For the typical child these photos are not out of the ordinary; baby in high chair, gooey fingers, and messy cheeks. For Faith these pictures are another breakthrough.
Much of Faith's inability to eat has to do with the texture of food. As a part of her sensory processing disorder anything that is cold, hot, bumpy, slimy, or any different type of texture sends Faith over the edge.
Every time I cook or bake I take Faith into the kitchen with me. Usually she sits on her Dora tractor (as she has grown to hate her high chair). Yesterday I decided to give the high chair another shot. On this particular day Faith was an active participant in the baking. As I was pouring the banana bread batter into the pan she did what any 18 month old baby would do- she reached for the goo and grabbed it. No, she wasn't smiling, she didn't bring it to her mouth, but she was doing it! And she continued to "play" in it.
For those who know Faith and work with her on these "baby skills" the banana bread grab was a milestone! As I was cleaning Faith off I realized that this was the first time I had ever done this. I cleaned off the high chair I had envisioned wiping off when we were pregnant and picked it
out. This week a year ago we brought the high chair out of the box and set it up in anticipation of Faith's homecoming from the NICU. Faith never got to sit in it because she was admited to Children's a few days later. The high chair sat in our kitchen collecting dust for the next five months. Eventually we repacked it in the box and put it in the basement. At Children's Faith used a different high chair that gave her more support. By the time she came home in April she had grown to loathe the high chair, much less the texture of baby food. We brought the high chair out, but it just sat there like it had done before.
This story is not about the high chair (for she has sat in the high chair before), it's about reclaiming something that was taken away from us. it is about experiencing a normal baby moment.
As I struggled to get the creases between her tiny finger clean I realized that our moment had arrived, sticky fingers and all.