"If you get in your buggy, you can have a bar!" said a Mum to her little girl.
I overheard this on our walk down to the village today.
I can't remember who advised us or maybe we read it somewhere in the early days but since The Lodger has been born, we have never used food as blackmail.
It's something I would've been guilty of, as a way to pacify my lovely niece before The Lodger arrived. I wouldn't even have thought twice about it pre Lodger. It's natural. It's something people do everyday. Food is used as reward and punishment. 'No treats for you if you're bold', 'Be good and you can have something nice'!
Food is motivating. It's not just children, it's Adults too! 'If I eat healthy Monday to Friday, I can allow myself a treat at the weekend.', I've been so good lately, I can have a slice of cake.'
It's getting harder now. The Lodger is becoming a lot more food aware. It could just be his age or it could be Prader-Willi Syndrome. We will never know.
The Lodger plays in the sitting room before breakfast is ready. I used to carry him in but now we make him walk supported. We try to sneak as much physiotherapy into everyday life as we can. We can't say 'Walk in and you'll get your breakfast'. We have to think of the future.
We have to use different motivation!
First thing in the morning, due to low muscle tone, we always find The Lodger's energy levels at the lowest. He'll sit on the floor and say No. He's a typical two year old in that sense. No is fast becoming his favourite word. Then Walter will appear and The Lodger will pull himself to standing and he'll ask for Walter.
The Lodger holds Walter by the hands as I support him and we walk into the kitchen. This takes a lot of encouragement.
Walter's great though!
'Walter wants to see how strong you're getting.'
'Walter will clap hands when you get to the door.'
He's The Lodgers favourite and he's fast becoming mine (Sorry Gonzo!) due his amazing abilities to get The Lodger to do things!
We're still in the early days, food is still on the tip of your tongue as a motivational tool but overtime I know this will change. You have to keep policing yourself and the people closest to The Lodger to change habits to make life easier, healthier and safer for The Lodger.
Food is never a reward or punishment in our house. It's just fuel for the body.
p.s. To Walter. When PWS and all it's complexities might make us feel a little low, thank you for making those mornings a little easier.