On Halloween day Pratus and I headed out to run some errands and I found myself not enjoying the company as much as I would have liked. Dropping this little guy off to daddy seemed like a sensible thing to me. I gave my hugs and kisses and off I went. I get back and find my child draped in daddies t-shirt and bouncing. He got himself wet, okay no big deal (mental note make sure daddy always has a change of clothes for each child). I said “wow looks like you boys have been having fun”. Daddy says, “Yeah we have been running and jumping, all while watching red box movies and eating chocolate”.
“Really Chocolate, just really”… these words slip from my mouth with complete and utter annoyance laced into each syllable.
Yes, it was Lindt Chili Dark Chocolate (picture above), Pratus has a very refined pallet for a child. You see Pratus and chocolate just don’t mix. He also has the same trouble with soda (if ever it was allowed for a child to take heroin it would look something like Pratus after chocolate or soda).
Now obviously I am the default parent for I knew this to be the absolute truth. I have had to deal with the onslaught to these man made Items more than enough times to have already made this valuable deduction. Daddy however, has not and with a roll of his eyes, I concluded that he thought I was being overly dramatic. I would like to say that this is the first time I have ever come across such doubt when dealing with food intolerances. It saddens me to tell you that not unlike having a more complicated child, I have had this same experience many many times. I don’t really get why it is so hard to believe that a food could cause behavior problems. We all know that too much sugar can make an otherwise quite child act out so, why is what I am saying make me sound like a raving lunatic?
Halloween continued on with a very very very hyper child that struggled with boundaries. He was too hyper not to run ahead, too hyper to look before wanting to cross a road, too hyper and uncoordinated, not to trip over himself every few minutes, He was too hyper to really enjoy what was going on. Now you remember my last post how I talked about costumes. Well he was also too hyper to have as many qualms with attire (silver lining?) he didn’t actually let me put on a costume but, he was willing to carry around a plastic fireman’s helmet and say he was a fireman (progress in my eyes). Finally when we stopped to eat some chili, I noticed that he was starting to come down from this chocolate high he was on. Poor Pratus cried because his spoon was to big, to white, to small, to plastic, just too much for him. Good thing it was colder than a witches tit outside because that meant bigger brother Alanso was more than okay with going home. We all led Pratus home, No, that’s not right. It was more like following in the wake of a Tasmanian devil, you just did your best to stay close so you could apologize to those that got trampled. He was in our place faster than I could have imagined and was gobbling down candy before I could get the keys out of the lock. How this child got candy (I’m not 100% sure that one of those children who got in his way left with all their treats) no clue, I was so careful to shout ahead “NO CANDY, please!” I grabbed it away, offering up loving attention in its place. HA HA HA The little child was more like a snake, it was a sight to behold, I was tugging, he was holding firm, eating, crying, drooling sweet venom down his chin, screaming, kicking, and If I wasn’t mistaken his head came off at one point and rotated 360 degrees before he slumped back in the chair, defeated. I in no way felt I had won that battle, his whimpering was so sad. Brother tried to come comfort him and got a fat lip for his troubles. I ran and hid all forms of candy and offered him a few bites of food to try to combat the mass amount of sugar he just consumed. Amongst the sobs he ate and then he was out, as if a light switch had been filled in the off position.
All in all I can’t say that the chocolate was the catalyst to everything given that the day was filled with things that normally aren’t there. I still am sticking to my observation though that Pratus and chocolate do not go together!
Thinking this post through has taken me some time. In the end, I really felt I wanted to, NO, HAD TO share my experiences with you.
Halloween in coming up and every year I dread this holiday.
My children have never just fell in that scope of normal when it comes to behavior. I would love to say that they are like every other child out there. For this mom this is far from the reality that is their childhood. My children have offered me challenges at every turn. Mostly in the way that they were going to be willing to confront the world. I do have those sweet, quiet children in my life, however, they often get overshadowed by those that demand more (Pratus is one such child). I have often felt like an outsider parent when it came to raising these children. For example: when I would go to play groups with other parents it always was a disaster. I saw how they would look at me with pity and yet with no idea how to help me. I sometimes wondered if they thought that my children’s behavior would be catchy as if it were a sickness. Then there were those that thought I was a passive parent that allowed my children to run amuck. Assuming my child was just undisciplined, was really difficult for me. Often I am overly demanding as a parent. I have been told I just need to relax and allow them to make mistakes. In my role as a parent to just let them make their mistakes had not been an option (now that I have teen I learning to do this more and more. I have found that it is actually a good thing and not something to fear as it was when they were small). I was/am organized. I think things through. I plan my trips to stores when I don’t have to take a child. I cook when I know they are self entertained, etc, etc, etc. All with the express intent to keep them safe and happy as well as not torture the outside world with my so called little hellions.
Halloween, The one day of the year where we throw the never ending teachings that, we never take candy from strangers, out the window. The one day of the year when bad guys can actually be good guys. The one day where scary is awesome, and we promote it instead of shielding our children from it. That one day of the year where we ignore bedtime organization, diets, germ practices, and so on. Have I said how I dread this holiday? I would very much love to just shut the curtains and pretend it isn’t happening. I just don’t feel that is fair or teaches the right message to my kids.
I stood my ground for years against people and what they think is best for my children. I have ignored the people who have told me that my child just needs a firm spanking, just because that is what worked for them in their time. I have put off people that said to me “well they are just going to have to learn how to act like everyone else”. SORRY NO, THEY AREN”T CATTLE. I have gone outside the box more times than I can count. All in the hopes of a cohesive life. No, not cohesive but, an amazing life. A life where they flourish and become people who can know that there isn’t only one way of doing things.
Halloween is often a time filled with excessive stimuli. Often for some children it is just too much. Pratus last year couldn’t handle the costume. At 2.5 years old, he hated being dressed in much of anything, much less as a dragon. I thought it was cute until I saw his face and how much this cuteness upset him. He literally had a meltdown over this thing being on him. After a bit of unsuccessful cohersing and trying to convey my pleasure in seeing him as a dragon, I realized he was not going to budge and quickly stripped him of the cuteness. I was really disappointed, but what was worse was how horrible his behavior was after that. He was upset with me. He kept trying to get across how that made him feel, but at 2.5 it all comes out like a demon possession. In both our eyes that Halloween was not one for the happy scrapbooks.
When I first encountered behavior from my children that seemed not like the norm, I jumped to the internet, friends, family, doctors. Really anyone who I thought could tell me what this was and how to handle it. Doctors said medication helps. My friends were clueless as most had “normal” kids. My family was just as frustrated as I was and really wished I would just keep my kids at home. Then there was the internet and its fountain of information. The internet led me from one unknown to a vast wasteland of people who like me were clueless but, looking for answers. A few sites had some good ideas, but, nothing more than hypotheses, or studies that may be on the verge of something just not there yet, or just outright bullarky! I remember wading through the mass amounts of crud and finding a few tidbits of actual useful information. It seemed that artificial colors, flavors and preservatives were for a lot of children’s catalysts to unwanted behavior.
Halloween, a time for colorful treats and CANDY, CANDY, CANDY, CANDY.
I hit rock bottom with my kids when they were very little. I figured it was me, I was not a good parent because I couldn’t make them be like other kids. I started to change their diets as a pitiful attempt to alter their unruly behavior. I had little faith that it would do anything but, I was desperate. I had no support for this back some 14 years ago. At that time it was medication or just understanding that you had a child with disabilities. It really seemed there was that fine line between a child who thought and acted differently and a child in a wheel chair with a debilitating physical/mental handicap. For years and I do mean years the diet I put them on was met with some of the most horrendous and judgmental views. I thank god that now it is trendy to feed your children “Organic” or “all natural”. Back then it was truly a fight with everyone. How could I not allow my children to have treats like a “normal” child. There was that word again (as Forest Gump would say “normal is as normal does”). I wanted to just scream at people, “fine I accept I don’t have a normal child and yes, it is my fault”or “I’m sorry, by all mean give my child the cupcake as they are so deprived and it is just cruel”.
Halloween, makes me cringe, but, this year I have seen some hope. With so many more children out there with allergies or people deciding to eat differently, trick or treating can be hard. This year they have this new thing where a house that has non-candy treats puts up a teal pumpkin (read more about it here). I think that is great, a little hard to see in the dark but, great.
Now I am in a whole new world, yet back to the same old adage “your child is not NORMAL”. Pratus thinks differently and acts accordingly. To most a child that skins his knee and then cries is acting normally in a normal situation. When my son skins his knee and has a fit over it people see it as acting abnormally to a normal situation. However, for Pratus he is acting normally to an abnormal situation. He becomes angry and aggressive. At 3 he is mad at the ground for hurting him and mad at himself for being hurt. He struggle to come to me to be comforted. For him a bandaid is just another thing that just doesn’t work. The feel of it is not comforting. So here I am, a mom that just wants to make her child’s boo boo go away. The problem is that I just don’t know how to do it.
