C is for “crazy”

by mollykl

…which is what I think many of my fellow parent friends think I am. I have no problem with son J not wanting to play a sport, or spending time by himself, or liking the color pink. When he wants to play a sport he will. He has friends, he just likes to have time to himself. And yeah he likes the color pink even though he’s teased about it at school.

Just just…J. And he’s very unusual, to say the least.

His behavior at the start of the school year was not good, and that is putting it mildly. He would promise to behave and things would just go all to hell. We could not figure it out and it was driving us crazy. If you watch him you see what “internet psychiatrists” would call classic signs of ADHD. No focus, acting up and a complete disregard of the rules.

After being driven to tears on one too many occasions husband J and I started looking at what we needed to do and how we were making the situation worse. The first thing we realized is that while we really thought we were being consistent, we weren’t. So that was the first thing we straightened out, and things got a little better.

Next we started looking at his diet, which I will say is damned good. But we realized he was eating a lot of candy….and along the way a lot of artificial colors. Go ahead, Google “food coloring and children’s behavior”. Never mind, here’s the link. Yeah, some of the information, like much of the Internet, is crap. But there was enough reputable information to make us give removing artificial colors from his diet.

Um, wow, is all I can say. The first week his teacher noticed a marked improvement. He did great until…Valentines Day. A few days of candy and everything went to hell again. So we simply explained to him that he needed to not eat the candy with colors, but that he could have all the Dove chocolates he wanted. And things perked back up. He was doing better and better and then suddenly his behavior was AWFUL! Well, it wasn’t the food coloring, we thought. Oh shit we’re back to square one, was the other thought. And then we realized he’d been coughing for a week. I thought husband J was giving him the homeopathic cough syrup, but instead he was giving him the stuff that was…purple colored. Stopped that and within two days he was much better.

He’s never going to be that kid who sits there quietly and stares at the chalkboard. Hell, I’m not that person. When he’s engaged he’s excited and LOUD (actually, these days that’s what he gets warnings for – being loud). So am I for that matter, I’m just lucky enough to have found a company where that behavior is understood.

It’s hard trying to make a five year old understand why he can’t have an otter pop (and I’m certainly not going to say NO all of the time).  At times it breaks my heart. I know that I’m doing what I need to for him, ultimately, to be happy and healthy. And if everyone else thinks I’m crazy, well, they were going to think that anyway, weren’t they? 😉