April 3, 2012

This Food Test is Going to Do Us In!

It's day 6 of the food sensitivity test we're running and today it felt like we all fell apart.  And by we I mean them.  Those 3 short people who have recently been replaced by some criminal masterminds who look very much like my well behaved, if not somewhat moody little loved ones.  It's been disastrous, but I think we're still learning. 

Today was our reintroduction to eggs.  We are serious egg people.  I knew eggs were not the culprit because they simply couldn't be.  We own 12 chickens and we are just egg people.  Egg people can't be egg sensitive.  Right?  And when we took a vote on what to bring back fist, eggs were the clear front runner.  Hannah Jane voted for sugars and dyes, but her vote didn't count because we've found that she's been sneaking food this whole time (sugars and dyes) and since she stopped being a team player, she didn't get a vote in the team game.  She was outvoted anyway, by the egg boys.  So eggs it was. 

And before I get to the horror that ensued, let me just say that Hunter has continued being a clearer, friendlier, more engaging version of himself and Haven has continued the constant meltdowns and self destruction.  They've both been completely the inverse of their usual selves and it's been really weird. 

Now today - egg day - was nuts!  The nuttiest of all days.  Ever.  Period.  Haven decided to take an intermission from emptying the silverware drawer to actually saw on our silverware drawer with the sharpest knife we own.  Literally he took the knife and sawed big gashes into the top of the drawer.  Yes, I know we are about to have the kitchen remodeled and everything ripped out, but the point is that this was absurdly destructive behavior.  Totally out of character for him.  He has colored on the walls, but never anything quite like this.  And the coloring on the walls was a brief thing years ago.  So he lost privileges for the day.  I made him sit on the bottom step until I pulled myself together and then he copied "I will not be destructive" 10 times.  Then on the back of that sheet he copied, "I will lose privileges when I destroy things" 10 times.  He did all of this writing unusually fast and tidy with no misspellings.  He is only 4, and a little reluctant to work on handwriting, so I was shocked at his work.  I truly expected that to be an all day consequence, but he was done in maybe 30 minutes.  So I sent him back to the bottom step to kill some more no-privilege time.  But that seemed like a waste of his life so I asked if he wanted to get ahead on some school work just to have something to do.  "No.  I like just looking around at everything I can see from here.  I'm good.  Thanks."  Okay, then.

Hannah Jane was on day 2 of complete and total melt down, which I can't attribute to the food because she's been sneaking junk food all along.  But it could be due to the stress of changing her habits.  She is a creature of habit.  She took 5 hours - no kidding - 5 hours to do a 15 minute Latin lesson yesterday.  She says it's her favorite part of the day, but yesterday she just sat there, staring at it and crying that she's not a fast reader.  I told her to take all the time she needed and she took 5 hours, at the end of which she could not tell me one thing she had read.  Total brain fog.  So she missed going out with Joe and the boys to a park because she had an entire day's worth of stuff that didn't get done because she chose to sit and look at Latin for 5 hours.  I didn't want to say, "Oh, no big deal.  You can just do it tomorrow."  That's not a road we want to start down. 

This morning she got out of bed and went straight to school work all on her own, still feeling like she had lost ground to recover.  But she started at it again, this time with science.  It's just so not her style to drag out the work.  She's a full type A over achiever and for 2 days she's cried over every little thing and sat and stared blankly at everything put in front of her.  By about 10, she pulled it together.  She missed her weekly TV show because her work wasn't done, but instead of complaining, she plowed through, got it done, and enjoyed a family movie with us tonight.  We read War Horse as a family last month and today it came out for rent so we HAD to get it!  And she pulled it together just in time to participate.  Who knows.  Maybe she found a stash of Halloween candy to sneak to get her over the hump.  Whatever it was, I was glad she was back to her normal self. 

And then there is Hunter.  The star of the show.  The reason we're all trying this.  Hunter has been pure bliss for about 3 days now.  Pure bliss.  His longest run ever with no whining, overreacting, or inability to focus.  It's been kind of shocking.  I finally started thinking, okay.  Maybe there's something to this food and behavior connection.  He's himself, only present and steady.   The only time he's been the least bit off is when he's quietly shed a tear over missing eggs so much.  I'm telling you, this boy loves his eggs.  It's what he eats every single morning for breakfast and nothing else does it for him.  And I've felt so good starting him off with a belly full of protein every morning.  So I was excited that it was egg day.  I got up before him to scramble a ton of eggs so I could wake him with the great surprise.  He was so excited!  he made his bed super fast, fed his fish, and appeared at the bar ready to eat in the blink of an eye.  He was happy- giddy even- and I was happy to see him so chipper. 

