... to bring the Contract back into play BIG TIME to encourage Ben to put on weight in the run up to making the decision about university which we need to do by the end of June. Ben has lost nearly 1kg since I last weighed him 2 weeks ago, and so it's all systems go as far as I am concerned to get the weight back onto him - and more. It will be interesting to see how easy or difficult it is for me to get him to play ball...
So I've taken some time this morning to get out the old weight charts again and map out where he needs to be at the bare minimum taking into account the fact that he is getting older. And I have formulated A PLAN.
Now, ideally I'd like him to be in a position where he could throw caution to the wind and not give a damn about putting on weight. I also hate having to focus on numbers at this stage, but I'm damned if I'm going to sit here and allow him to tumble downhill. If he lost 1kg since he was last weighed, then he could easily lose another... and another... It doesn't bear thinking about and I won't let it happen.
So time for some "tough love" in the guise of Janet Treasure's "dolphin", using our Contract as leverage.
To be in line with the minimum he should be, aged 19.5 years old in the summer, he needs to gain 4kg from where he is today.
And we have 13 weeks in which to do this.
If he doesn't achieve this by the end of June then it's NO to university this September.
If he refuses to - or simply can't - increase his calories to the amount I want him to increase it to from now until he gets back on track, I will take over cooking the evening meals again (he adores cooking the evening meals).
I will give him an extra 5 points for every day he manages to keep to this calorie total.
I will also give him 15 extra points every time his weight goes up by half a kilo, but I will remove points if it goes down again (to avoid yo-yo-ing up and down like we used to do with CAMHS).
I will insist that he counts calories properly for the time being rather than "guestimating" which he has been doing (and obviously "guestimating" too low).
And we will do the Contract every day, focusing on weight gain challenges.
Whether or not he agrees to the above changes to the Contract will be a measure of how much remains of the eating disorder, won't it?
Ben is out of the house at the moment. But I'll be discussing the above with him later. At this present moment in time if I was to put a bet on his reaction it would be that he tries to persuade me to compromise and agree to a lower daily calorie total.
So I am going to produce a list of bullet points as to why I won't do this; why I won't go for half-measures when it comes to kicking the eating disorder out of his life for good and why I refuse to let him drift back into an unhealthy weight range. And I have printed out the height / weight charts that prove where he needs to be as he heads towards the age of 20.
In an ideal world he'd say: "Okay, mum, I agree to do all this." And sign on the dotted line.
But I'd hazard a guess that he will panic and resist the idea.
So please don't say anything like: "Go for it, Batty, you rock!" because I may not be able to do any of the above, no matter how hard I try. And it may easily end up as a shouting match as it sometimes does.
I believe he would happily compromise, as described above, but I don't believe he will go the whole hog and do what I want him to do.
But the consequences would be that, if he fails to reach the above weight by the end of June, then he's not going to university, and we will continue to work on it until he does get to where he should be.
I will keep you posted on progress over the next few days and weeks in the lead up to June.