Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

My Gluten-free Toddler; follow-up November 9, 2007

Filed under: health,Lacko Family Chronicles,marriage,travel — rjlacko @ 8:21 pm
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We committed ourselves to a month-long gluten-free trial diet for our toddler, Joseph. Read about the smashing success of our first few weeks here. We were ever so pleased with his calm and happy demeanor that we almost forgot about the tantrums and spontaneous refusals to cooperate with even the simplest requests. So confident were we that when we traveled to Aunt Jen’s wedding in Kansas at the end of the 30-day trial, we allowed wheat to be part of the grand occasion—and paid the price. Dearly. We once again faced the eye of the notorious tornado: Total Toddler Meltdown.

In my heart, I secretly thought, It’s not the gluten, those healthy grains found in virtually everything from fish crackers to cream of broccoli soup. It’s the blip in routine: an airplane flight, a different bed to sleep in, the convergence of cousins from far and wide. I felt like even though he was eating bread and butter with dinner, it wasn’t a “controlled test” because we were out of our daily routine.

Anyway, here we are, halfway into November and Joseph is once again gluten-free. His nursery school has been incredibly supportive and I have been reading labels dutifully. Where I used to be hyper-vigilant about sugar content, I have added strict gluten surveillance to my list of things to be overly concerned about. Yes, I’m one of those mothers, who can’t accept the innocuous offering of a snack during playdate before suffering the giver with a thorough cross-examination. Please don’t judge; pity, perhaps.

Still, I’m unconvinced. My husband, on the other hand, has had a revelation. He now remembers that when he was Joseph’s age, he was put on medication for exactly the kind of uproarious frenzy our son demonstrates when he’s had gluten. He wished his parents had tried a diet change, like we have. So why am I so unconvinced? First, little J is getting close to three. Shouldn’t we expect him to act, well, childish? Isn’t this part and parcel of the age-group? Also, he still has his moments where he mysteriously refuses (crying, kicking and running away) when we are simply trying to get him to put on shoes. To be  honest, while I want our little guy to be calm, happy, self-assured and at ease, I also want him to experience the full, shall we say, “pageant” of life’s emotions. I would never sculpt his personality through the introduction of pharmaceuticals, certainly, but I do want him to know that it’s OK to feel really strongly about something and it’s my job to help him find more constructive ways to express himself.

I guess what I’m asking is, does my son have an aversion to gluten, or should I just learn to be a better parent?

**looking for more about my gluten-free toddler? See the latest here.


4 Responses to “My Gluten-free Toddler; follow-up”

  1. […] There’s more! To read about how we progressed in the following month, click here.   […]

  2. faithsista Says:

    I thought this article on MSN today was an interesting read, and might be somewhat helpful to you during this transition Little J is going through:

    I agree with you on the medicating of kids. Not sure if Joseph told you about how he would hide the drugs mom gave him, and how I found one once when I was under the kitchen table and decided to try it myself. I think I was under 2 when I did it. The effect it had on me was the opposite effect it was supposed to have on Joey. It sped me up even faster than I usually was – which is pretty fast, as you well know! – and scared the heck outta mom! (Aunt Rita, or someone, had dropped me the night before, and I’d hit my head. Mom thought I had something wrong with my brain!)

    Anyway, this is why I give so much credit to all you mommas out there, really. I’d never be able to do it!

  3. wendy Says:

    our son is 19 mo, dad has recently been diagnosed celiac.
    last year rite before his 1 bday up until august he didn’t gain anyweight and was over the top irritable. my naturalpath suggested taking him off gluten which i did and also so dramatic results.
    i have him back on gluten so he can be tested(if you take it out they won’t get an accurate result)
    where did you find reciepes while doing your toddlers g.f. diet?
    i find it hard to find a good resource with kid appeal menus- its a VERY hard diet to follow and because of the amount of work involved i too am hoping his tests are negative!
    either way if that’s what it takes to have a healthier child then i will be a g.f. cookin’ mama.

  4. Says:

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