One of my greatest issues this past month has been kids and sickness.
We were catapulted into this with Mack having his first anaphylactic reaction ever in response to scoffing my hidden chocolate stash of rocky road. After a mad ambulance dash, chaotic hospital stay (where there were no private rooms and the woman opposite me was charged with child endangerment), skin prick tests, action plan implementation, epi pen training, briefing for child care, and cleaning out of every trace of nuts in the house we returned to a relatively normal life again for about 2 seconds. It turns out he's allergic to nuts to the point of having an anaphylactic reaction when touching them. Perfect!
Aside from Bella and Mack both coming down with colds this week, I now have a new health issue to deal with. I have two medical opinions about Bella and the official diagnosis of failure to thrive for her. Just great!
She tracked along nicely on the percentile chart for weight until she was about 3yrs and then she just took a deep skydive off into the realm of a flat 0 percentile skimming under this when she’s sick. It never gets any easier. She doesn’t like any vegetables except corn or broccoli though she’s never tried most of the others, so I’m not sure how she knows that. The only meat she’ll eat is sausages, beef and lamb on a stick (cutlets). Aside from butter, salt (which she tries to plaster on everything like a snow storm) and chocolate, she refuses to try anything with flavor. Hot dogs without the bread, pasta with no sauce, sausages with no bits in them. She is, to put it nicely, a pain in the bum!!
So what to feed her? If it were up to her, she’d live on pasta with butter, and I refuse to let her live on that and that alone.
Now that she has been diagnosed with failure to thrive the need for her to eat a more diverse and healthy assortment of foods feels more urgent to me than it did a few month’s ago. And while I try not to vilify any food groups it would be nice if she had some other foods to fall back on, especially when she gets sick and drops below the 0 percentile.
So what to do? I’m not willing to make two different meals every night. I’ve been there and done that, and I’m over it. I deconstruct a meal for her when it’s possible - for example, if I make spaghetti pasta, I’ll leave out the mince and add in butter for her. But I’m starting to think that maybe tough love is the way to go. As in, if I roast a chicken, she’s going to eat it, and if she doesn’t like it, well…tough. Of course, I wouldn’t stick a plate of anything really outrageous in front of her, like chopped liver or super spicy Indian food, but I’m kind of finished with indulging her. After almost two year’s of being nice and open-minded, I still have a kid who won’t eat anything, and I end up frustrated and angry at every meal.
My heart also dives when I see her rail thin body after a bath or when getting dressed. She’s sooooo skinny it makes me cringe.. Last time we dealt with this they told us it was her adenoids and tonsils and they had to come out. We had to fatten her up for the operation and were given a special powder to add calories to her food. She could detect this supposedly flavourless stuff a mile away and we ended up stuffing her with Maccas 4 days straight before the operation. I’m tempted to do this now but it will have ramifications for the other kids…. They were obviously wrong and it makes me cranky to see her fade away…..
The problem is cranky, and maybe a bit nutty, seems to be who I’ve become. I just don't have the energy to deal with this kind of stuff at the moment.
This morning when Lakeisha (who just turned 7) belted her rail thin stick insect sister when Bella beat her to be first at the door I lost it. I HATE it when one kid belts another and even more so when the strong one picks on the weak one. It made me cranky, mad and upset and then when I got to work and shared how chaotic getting out the door was this morning a mum who sits opposite me told me her kids were 15 and 17 and had the same fight this morning about who got to sit in the front seat. OMG!
So am I over-reacting? Where do I draw the line? How do I get more sleep? How do I find time to enjoy my kids more? How do I worry less? Is this just a never ending uphill battle that will drain me until I become a crotchety lonely older mother whose kids hate her? I think I'm going nuts.....