As we have embarked on this dairy-free journey, many questions have ensued. Some are a good-natured, "How's it going?' And some are mouthed with no sound, "How is (gesture towards Little B)'s diet?" This particular form is almost always followed by a expression of horror and trepidation. When I say great, no one hardly ever believes me and then they ask how soon I am going to reintroduce dairy into her diet.
Hello, people. It's been 14 days.
You should take her to the doctor.
You should try giving her juice.
You should do like my grandma who used to give my kids corn syrup.
You should up her fiber.
You should make her drink water.
You should make her eat fruit and vegetables.
All kids are constipated. Just deal with it.
Thank you so much for your brilliant insight, genius. I am so glad you thought of these things because I never considered any of them over the last 5 years!
Now, I know that people are just trying to be helpful and supportive. I also know that some of them think I'm a nut case for subjecting my family to a dairy-free lifestyle. Unfortunately, this is when tend to snap into lecture mode.
I just have this feeling that my daughter reacts to dairy. It has been nagging at me for several years. No, she doesn't have the diarrhea associated with lactose intolerance but she does have hard stools even though her diet is very balanced. The giant distended belly set her apart from other children her age. At birth she was 7lbs, at a year she was 16lbs, at 2 she was 20lbs. At this point the pediatrician said to beef up her calorie intake. I believe the exact words were, "Just slather everything with butter." The ear infections doubled. By December 2007, we had tubes in her ears, although she stil continued to get ear infections with the tubes, which is basically like snot coming out of your ears. At 3 years she was 24lbs. During the next two years there were three pediatricians, a chiropractor and one pediatric gastrointestinal specialist. The intestinal problems just kept getting worse. 2 ADULT doses of Miralax a day until she was cleaned out. "Keep her on it indefinitely. Then try to wean her off of it." Each time I tried, we were right back to square one. When I asked about diet, I was rebuked by each - like I had suggested putting a bandaid on cancer. "She doesn't have diarrhea. She doesn't have diarrhea. She doesn't have diarrhea." Over and over again. The accidents were too numerous to count. We went through more princess panties than a sorority whore house. No one would agree to send us to an allergist or order a blood test. Within the last year, her temperament became unpredictable. Inexplicable tantrums erupted out of nowhere; her tolerance level for frustration shrank to zero; and she had a hard time falling asleep.
But the last 14 days have been amazing. Each day has been progressively better than the one before. I can even see a bit of muscle tone on her skinny little belly. No coughing at night or hacking up a loogey in the morning. Don't get me wrong, she is still a 5 year old girl. She cried three big tears at Home Depot because I wouldn't buy her a Tinker Bell house key, but she was quiet and easily brought back to smiles. Even the lady behind me in line remarked about how undramatic she was about it. This is the same kid who threw herself down on the floor, screaming in Wal-Mart because they didn't have any popcorn chicken. The same kids who cried about taking a bath...and then cried about getting out. This is the same kid who pitched a fit with her father almost everyday last year because she didn't know what to wear to preschool.
Two days ago she actually put on a T-shirt and shorts with a giant smile on her face.
This is a genuine miracle, people. GEN-U-WINE.
So when am I going to reintroduce dairy?