Jacob's blood tests all came back negative. He does not have Celiac Disease and his kidneys are functioning properly.
Sigh. Of. Relief.
So now we're tasked with figuring out how to consistently fill up the belly of a toddler who isn't exactly breaking down the pantry door to appease an insatiable appetite.
After too many frustrating nights and wasted meals, we finally wised up. I shouldn't say we—it was Erin who had the epiphany. She suggested having Barbara, his day care provider, give Jacob his Pediasure at lunch. Brilliant!
One thing we have changed is when we give him his daily Pediasure—an expensive milkshake-like supplement designed to grow love handles on even the most stunted toddlers. We used to give it to him at dinner where he would down it in one sitting. We were pleased he enjoyed this high-caloric drink, but it would leave little to no room in his stomach for dinner.
He eats much, much better around his friends than he does with us. We assumed he would continue to eat his lunch, even after consuming his Pediasure, because he would see the other kids eating.
So far this move has worked perfectly. Barbara gives him his Pediasure and he still eats his lunch. And lately he's been eating much more at dinner. He's still a picky eater, though, but I guess we shouldn't nitpick the situation.
Other times we've had to get a little creative—picnic in the den, dinner and a movie and eating with "friends."
If Jacob isn't going to eat for us, then maybe he'll eat for his friends at home: Buzz Lightyear, Mickey, Elmo and the vacuum.
Quick side note: Jacob has become obsessed with the vacuum cleaner. He's terrified of it when it's on, but when it's just standing silent against the wall or in a closet, he always says hi, gives it hugs and shares his toys. I don't know if it's some sort of fear coping technique, but it's really cute to watch.
Back to his friends. Jacob wasn't eating his waffle one morning so I decided to place Buzz in front of him. I told him to show Buzz how he eats his food. He grabbed a piece, dipped it in syrup and pressed it against Buzz's face. "Now you eat it," I said. Thankfully, he did. I had to continue playing this game, but whatever, it worked.
Stay tuned. We'll find out in a couple months at his 2-year checkup whether these moves will help pop the button off his skinny genes.