Sunday, March 22, 2009

Short Order Kitchen

If you have small children, you know that feeding them can be a challenge. One child doesn't like cheese. The other child wants her sandwiches cut diagonally, and without crusts. Neither child will eat seafood. Some days I feel like a short order cook in my own kitchen. Now Fanini is beginning a strange new stage of AZ, the not eating phase. On a scientific level, watching Fanini's brain disassemble is fascinating. I can watch sections of memory and function stop working in real time. Not eating is part of the whole sensory input section of the brain. Physical stimulation becomes harder and harder to process for Fanini. Like a tiny infant, she cannot understand what to do with that physical sensation. Suddenly food flavors and textures "do not compute." Anything spicy, sour, crunchy, or otherwise distinctive to the taste buds is left on the plate. But, like a child, she always will eat sweets. Sanini tells me that this is an evolutionary remnant--sweet foods are not likely to be poisonous.

So now I am left with a diminishing repertoire of recipes. A cursory search of the AZ websites recommends feeding the foods of their youth, those deepest in memory. I talked with Fanini's doctor about this, and she basically said, "if she'll eat ice cream, give her ice cream with nutritional additives." We're not talkin' healthy building blocks here. So what I need need is the 'End of Life' cookbook. Just imagine the recipes! 50 Ways To Sneak In Protein Powder! Steak Shakes! Lasagne A La Mode!

So I'm at yet another bizarre intersection in great chart of human life progression. My children need foods that are tasty and supportive for growing bodies, since I'm shaping their future food preferences and physical health. Fanini's food needs are more akin to hospice care. The Trader Joe's last sacrament chocolate truffle. I suppose there are worse ways to end your days.

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