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. Yeah....you 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. Yes....it 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.......