Halloween, Oh how I would love to enjoy your simple fun in a grown up way. I would love to stand side by side with another mom watching our children run up to houses, thier little faces flush with excitement, their little costumes cute and picture worthy. I would love to see candy filling our house with sweetness. I would love to take my teens to a haunted house or even attend a party. That will not be the case for this mom. I will be sending off my teens with the child that can handle it, meaning I stay behind for the child that can’t.
So many people lose out when households have to adjust to situations. I know I am not the only person that has had to make adjustments or allotments for someone. There are just are times where it never becomes easier to accept.
Halloween, you are one holiday that will have to wait to be celebrated the way you deserve to be. Until then, oh how you cause me so much frustration. I just can’t focus the blame on the child so, you will have to take the brunt of it. Maybe next year we will have learned how to co-mingle until then….BOO! on you.
Yesterday I cooked a meal that I managed to make an all day event out of. Now really I’m sure Rachel Ray could have made this meal in under 30 min and even Jamie Oliver could have done it in 15 min but me, no, I get out the crockpot acting like it was such a big to do. The joke was on me when my orange chicken was in essence done before 9:30am. I had to of course do this in so many stages to make it look like I was working hard (HA HA HA). I did however get smart and make a naked spring roll (no wrapper/not fried) and tossed a few shrimp in it for lunch and then used the rest for fried rice. I am not much for peas and carrot cubes (this is me wrinkling up my nose at canned peas and carrot cubes) in my rice.
Orange chicken surrounded by steamed broccoli and served up with a fried rice was exactly what I had been wanting. On sunday I was passing through Bowling Green (BG) Kentucky when I saw my favorite little Thai restaurant (yes it is in a strip mall and yes it is for the most part a hole in the wall place. I really do find it comforting and a weeeeeeee bit elegant at times). Saim Thai had me drooling for asian food. I decided that Thai would wait until after Chinese. I have been craving food from my all time favorite restaurant that I grew up going to in the downriver area of Michigan. Golden China has been closed for quite a while, but I still recall its wonderful food just as clearly as I do my mom’s home cooking. On a recent trip to Michigan I visited New Peking Restaurant in Garden city, they came very close with their family style dishes, however it lacked a bit in the feel good memories department. I would of course go back again if ever I was in town because YUM.
Right, right so what about this dinner, I fussed over well simply put, it was lean, gluten-free, high in vitamins, protein and fiber. What truthfully, it comes down to is that it was just Yummy and kept me far away from take out. I adore take out! It feels like being pampered by someone whose only desire is to make you say YUM. Chefs are one of the most under appreciated, but desired paths a person can take on. I should know I have children, most of them could care less if I cooked a gourmet meal, but are jumping and hollering if I toss a frozen pizza in the oven (thanks a lot digiorno). The average chef is hidden behind walls never fully getting to see people enjoy the work they do. I am a firm believer that chefs should get tips in the form of paper happy faces and post-its with the word yummy on them. These people cook for me when I just don’t want to and bring alive foods I didn’t even think about creating.
Do you get that I love to experience food. Not just to fill my belly, but to awaken my senses, to bring back memories, to make me feel better when life gets me down and to celebrate all life’s moments. To me, food is just one way to experience what life really has to offer. I have family that is creating some amazing food both in the dirt and in their kitchens. I am so inspired by them to eat what I really want instead of just everything that looks junky (aka, good), there are times when we want this
when we know we should be eating thisWe just have to find that compromise otherwise we leave little to offer the world, regardless of what it has to offer us.
After dinner I of course took a nice relaxing hour-long walk (burning some 250+ calories) in some of the windiest weather I have had the experience of being in this year. A nasty storm that was stretching from like Illinois down past Houma, Louisiana was moving in and here I was totally enjoying the wind whipping through my clothing keeping me cool. After walking I sat on a bench soaking in the fall weather and snuggling with my daughter who was being mortified at the realization that we listened to some of the same music (Oh how I so remember feeling like that when I was 16, and think I purposefully changed what I was listening to right then and there never to look back, NO OFFENCE MOM). It really was a perfect day to just eat, relax, and finish off the day with a hot bubble bath ( Ha, that was also interruped as Pratus wanted to have the dinosaurs eat all the bubbles, still wondering how he managed to unlock the door, hmmmm) and a good book (Okay so it was how to talk so your children will listen and how to listen so your children will talk by Adele Fraber but it was still a good book, that counts doesn’t it?).