The other day I asked, in the post “What’s an Uber-Mom to Do?”, what the correct response to the school Halloween party (sorry, “Fall Celebration”) might be given the fact that the menu was not designed well for my particular kid, but he would want to be a part of it anyway. I thought I’d follow up on that today, but it wouldn’t be much of a post. So then I got thinking about all the issues that I’ve raised lately…all the questions and quandaries…all the things that have changed recently, in RRG-land…and I decided it was as good a time as any to get back to some of those and do a little updating.
Issue #1: “What’s an Uber-Mom to Do?” What Uber-Mom (i.e., Me) did was to take a deep breath. Calm the *%&$&#*@! down. If I really DON’T want to give the impression that It’s All About My Kid, then the best thing to do, I figured, was really nothing. I brought the obligatory raw veggie trays for both kids’ classrooms (counting my blessings, the whole time, that the school was making veggies a desirable option for us to bring), and I shut my mouth. Oh, I did bring along one small baggie of orange slices for L. I told his teacher privately that I’d done it, so she would know that there was a backup plan for him. But I was actually able to smile (without forcing) when I told her that he should go ahead and eat the party lunch with his classmates. I hope he has a good time.
Issue #2: Miracle of miracles…P. is (almost) (sort of) (much of the time) eating now! It’s been no secret, since I started this blog three months ago, that P. is a very on-again, off-again kind of eater. His relationship to food is sort of like the relationship you might have with certain songs: passionate love for a day or two, followed by complete rejection or dismissal of that song for any number of reasons, followed by periodic renaissances in which you re-discover it and play it over and over again until you’ve had your fill. Recently, however, I’ve started to see a real payoff for all our efforts at consistency. After eighteen months of sitting him at the table for meals, placing the foods WE want him to eat in front of him, and doing our best to be somewhat nonchalant about his choice to (usually) chuck the whole thing and get down from the high chair to fulfill some adventurous yen involving Duplo blocks and Mommy’s breakables, P. has begun to at least try eating his dinner five nights out of seven. His lunchbox is coming home nearly empty almost every day. And even on nights when he doesn’t eat much, he actually stays in his chair and pretends to find me, J., and L. fascinating company for more than 2 minutes at a stretch. Now if that’s not a beacon of hope for despairing parents of toddlers everywhere, I’m not sure what is.
Issue #3: L.’s weight “problem” (?) (!) (???). After being told that he is on the heavy side, J. and I have had to seriously look at our habits and the way that we handle food with him. Obviously it’s not about just eating; it’s not about letting him binge, or about him even WANTING to binge; and it’s not about feeding him utterly the wrong things, as was implied by the pediatrician. The update on this is that, obviously, he still weighs what he weighs (at least I assume he does; we don’t own a scale, for various reasons, and even if we did I wouldn’t use it to weigh my 4-year-old), but it’s been amazing to me the little things that I’ve noticed when I really had to pay close attention to every detail. For example, although we’ve tried not to be big juice-givers and have generally attempted to limit L. to one glass of 100 percent juice per day (usually a fruit and vegetable blend), I realized that somehow, that one glass was getting stretched to as many as 3 glasses on some days. Not because we were ignoring the standard. But because J. and I don’t always talk about the juice. If I’ve given some to L. at lunchtime, and J. didn’t know about it, he might very well offer another glass to him later…and then one of us might just automatically refill it without stopping to think. I’ve also noticed that the Friday-only snack I was packing in L.’s lunchbox (usually something like popcorn mixed with raisins and a handful of chocolate chips) was starting to bleed over into other days of the week. On top of his regular lunch. And he was eating it all. So I’ve had to rein that all back in, too. We’re not obsessing about it; we’re not thinking about it every single day; I’m not even sure I have the energy to consider it a top priority, most days. But re-evaluating and looking honestly at the small ways we might slip, now and again, has been really helpful in allowing me to have an accurate picture of what’s going on.
Issue #4: The Looming Diagnosis Thing. Still not totally sure what’s going on with L., but we’re getting closer every day, and the short version of the tale is that he’s doing well and we’re adjusting OK. More to come when there’s more to say….
And finally, a little note of thanks to those of you who show up here regularly and continue to read, to comment, and to support this Red, Round, or Green endeavor of mine. It’s been an interesting three months as I’ve started to let blogging become a part of my life. I also just got a Twitter account, after much railing against it, so if you’re on Twitter you can follow me (@redroundorgreen). This weekend I’m inviting people to “Trick or Tweet” with RRG — send me a link to your favorite Halloween-themed blog post or article, and I’ll do a rundown of the best ones next week.
Happy Halloween! See you on Monday for the November Meal Plan…