September 20, 2010

As Promised.... A PICA Adventure

Okay... as promised and long overdue Lu's most "entertaining" Pica story...

I think - Scratch that, I know that I have been avoiding writing this one... Oh I could tell you about a drawer full of crayons that all have large bites taken out of them or how we no longer have any markers in the house because all of the tips have been bitten off and swallowed long ago. I could *sigh* and tell you how I long for more arts and crafts time with the kids, but Lula eats glue, beads, clay, glitter etc... I once caught her standing on a kitchen table chair and licking the paper Gigi had just glued beads, ribbons and macaroni to like a starved person would lick a bowl of stew clean. There are stories about diapers that would I am sure raise alarm if Lu were in the care of someone unaware that she had eaten the tip of a blue or green marker the day before... I miss pencils. I love them and use them for my date and address books so that things can change, since things in my life often do change. But good luck finding an eraser in my house - that is the first thing to go within seconds of discovering a pencil.

I don't often share these stories with people who do not know Lula because, well first they paint and incomplete picture of this amazing little girl and second they stick a preconceived notion about what she is like into people’s minds and it's not an accurate description of her. PICA is truly one miniscule facet of this little child. She is bright, in every sense of the word, happy, funny, good-natured and loveable. She is tough as nails and has no fear. There is not a thing "wrong" with this child she just happens to be compelled to eat things.... things that really are not edible.

So here it is the most outrageous, jaw dropping, kind of disgusting, PICA story from my household. I promise you.... as farfetched as it sounds this is a true story.

This spring the girls and I set up their pool every morning. They swam all day and if the water wasn't too disgusting looking we would leave the pool set up for the next day. {doing our part for the environment and water conservation} At some point in late May we had a ladybug infestation. Infestation has such a negative connotation and truth-be-told having a ton of ladybugs around was not a negative thing. They're cute and fun and don't bother anyone. It was kind of cool.

On the mornings when the pool had been left out all night we would find at least a handful of ladybugs struggling to escape the water. Gigi took it upon herself to be the appointed Lifeguard for all ladybugs and would delicately rescue each one from their watery demise and let them dry their wings crawling up and down her arms as she went from bug to bug saving their tiny spotted lives.

Having rescued these little lives from their certain sodden graves, Gigi felt attached to and responsible for her little friends. She would talk to them and tell them they would be okay. It ut Lula wanted to play too. She wanted to help rescue bugs and she wanted to have their little legs tickle her arms while their wings dried. Gigi, well Gigi did not seem to think Lula was worthy, or gentle enough or something because she refused to let her little sister anywhere near her "friends".

It might not be the best rule, but at the moment in my house, everyone plays or no one plays. Sharing is a must and I am not a fan of exclusion. {I will write about how I feel that everyone making the team and everyone getting a trophy and everyone wins and no one loses is a blight on our society at another time - But at the moment in my house with toddlers everyone plays}. So after a few days I stepped in and insisted that Lu get a turn at holding a ladybug. I helped G show her sister how to be gentle and how to hold the delicate bugs. I will admit there were a few tragic squishing and Gigi called out in agony and anger that her sister squashed her friend!! It was sad, but Lula didn't kill them on purpose, so I convinced Gigi to help me teach her how to be gentle. And we did it!

As G and I were cheering and yelling she did it! Lula was staring fascinated at this little bug tickling her hand with it's tiny legs. So Gigi and I watched and our exuberance turned to horror as Lu took that tinly little bug popped it into her mouth and ate it! "Ahhhhhhh......No! No! No! No! GROSS! Spit it out!!" was my reaction. And it was, unexpected and gross!! It was too late, Lu had eaten the bug and despite my yelling and G's screaming "You ate my firiend!!!! You ate my friend!!!! She ate my firend!!" Lula was about to "rescue" another and eat it before I stopped her.

I simply don't understand it. As much as I am perplexed by the compulsion to eat paper, crayons, erasers and sand.... Eating a ladybug??? A bug??? I don't get it.... And I am sure I never will. I do have to say that things are getting better. I still cannot leaver her alone with crayons or markers. I am told that when she plays in the neighbor's sandbox she doesn't eat the sand any longer and recently at the palyground she discovered a spider web and asked "Eat it?" So I take the fact that she asked before doing as major progress!

But that is my most outrageous PICA story. Lula ate a ladybug. Gigi may never get over the emotional scar of having her friend eaten, but Lula didn't bat an eye...


flipflopmama a.k.a. The SassMaster said...

Yeah... Lula and I could be fast friends - not because I eat inedible things, but because I totally appreciate the compulsion to. I think I told you already, I was the paste-eater in kindergarten, right? And I may or may not have chewed on the dried glue that sticks to the orange pointy top of the Elmer's bottles.
Shelbi, when you choose to write on something that is near and dear to your heart, your talent shines. This was a wonderfully written post. "Having rescued these little lives from their certain sodden graves..." - Love it!
and: "Gigi took it upon herself to be the appointed Lifeguard for all ladybugs and would delicately rescue each one from their watery demise and let them dry their wings crawling up and down her arms as she went from bug to bug saving their tiny spotted lives." - Fabulous! I can see so clearly how careful and thoughtful her mission was as she undertook it and I can hear in your words how much you adore this about Gigi. Graceful words written with love...

Andrea said...

I still laughed even though you lament over her desire to eat a bug. I think what makes it funny is that she looked at it, thought "yum!" and decided she was right! LOL! Lu is a great kid, who cares if she eats bugs? I think it makes her interesting.

Siler McCraw said...


Anonymous said...

Disgusting it may be, but I would tend to look on the bright side of this. Eating a ladybug might be kind of gross but those things are full of protein. I think they may even count as edible. And if they're edible, then it is progress and worthy of celebration. Right? Right.

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