Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Who knew a cooking class could be so emotional?

My baby boy at three years old is the light of my life and the bane of my existence. I love him so much and I get so frustrated because I just don't understand what makes him tick. I feel like I am in a constant state of limbo where he is concerned. I ask myself everyday, how hard I want to push to get answers. Do I really need a label for my son? Is it necessary? Would being able to say, "he's _____ you jackass, don't judge him or me," be worth being able to fill in the blank? Would it help him? How do you know? How do I know?

There are times that I am overcome by emotion because he starts singing made up lullabies to 'his girls' as he calls them in the car. Then there are times that I am overcome with fury because he throws sand in the baby's face, repetitively, without remorse, unable or unwilling to be deterred. Sometimes he holds me, he pulls my head down on his chest and he holds me tightly, but, tenderly too, and I can feel the love in his touch. Then, there are the times that he hits me, seemingly too stubborn to stop.

I think that after 6 children and 2 step children, I have a pretty good idea of what is, and is not, normal. I know that my son isn't normal. I feel it in my heart that bursts with affection for him and in my body that aches with the struggle of trying keep up with him. I know that my son is special.

Tonight I took a cooking class (at Whole Foods again of course) that was presented by a lovely woman with a product that caters to the GFCFSF crowd. Miriam Diamond, who owns Nana's Cookies, was the guest tonight. She is in her own right a mover and a shaker in California where she lives. She is both a friend and a vendor of Jenny McCarthy, who uses her products both personally and at her new school. She is a warm and fabulous person whom I was very glad to meet.

It wasn't actually Miriam Diamond that really struck a chord with me tonight, it was one of the other mothers in the class. She has a son, the same age as mine. He is GFCF, like mine. *yes, the dairy went too* He does the same things my son does. The very same things. He has the same behavioral issues. The very same. Like my son, he was an early talker and is very verbal. Like my son, he has problems with excess yeast. Like my son, he is very well loved. Like my son he isn't autistic. Like my son, maybe he is.

This other mother and I compared medical notes, cooking woes, potty issues, supplements, medications, labs, hopes, dreams, fears, and more. I have never felt so understood. I have also never felt the need to be understood this fervently. It is a strange new world that I am venturing out in with my son and his dietary restrictions. One I'm not sure either my son or myself is really ready for. I am not a brave person, but suddenly I find that I need to be. When I started Hercules on this diet the first time, I tried to go cold turkey and it was a miserable failure. I persevered at the gentle (yet firm) encouragement of our ped to try again. A slow approach has made it possible to get my son both to eat and to eat right. Now I am faced with the awful reality that it has helped. The diet has helped tremendously. With each adjustment we have made, first dyes and HFCS, then gluten, now son has gotten better and better. There are more lullabies than sand these days. Who would have guessed that it could be so frightening to me, for him to get better? I certainly didn't.


  1. There is no rhyme or reason when children are involved. And what little melody you had in life is changed with children are "special." Hang in there. You're both struggling with this, you and your son. You'll find a way.

  2. Wow, I could have written parts of this post myself! How did you figure out he had a problem with yeast? And how do you do the special diet? I just don't see it happening here. And how did you bring it up with your ped? My son is more subdued when we go to the Dr. so trying to tell his ped (who we love) about it, it's like I'm making an issue out of normal behavior.

    And on another quite strange note. I thought it was interesting the info you mentioned about Jenny McCarthy. There is a product she also uses called ThreeLac. My husband use to work for the owner of the company. I have considered trying it with my son.

  3. That was a really good post. I choked up a little thinking about you and your babies. Sounds very difficult, but YOU seem like you have it together.

  4. Can't believe you say you are not brave. It's apparent to me that you are brave enough to raise six children with considerable compassion, humility, pluck, determination, and honesty. That is so hard and we never feel like we are doing it well, but good god in heaven, it's the hardest thing you've ever done, right? And you still get up each day and take damn good care of those kids, right? While it may seem foreign to you (because you ARE brave) there are people, mothers, who take the easy way out -- they let their kids eat whatever they want, watch whatever they want, have whatever they want, and behave however they want -- because teaching is so much harder. I'm not saying you, or any of us, are perfect, but it's so clear from your blog that you are a strong mom.

    I am ranting. Sorry, but, I know you've been through hell lately, had too much crap to deal with, and you need to know that bravery comes in many shapes and sizes, and you wear yours well.