Mixed Feelings

I took my little boy to a playgroup for special kids this morning for the first time. We had a good time: the women organizing it are fantastic, and there was one really lovely mum that I like (a lot were away today sick, though). It's interesting to hear the experiences of other people who have had hurdles to pass in their role as parents.

But I have mixed feelings. The mixed feelings are about many things, but here's one simple one that's easy to express. We've not been eating gluten and casein for several (about four) months now. Anyone who's tried this knows that there's gluten and casein in everything that comes in a packet. Everything. It's taken determination, and for a lot of people it just would not be worth it for the results. We have not had the miraculous results that some people report. It has not solved all of our problems and worries. But my DH and I decided quite a while ago that when we start something, we'll give it a good go, and this diet change has made some difference, it's just not the whole of the picture for us. We also see it as temporary: we don't think we'll have to do this forever, but for now we want to.

And today, the whole gathering was, of course, about food. We had some grocery samples handed around (everything edible was in a wheat base: pasta, crackers, mini fruit pies) - which was totally fine: I'm a big girl, and I actually don't want the stuff anymore - I feel too much better without it. But the fact that I don't want it makes no difference to the other mums, they made comments about feeling bad saying how nice the food was (because I was not eating with them), etc. After they didn't seem to get the point that I'm fine with it, I just tried to be out of the room as food was passed around - I went to fill DS's drink; went outside to the playground with him, etc.

But that wasn't the worst part. DS, who's not quite three, had plenty of snacks that I brought along for him: sultanas, rice crackers, and some almonds that I put straight in his mouth (not going to risk some kid with a nut allergy getting hold of it...). But despite that, towards the end, he discovered discarded chips on the floor (ewwww, yes, he does that still). When I got rid of those, he then found the table with food on it (because of course, today, the other big event was a Christmas in July party, with gingerbread men, crackers, even the potato crisps had dairy in them). And while I tried to push it all to the back of the table so he couldn't reach it, he was determined, and the crying soon started. I felt completely horrible and mean, but tried to distract him with a few more almonds, and headed off soon after.

But the biggest thing for me, is the comments from the other mums 'yeah, we tried that, it made no difference'. Probably true. That's fine, if it doesn't work for them, don't do it. I just hate the thought of what they're probably thinking about me for enforcing it with my son. It's a good thing this is a once off. Mostly, you just bring your kid a snack, and that's it. Even if I bring a plate of 'safe' foods along, Simon will want the crackers and chips. Just how it is when you're three.

There is another thing, I don't know if we belong there. It's not that we don't have concerns with DS; we do. It's just that we're in a state of change. DS is no longer regressing or even static. He has ups and downs, and on the down, whiny days it feels like nothing has changed. But it actually has. Massive changes, in fact. Going today and seeing the other children has reminded me of that. Perhaps it was worth going just for that.
EternallyHopeful EternallyHopeful
31-35, F
4 Responses Jul 29, 2010

Isshe - thank you. It doesnt feel too hard for me until there are other people involved, then it gets all tricky. But hey, you're so right - it is the best thing for him, I'm 100% sure of that. I will stick at it, until we no longer need to. I guess Miss 17 doesnt need no dairy anymore? Kids often grow out of these issues from what I hear (or hope LOL).

Hmmm...We went through all of this with Miss 17 year old EH, when she was young....just dairy though. It is tough...especially as the kid gets older and more aware for what food is out there. <br />
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For you, it's no longer a trial...it has been shown to work...so tell them that...that should shut them up. I praise you for doing what you have done...it's not easy, and if anything, it's great parenting because you are doing what you know is best for your child, despite there being a much easier alternative, i.e. just letting them eat what is tastiest, easiest, cheapest and quickest.<br />
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So stick with it EH...you are doing good.<br />
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And yep...it's definitely worth attending the playgroup...I'm glad you have found another parent who you have been able to connect with...it can make the difference to your week.<br />
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xx Isshe

Yes, that is true. I'm not sorry I went, I'll probably keep going for a while. There's at least one person there that I'd like to stay in touch with too.<br />
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I know!! All about the food - dont worry, I've been there too. Should have seen me growing up. I really want to sort the issues out, because I cant imagine expecting a kid not to eat cake or yummy stuff at a party - that's just so wrong...

If nothing else it does sound like they are a good reference point EH. :)<br />
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For some mums it's all about the food, and recreating the joy they felt when they ate stuff as kids. Every day's a party. Difficult to get past that!! Imagine the crazy gluten-filled birthday parties you'll be invited too...