Neal, Michelle, and McKenzie (our friends across the street) invited us over to watch the Super Bowl yesterday. McKenzie, who is now 3, is quite the little miracle baby herself...she was born at 26 weeks, weighing a mere 18 oz. Needless to say, she and Evan have had lots of medical equipment in common...including pulse oximeters, oxygen by nasal cannula held on by tender grips. McKenzie had an NG tube for several months after coming home, but never had to get a g-tube. All that medical equipment is a thing of the past for Miss McKenzie, so when she sees it with Evan it is new to her.
McKenzie is very interested in Evan's MIC-key button, and always wants to see what is going on when Evan eats. Michelle always explains, "He's eating, and his food goes right into is tummy." McKenzie wanted to know exactly what Evan was eating. Yesterday, it was a peach/banana fruit mixture with some Pediasure. Jeremy asked if she wanted to try some in a cup. McKenzie isn't really a fan of eating much these days, and shook her head no. She wanted Jeremy to try it for her. So he pretended to pour some into Evan's empty vent tube, and proceeded to "plug it in" to his stomach (somehow, Jeremy was able to wedge it in there so it stuck). "Mmmm, mmmm," he said. "Are you sure you don't want any?" She shook her head again, but when Jeremy was finished, McKenzie took Evan's vent tube over to her daddy to see if he wanted some also (he passed--too full from all the Super Bowl snacks!).
I wish that every kid could learn about g-tubes the way that McKenzie has. To her, it isn't gross or wierd...it's just a way to eat that's different from the way she does. She is naturally curious, and she gets factual answers to her questions.
We are also preparing for Evan's "graduation" from Birth-to-Three into the school system. He will be going to Head Start preschool. I wonder how his classmates are going to react to his eating (and venting) that will undoubtedly happen during class. I hope that they become just as accepting as McKenzie has...I can only wish for them to be as good of helpers!