Monday, January 10, 2011

Am I the meanest Mom EVER?

I have been accused of many not-nice things lately.  I have been called mean.  I have been accused of creating a family that is “not like ANYONE else’s”.  I have been yelled at.  But the best was being accused of trying to harm my daughter.  Who have these accusations come from?  No other than my very own daughter!  I have to smile through the drama because I know I will look back on it and laugh....someday.
Why the drama?  Gee -- I am just trying to make some more changes.  This is a “family under construction” isn’t it???  
Last week was week 1 of improving the family (especially Lilah’s) diet - hence the outbursts from said child.  Gone are the bagels with cream cheese (oh how I miss you).  Gone are the days where I will just present veggies but not insist that she eat them.  Gone are the frequent trips to local restaurants when we are running late to a lessons.  Gone. 
The fallout has been harsh.  The reason for the change in her diet is quite reasonable to me.  Acid reflux in an 8 year old!  This is her body’s way of saying something is not quite right.  I began her on a dose of 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar mixed with a bit of ginger ale or apple juice.  It worked to calm the production of acid in her stomach while I went to work on her diet.  Now with breakfast she gets apple slices.  With lunch, carrot sticks or raw green beans.  With dinner broccoli.  The dreaded broccoli.  This is what she used to accuse me of “killing her”.  The broccoli was “killing” her.  I think I have said before Lilah has a future in the arts.  It might come sooner rather than later.  BUT the result of just one week is that she is no longer on the vinegar.  Her reflux is greatly diminished.  She discovered she loves oatmeal - not Quaker oats, which are also yummy, but pinhead oatmeal that I affectionately call porridge, because of it rich, creamy texture.  She discovered she can tolerate raw green beans.  She tried a red pepper for the first time (and hated it) but she tried it!  She also tried chili (also hated it) and discovered she loves my homemade spaghetti meat sauce (which is just like chili minus the beans.....).  We are making progress.......wait till she gets a load of the cantaloupe in the fridge!
Another change that has been met with equal disdain is the reduction of sugar from our diet.  Last year I eliminated all products with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).  I don’t buy the sugar industry’s claim that sugar is sugar and our bodies can process it just fine.  Trader Joe’s has become our friend for items that they girls really enjoy (like chocolate syrup and caramel sauce).  But now those items are under attack.  Not for the HCFS, but the plain old sugar!  It is too much.  Sugar in yogurt, sugar in cereal, sugar in peanut butter, it has invaded our diet and so it must go.  I bought Stonybrook Farm yogurt to replace the Breyers.  (Lilah hated it).  I now want them drinking plain old white milk.  (this is mildly acceptable).  The carmel with apples is a treat. 
Which leads me to the biggest fight on my hands....cutting out dessert.  I am not sure where my girls got the idea that dessert occurs nightly.  But somehow when I was not looking, it happened.  Ice cream nightly?  Not anymore.  Again.....this was “killing” them.  This was when I was accused of doing things to our family that “no other family does”.  How cruel of me.
Not only was the amount of sugar in the girls diet a concern healthwise, I felt it was causing problems at bedtime.  Generally we head upstairs at 8:30, ish.  Lately it has been 8:45 so the girls can be up when Greg gets home from work.  But by 9:00 they are not ready for bed.  Lilah has been taking at least an hour to wind down and fall asleep.  This is causing some hard mornings.  She will sleep to 8:30.  I wonder how she made it when she was in school.  Sleep has always come hard for her.  Her natural body clock seems to be set a bit later than her sister’s.  Waking her up is a disaster.  Then it is a grouch-fest at our breakfast table.  So I wondered was it the sugar.....or something else..........
My last major change.  Reduction of tv time.  This must officially make me the worst mom - EVER!  I am not taking tv away (although at times I would like to).  I am just shifting the time when we watch it.  I feel that Lilah may be over-stimulated from tv before bed. I want to get to a place where our nighttime is a time of peace.  Of game playing, reading, knitting, and talking, rather than sitting in the same room listening to the laugh track of iCarly repeat over and over and over and over. get it!  I have had enough.  Last night we put the tv reduction plan into action.  It was off at 7:00 pm.  The fire was blazing, the blankets were spread out and we were all reading.  It was wonderful.  Then at 7:30 Greg and the girls decided to play Would You Rather, a card game they got for Christmas.  Out came the Wii microphone and this game was turned into a mock-game show!  They took out their flip camera and recorded the antics of Greg a.k.a Bob Barker and themselves as contestants on the Would You Rather show.  It was creative, funny and heartwarming.  I sat on the couch under my comforter and my dog Daphne and assisted as head videographer.  An hour went by.  An hour of quality family time.  We would not have had that experience if the tv was on.  Before bed, Grace came to Greg and I and thanked us.  She told us how much fun she had and what a great night it was. was.  God willing, it is only the first of many more.
What is the verdict?  Am I the meanest Mom in the world (as accused?)  I wonder how long the revolt will last?  I pledge to stand strong in the face of 8 year old adversity.  This is only the beginning.......


