|There's nothing like a big, juicy burger!|
As we drove home from the hospital, Michael and Ryan repeatedly let me know that they were hungry. I hadn't been home in several weeks, so I had no idea what was in the refrigerator (or what wasn't). Their petitions were getting louder and more desperate. There was no way these hungry toddlers would be able to stop at the store, shop for groceries, and wait until we got home to eat. There was no way my tired brain could endure the endless barrage of "Mom, I'm hungry" pleas that were sure to come, so I decided to go to a fast food place because that's what we needed. We needed food, and we needed it fast.
I considered pulling through the drive-thru, but these kids were REALLY INSISTENT that they would surely die if they didn't get food NOW! Against my better judgement, I decided to park the car and go in to eat lunch. Why was it against my better judgement? Remember... 3 toddler boys vs. one mom with only 2 hands. Both of those hands were full with a baby in one hand and a feeding tube backpack in the other. You do the math. The odds were stacked against me.
|LeAnne and Christopher...notice I am wearing the feeding tube backpack (blue strap on my shoulder), and Christopher is hooked up to the feeding tube (white tube going into his t-shirt).|
|A feast fit for a king.|
We gathered all the napkins, straws, and condiments that we would need and found a table. All the chicks were in the nest and ready to be fed. Christopher was already eating since he was hooked up to his feeding tube, and Michael and Ryan became amazingly quiet as the burgers finally passed their lips...so far all is still good.
|Salt is "the spice of life."|
|French fries are so good. Ya can't eat just one.|
Here's where things started to breakdown. I never had a problem at all with people being curious about Christopher. I understood their curiosity. If they asked, I would simply explain why "he had that tube down his nose" or "why he had that tube hooked up to him." Keep in mind that I was tired, dead dog tired.
Apparently, there was a woman in the restaurant who was also having her lunch. She was an older woman with no small children and no compunction about letting me know how much we were offending her. We were about half way through our lunch when she decided to invade our space to let me know that she thought I was a terrible mother for letting my child waste food. She also told me that it was disgusting to have to watch him lick fries and throw them in a bag...so far so disgusting.
Remember my emotional state, and the fact that I was physically exhausted. If she thought licked french fries were disgusting, I was about to show her disgusting. Without saying a word, I pulled Christopher's highchair away from the table, so that he was facing her. I lifted up his t-shirt, and said..."That's why he licks them and throws them away!!! Anymore questions?"
Shock immediately flashed across her face, and avalanche of apologies spilled from her mouth. I tried to be gracious and accept her apologies, but I couldn't help but defend my son for the benefit of all my children who sat there watching this sad display of a woman with so little compassion. I reminded her that it is dangerous to jump to conclusions, and that if she had only asked me about Christopher's french fry licking, I would have been more than happy to explain it to her...so far so vindicated!
|Hangin' out with a friend and lookin' good, tubes and all.|
I will say that this was the one and only time that anything like this ever happened to us again. Christopher grew up being not one bit shy about his tubes. He has gone swimming, snorkeling, and surfing with his tubes on display for all to see. Most people look (as is expected) but don't ask about them. For those that do ask, Christopher simply shares the reason for his feeding tubes. God has blessed him with a light and easy demeanor. Christopher never seems bothered by the stares or questions. He has learned to expect them, and God has given him such a friendly and welcoming yet strong disposition in handling the curiosity that comes his way...so far so loved!!!
|Tubes...what tubes? Check out this race track we just got!|
|G-tube on top (draining) and J-tube on bottom (feeding)|
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