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To Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan, From the Mom of a Tube-Fed Toddler

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Dear Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan,

I need to thank you. For years you have brought laughter to our home as you cleverly emphasize the humor in everyday situations. My husband and I, both coming from large families and having two little ones ourselves, have especially enjoyed your routines and television series focusing on parenthood and the funny things kids do. Through your comedy, you’ve relieved some of the stress of normal family life. And last week, when you showed us a peek into your tube-feeding life, you eased the tensions of our not-quite-as-normal family life.

You see, my toddler has been tube-fed for all but the first 29 days of her life, and we have had some unexpected hiccups with her g-tube (pun intended). As a mother, the pressure of counting calories, sterilizing syringes and countless feeding therapies weighs on me at times. But when you posted the video of you tube-feeding Jeannie, you lifted a cloud of loneliness. As I watched you balance the syringe in one hand and push the end with your chin, I realized I’m not the only one fidgeting with finicky syringes. Perhaps I’m not alone in feeling a tinge of glee when I get that special syringe — the one that draws easily and pushes smoothly. And when I have the syringe that doesn’t sit in the port quite right, maybe I’m not the only one who has teetered on that fine line between feeding my child and coating a good majority of my kitchen with pork and pumpkin puree.

So to the Gaffigan family, we raise our syringes to you in sincere gratitude for bringing us smiles in any situation. Please know that your family and Jeannie’s health are in our thoughts and prayers. And when you launch your tube-feeding restaurant, we’ll be sure to stop by to share a beef and broccoli bolus with a coconut water chaser.

With thanks,
A fellow-tube feeding family

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Originally published: June 5, 2017
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