  1. Have you tried roasting the broccoli? I haven't yet tried it, but roasted cauliflower is delicious, and I don't like cauliflower. It's like a completely different food from steamed or boiled.

  2. I have to read this post. But let me tell you...our morning is NOT off to a good start. I almost just called you when I saw the title of this, but as the girls are doing math and I am afraid that if we start talking I will lose them....

    I got a message on our Yahoo group last night that homeschool free swim starts today. A has been saying she NEEDS to be in water...thought she would be thrilled! Not so, apparently.

    Math....has been a whole other issue this morning. we are attempting Aleks today...

    I am ready to run away!!

  3. Dr. Maureen - No I have not. But I will! I have a whole head in the fridge, much to Lilah's dismay!

    Theresa - don't run. Stay strong. Call me later if you need to talk. Things have a funny way of working themselves out~

  4. If you are then I am too. We eliminated HFCS a few years ago and I get the most awful looks when I say no to most everything. The TV, well that is a whole other post. I do not like that big black box in my living room. While we do not have the health concerns that you do, I am dealing with attitude issues that I contribute to what we eat and the tv. I feel your pain.

  5. Marcie, We will walk this path together! Good luck!!

  6. Goodness! We must be sharing a brain!! We eliminated HFCS a couple of years ago, but I am always fighting the sugar battle. TV is another battle! We started the no screen time during the week rule and then we are a bit more relaxed on the weekend, that seems to be working pretty well. Jonah has also said to me a couple of times " you only had kids so we could do all the work!" LOL! Have a great week.

  7. Roasted broccolli is awesome. Toss it in a bowl with Olive oil and sea salt. Roast at 450 until tops are blackish brown, kids may like them just before that stage because it gives it a crunch. We pull some out efore that for them and get the tops done for us. Tip- You can only use fresh broccoli crowns for this. It will NOT work with frozen florets. Just cut the crowns into workable chunks.
    We have been playing games here every night in leiu of TV and been having a blast. Some suggestions are:
    Frog juice, set, bubble talk, quiddler, and pit!
    We have reduced plain sugar a lot, this year as well. The yogurt with the lowest sugar that the kids like is the greek yogurt chabani. It has 19 grams to 17 grams depending on the flavor. Stonybrook is still upwards of 25. I figure every little bit helps. Although it is not organic, but it's the only once a day dairy treat my kids get, so I am not too worried.
    Also can not wait to start making popsicles with my own reduced sugar mixes, ;>)

  8. Dear Jess, I was laughing hard when I read your post. I can relate to you on every single of the points you mentioned. Plus, the daily cleaning up! You and I must sit down and talk about all this over a cup of tea, because writing a response is just not the same. In a nutshell, we have discussed that we have become addicted to sugar and must drastically cut back; and no TV, computer or Angry Birds (thanks, Grace!), before our studies and activities are done. Even then, drastically reduce time spent on these "activities". What is working well for Sabrina, surprisingly, are the green smoothies. Go figure. Hang in there, and in a few weeks they'll be used to it (hopefully)!

  9. I understand! The sound like they are all needed changes. Change is hard. Hang in there!

  10. You are the worst Mom EVER! :) I love the changes you are making. I would love to start eliminating things after we watched "The Beautiful Truth" a couple of days ago. I just feel overwhelmed and do not know where to start!

    The TV I feel very strongly about. Kei is not allowed to watch TV before 5:00pm except on special occasions. What blows my mind is she can watch an episode of Hannah, iCarly, Suite Life, that I promise she has seen 200 times! There are days I would love to have nothing but Netflix and DVD's. But then I would miss my shows! {hehe}

    We are horrible at going to bed at a certain time, we don't stay up late but there is no specific bedtime. That would be a good thing.

  11. Worst mom ever! I can't believe you want your kids to eat healthy! It's a disgrace!

    I am right there with you on the veggie battle. My kids don't like all the "normal" ones such as green beans, corn, or peas. But for whatever strange reason, they will eat brussels sprouts and roasted sweet potatoes, which naturally involve more that just microwaving some steamer bags.


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