As per the rules of the diet, he got to over indulge in the new food.  He had scrambled eggs for breakfast, eggs on a corn tortilla for lunch, and hard boiled eggs for dinner.  By lunch he was irritable and stopped paying attention to his school work.  By 2 he was back talking a little and tattling a lot.  When Joe got home, I asked to have a minute alone to talk with dad (I wanted to explain the incident with Haven and the knife so Joe could be up to date on why Haven was on his bed for the night) and Hunter freaked out.  He slid into the floor as if his bones had dissolved and could no longer hold his body up.  He whined and cried and Joe knelt down and said, "Of course, buddy.  I need my Roo-Roo snuggled before we have our talk, huh?"  Hunter smiled and snuggled, but when Joe asked him to leave so mommy and daddy could talk, he freaked again. 

Finally we made it through dinner and then we all went down to watch War Horse (except for Haven, of course) and Hunter started whining about being hungry so loud that we couldn't hear the movie.  Constant whining.  He ate 2 bowls of popcorn and then just nagged and whined and wailed about needing more eggs.  Joe stopped the movie since we couldn't hear it anyway, asked if we needed to turn it off, and then we were back in business.  When we went upstairs for last snack, Hunter freaked out over the fact that he was offered chicken to eat before brushing his teeth.  He screamed and whined and started throwing his arms around like a mad man.  Joe was trying to talk him down in that calm way that Joe does.  "Now listen, man.  Do yourself a favor and calm down.  You know that if you act like this, your mom is going to assume that it's because of the eggs and you'll never get eggs anymore!  You don't want that.  Now pull it together.  You can do it."  But Hunter continued for so long that finally Joe gave up and sent him on to bed.  As he marched in that general direction, he agreed to eat some chicken. 

The best way to describe the difference in Hunter is that when he freaks out, he genuinely seems to be out of control in the truest sense of the word.  He seems to be incapable of doing anything other than feeling drastically offended and expressing that.  But for a few days now I've seen him look at offenses and analyze them aloud, make choices about how to respond and actually make good choices.  It's like he's been given his free will back.  And tonight he lost it again. 

He did stay up later than usual  by about a half hour to watch the movie, and perhaps that didn't do us any favors, but he certainly seemed different as early as noon.  So now we'll go back off of eggs for a few days and have another egg day to see what happens.  I told them that Easter Sunday could be sugar and dye day so that they don't miss out on an occasion just because of this little experiment that we're running.  So maybe we'll have to put off egg day until we've had sugar and dye day and let that run its course.  I suppose we're not exactly following the book here by mixing it up.  But come on.  It's a holiday and I can't go messing with that.  I'd be the Baha'i that killed Easter.  I'm not ready to take on that title just yet!  LOL! And we'll still get to see how we do with eggs on a round 2.  Just a little later than normal.

I thought that it was no wheat that I feared most, but now I'm thinking that I didn't give eggs enough consideration.  What in the world would we do if it's their favorite food that is making Hunter cranky?  And what of the chickens?  Chicken soup, perhaps?  Just kidding.  But seriously,  this would not be good.  So here's hoping today was a fluke.  I seem to be wishing for fluke days a lot lately, don't I?

Oh, sweet heaven above!  Let us figure this all out and let us not completely collapse as a family while we do it.  No more Mr. Destructo from Haven, no more staring blankly or sneaking junk from Hannah Jane, and please, please let Hunter keep his eggs AND his sanity.  I'm suddenly a woman of many wishes.  Okay...I'll keep ya posted!


  1. Yes, bizarre. Waiting with bated breath for the next installment! Hang in there!

  2. Wow crazy!!! I feel like your blog has suddenly become a reality show I'm addicted to and I can't wait to find out how it turns out lol! GOOD LUCK! (Sounds really, really hard! Hope you are getting good rest to stay sane during all of this!)

  3. Hahaha! Who knew food drama could be so addictive! The first few days were crazy hard, but today has been great! So...maybe we've leveled off and are now only going to have bad days on the days when we discover bad foods. If so, that's not really a bad day, since we're learning. Thanks for the words of encouragement! I feel like we're in the home stretch!


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