In Wales this weekend – don’t miss me too much :)
Excuse typos, blogging from my phone.
It’s now over a week since I went dairy free to see if it would improve Oliver’s mood / sleep / digestion. Since then:
# Oliver is sleeping better.
# We’ve not had any night-long screaming.
# We’re seeing an overall improvement in mood in general with things that would be usual triggers for grumpiness not having the same effect.
Of course I can’t definitely point to the exclusion of dairy definitely, we’ll have to do a reinclusion once the 6 weeks are up to see what happens.
I have to admit that it’s harder than I thought it would be. I don’t eat much cheese or drink milk so I thought that it’d be a breeze. Little did I know that EVERYTHING contains milk. Stock cubes, supposed non-dairy spreads, even a bottle of wine sat in my fridge door since January which I kept forgetting to chuck!
Still, I’m still here, and massive sugar cravings aside (from the lack of chocolate biscuits) I’m actually better for it having lost weight (if my belt is to be believed). And I have a few recipes up my sleeve and that’s good, right?
This is how Oliver spends his days… standing or trying to walk. Oh dear.
I read a post on Frugal Queen‘s blog last month where she answered reader’s questions. One question asked how she kept everyone in the family happy when there were lots of mouths to feed. FQ’s response was typical “it’s not happened to me so it must not be real” ignorant nonsense:
If you have fussy kids, who are faddy eaters,then shame on you the parent as you’ve brought them up to be like that, and you’ve pandered to them.
I tried to respond to the post saying it was bullshit and either blogspot ate it or it was moderated; either way it didn’t go through.
Oh, I’d have probably said the same thing before I had Isabel. Or indeed for the first couple of years when she ate everything that was put in front of her. Gradually, though, the food fussing has snuck in. Not liking mushrooms, courgettes, aubergine. Only eating mash if it’s got gravy on it. Liking broccoli but not purple sprouting broccoli. Liking green apples but not red ones, but only on certain days of the week. Eating cabbage at nursery but not at home. This is just a snapshot, the list is fairly intensive – I’m sure you get the point.
According to FQ this is my fault. I’m not serving enough “cottage pie, stew and dumplings, fishy pie, pasties, quiche, curry, soup, home made bread and cakes”. Obviously she’s not seen my meal plans…
This is a kid who, when presented with her lunch and homemade chocolate cake pudding, chose the lunch over the pudding (because she had peas! We love peas!) Who, at the beginning of the month when we met up at my mum’s to celebrate my brother’s birthday, ate 5 large serving spoonfuls of peas and carrots and then asked for ice cream instead of cake for pudding so that she could mix her remaining peas in. She’s not fussy because I’ve fed her junk food (this is a kid who’s only had Haribo once in her life), she just has a long list of foods she doesn’t like.
It reinforces something I’ve discovered about parenting: you can sit on your high horse smug that you’re doing the right thing but until you’ve directly experienced something chances are you’re one step away from being knocked off & made to look a fool. Which brings me nicely to me next point: I’m just as big an ignorant fool.
I’ve always assumed that food intolerances are very much a middle class thing. Up there with fussiness, intolerances don’t happen to kids who have little choice over what they eat. Which is probably why, blinded by my own ignorance, I’ve attributed over 9 months of grumpy, windy, sicky, fussy Oliver to everything other than an intolerance. He has a cold, he’s teething, another cold, over-tired, over-stimulated, not napped well enough, more teeth (he does have 8 of the bloody things!) etc.
Except it turns out, that when I keep a close eye on what I’m eating I see a pattern emerging. The day I had pudding made with a lot of evaporated milk? Up all night screaming. The day after when I had leftover evaporated milk in my coffee all day? Up all night screaming. The next day when I was too busy to make a coffee and had no dairy? Slept fine. Last night, when we had pizza thick with cheese? Hours of screaming.
I don’t eat or drink a lot of dairy which is probably why day-to-day little symptoms go unnoticed, and it’s only when I eat more that it’s obvious something is amiss. So while I sit here waiting for the health visitor to ring so I can talk to her about cow’s milk protein intolerance, thinking over the prospect of an immediate future with no ice cream, I can’t help but think there’s a lesson to be learned. Something about being a know-it-all?
Not me, of course. I really do know everything. ;)
Oliver is 10 months old on Wednesday next week. 10 months since I ‘blackmailed’ the midwives into letting me birth at the local MLU. Still chuckle at that.
We appear to be in 9 month sleep regression mode. He’s gone from easily settling down of an evening to taking 20+ minutes just to stop fidgeting. When he stirs overnight for a feed, instead of rooting around half asleep, his eyes are now wide open & he tries to sit up; it takes longer to get him to settle back down even with boob.
I put him in the cotbed last night, which is attached to the side of the bed at the same level so is effectively an extension of the existing sleep surface (not that you need an extension on a super king size bed, but whatever). The thought was that he might not get woken up by my fidgeting quite so much (happens regularly). This was a good theory, but would only work in practice if I’d not just dragged him over to me when he woke for boob the first time.
Naps are all over the place too. I’ve actually taken to giving him time to settle in bed with me and if that doesn’t work sticking him in our knackered old emergency buggy with a black towel pegged around it to block the light, and brumming him back and forth across the bedroom floor. It’s probably not what these things are intended for but it’s got to get some use I suppose.
Still, I can forgive his sleep-avoidance, because now we’re getting to the stage of parenting that I actually like.
I know that sounds dreadful. It’s not like I actively dislike small babies… they’re yummy and smell nice and generally are cute and mostly quiet and stay where you put them. But they’re BORING. Because they’re cute and mostly quiet and stay where you put them!
Now we get mischief and grins and participation in conversation: actively listening for a punchline and then chuckling even though he hasn’t really got a clue what you’re on about. Anticipation of familiar parts of our daily ‘routine’. Active enjoyment of new foods and already, clear preferences too; he likes banana – to the point where, if I get one out of the fruit bowl, he starts waving his arms around and huffing and puffing BUT he doesn’t like foods that make his hands slimy or overly sticky. E.g. give him mash potatoes and he starts flicking his hands about to shake it off. That’ll be solved once he’s figured out cutlery, and in the mean time we take cover.
There’s been some interesting developments (the details of which I’m saving for another post) in the jemjabella household over the past couple of weeks which means that coming soon I should have more time to dedicate to my cheeky boy AND time to get work done without worrying about the two interrupting each other. In the mean time, here’s a picture to tide you over: