limits, and I was actually giving her a PLATE of them! She started to eat one, and stopped. I asked her why she wasn't eating them. She typed "because c."

"Because they are cold?" I guessed.


Oh this strong, smart little girl that is coming out. She has an opinion like everyone else, but just could never voice it before. Ok, I picked up the plate and went to go heat them up. After they were warm, she dug in. She ate every bite. I fed her butternut squash and steamed broccoli. I snuck a few bites of her special meatloaf in there too. Then I asked her what she thought of the nuggets. I suggested she could type, "good" or "yummy" or maybe "I liked them." I was really looking forward to seeing what she would say. Her finger tapped out,

"Can I hv"

"have? Are you asking if you can have more, Lilli?"


How could I say no? It's a miracle, she is trying to type can I have more. I stood up and got the fifth chicken nugget for her. (But I reheated it first, per her preference.)

I see new recipes for Specific Carbohydrate Diet chicken nuggets in my future. If anyone knows of a good one, please post it in the comments section! I need to expand her diet to more "kid friendly" meals.

Just before bed, I said, "Lilli, tell Daddy what you thought of those chicken nuggets for dinner tonight!" She giggled and put her hand on her nose. I took her hand in mine and she typed

"Very g."

You guess what that meant.


  1. This is so cool! I can't even imagine how hard it must be for you to not completely bombard her with questions. I love that her personality is coming out. Jack often says he "hates" certain foods or that they are "gross." Pretty sure he picked that up at daycare :)

  2. Hi Jenny: I read Where Lilly Blooms all the time,it's like reading a wonderful book, however knowing Lilly since birth I love seeing the progress she is making. God is good. Lilly is certinally blessed to have such great parents.

    May God Bless your family. Happy New Year!

  3. Reading this gave me goose-bumps! I know how absolutely thrilled you must be... Lilli is a very special wonderful little girl! She is teaching all of us so much through your sharing - thank you Jennie!