Sunday, July 14, 2013
the boy's been attending pre-school "camp" through the summer, which means going every other week for five days, versus the twice a week we had him enrolled with for school.
some time, during the first week, he had misbehaved so badly that, per our instructions, his teachers called us to take him home early. he did not return that week. nor did he make the next session two weeks later.
kris and i focused mightily on a few words of advice an expert told us in terms of ignoring his tantrums, but mostly we watched his diet.
having cut out the gluten, we zeroed in on food dyes -- and i know i sound like the kind of hippie earth people/overprotective parents i have been mocking for years -- and cut them out as best we could.
at some point, maybe even the day after we had to take the boy home from camp, we realized that a butter substitute we've been using employs a "natural food coloring" called annato that apparently wreaks even more havok with a child's behavior than any chemical dye could.
and the boy licks butter off his bread like it was his job.
so we cut that stuff out, too.
finally, after further observations, we returned to blood sugar and protein. we just began making sure he had something in his belly soon after he woke up and made sure it -- or something soon after -- was loaded with protein. and we made sure he kept eating every few hours after that.
and it almost goes without saying the naps and good nights of sleep went a long way to help.
a lot of this might be his just growing out of his terrible twos -- and maybe it is -- but kris especially has been busting her ass to control the exterior variables and even controlling her own reactions to the boy's behavior so as not to add fuel to a tantrum.
and i'm going to say watching what the boy watched helped, too. the gentleness of fred rogers in old episodes of his show and his new pbs offspring in daniel tiger's neighborhood has gone a long way in providing lessons to help deal with the volatility that is a toddler's temperament.
all this goes into saying we have had to work very hard and use every tool at our disposal -- including the power of prayer -- to help this bright boy born with the fiery foibles of both his parents become the sweet child he can be.
let's see if we can keep up the good work. and the good weeks.