Victor has so many food issues that his ability get through a meal of any kind is precarious at best. One small hair out of place and the cycle of “I don’t like that” and hysteria commences. It’s not a matter of won’t, the wiring in his brain someone gets short circuited and a terrible feedback loop starts.
If we are out of maple syrup, or he spills on his clothes, or if someone is sitting in his chair, or if his food is not cut quite right the pressure builds and the storm gathers. And then it gets worse from there, the crying acting like a hyper drive feeding each breath.
Those who do not have a child with an eating disorder have difficulty understanding. “He’ll eat when he’s hungry” simply does not happen. If he doesn’t eat then he gets hungrier, which makes him even more disorganized and soon he is in a full on death con V thermonuclear meltdown. It’s harder to re-organize your behavior when you are hungry and then of course all the crying makes you tired, which is just more bonus round fun.
Aborting the crying early is key, but it is hard. There is no reasoning once the atom splits.
So it finally hit me. If it is impossible to reason, then perhaps the opposite is possible. And that’s when I came up with my underwear on the head trick. Yup, when the sirens announcing impending meltdown start ringing in your brain, simply whip out a pair of your child’s most ridiculous underwear (preferably clean, but depending on the forecast not essential) and place said underwear at a jaunty angle on your head. Like a beret, or better yet, pull your hair through the leg holes. Giggles will almost certainly ensure.
Once the cycle of crying has been interrupted you can almost always start again.
Laughter is the best medicine.