I’m on the verge of giving up. The only thing stopping me from waving bye-bye to our gluten-free experiment is my husband’s absence–he’s on a business trip until Saturday night, and we are all in this together. So until he returns, I’ll grin and bare it.
His trip cushions him from toddler tantrum fallout; I’m a one-woman tantrum-wrangler, while nursing and entertaining my infant on the side. I haven’t been able to even shower since he left, but I did pick up a nice ylang-ylang candle today, so at least it will smell pretty around here until he gets back…
OK, the lowdown: Little Joseph’s school has, after all, not been as supportive as I’d thought. They like to bake muffins, etc., and little Joseph enjoys the yummy results. And so he should, I imagine. Even as an adult with self-control, self-awareness, and well, concern that I should gain too much “self”, if I were hanging about with a bunch of friends baking muffins, I know perfectly well I’d want to help myself to them, warm right out of the oven, and would be greatly disappointed if I were excluded.
Regardless, I have been faithfully serving only gluten-free foods to Joseph at home and I have to admit, the tantrums come and go as mysteriously as ever, even after several days in a row of being only with us, without the interruption of nursery-school food. To be honest, it’s tricky to figure out what to serve him. We all consider the soy-based angel hair pasta a big hit–high in protein, low in calories, and low-glycemic, it also meets the grown-ups’ nutrition requirements. While my first attempts at making gluten-free bread were quite spectacular, for some reason I have not hit a homerun since. We’ve, unfortunately, had to throw out more bread than I care to admit, because it either did not cook evenly (mush on the inside, cement on the outside), was hard as rocks or completely unpalatable. I’ve considered just getting a bread maker, but, even though I’ve been using packaged mixes, I like the centuries-old tradition of bread making. For whatever reason, I’ve always held a certain respect for breadmakers–it’s truly an art craft, and I feel like buying an electric bread-maker would be like the skilled quilter resigning herself to machine stitches. (Not that I can quilt, either.)
Here is where we stand: I love my son and I would go to the ends of the earth for him. When I picked him up from school the other day, he spontaneously decided to give each classmate a hug before leaving. He was waving and shouting, “bye-bye! adios! sayonara!” walking out of the school and was full of giggles. He ate a good dinner and we played games and watched some Diego. By bathtime, however, he was screaming “mine, mine mine!” in the tub (what he was referring to is anyone’s guess) and throwing bath toys and washcloths all over the bathroom. When I got him out, he spent the next hour screaming, kicking and carrying on like a wild monkey, and then, sigh, finally settled into his bed and snuggled me and gave kisses and hugs for another hour and was once again my sweet angel. What on earth?! Is he secretly a pre-menstrual teen-aged girl? Perhaps I should invite the cast of puppets from Baby Einstein over to stage a toddler version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
By contrast, my little infant Noah just giggles and smiles. Then laughs, then chatters. He goes to sleep when I put him in the crib, and he waits patiently while I stir organic apple sauce into his brown rice cereal with nary a complaint. He keeps me sane. He keeps little Joseph sane–he loves to love up his baby brother with kisses, and even when he’s in the middle of a breakdown will pause to hand Noah a toy.
So, my gameplan is a.) find a new approach/reaction to little J’s unbridled screaming fits, and b.) try making a bigger deal out of his good behavior than I do out of his undesirable behavior.
And, maybe this weekend I’ll make whole grain pancakes.