When I started implementing the no-additives diet I wondered what changes I hoped to see in my daughter’s behavior. There were moments I worried I wouldn’t recognize an subtle improvement and might not even realize the diet was helping.
Then this weekend happened.
On Saturday my daughter was like a different kid. She was nice, affable, fun to be around. She laughed easily and made me laugh. She told me she loved me. Multiple times. She engaged her brother on his terms. She mentioned that she liked hanging out with him and found him enjoyable to be around. She took initiative and solved problems without asking for help, when before she would have whined until it was done for her. She was flexible and never got frustrated. Dinner was pleasant. Getting ready for bed was a game. She joked around. She told me she loved me again. And again. And again.
Mom, I love you.
It was like she was a different kid.
We’ve only been doing the diet for a week. Less than that really, and we haven’t strictly enforced it as we figured things out. Maybe this magical day had nothing to do with the diet (my husband’s take–he’s still not really on board), but I’m going to believe it did because it gives me hope and helps me keep going.
Sunday wasn’t as wonderful, but it was still a lot better than most days. We had our first really challenging diet moments at a birthday party when my daughter fixated on the marshmallows she couldn’t eat for a long time. I could tell she felt left out when she had to eat an ice cream sandwich instead of the cupcakes everyone else enjoyed (I tried to make her cupcakes at home but it just didn’t work out). But when we got home she was over it quickly and she still did have a good time at the party with her friends. I feel for her because I know how much it sucks to be the odd person out when it comes to food. I wish she didn’t have to be that kid, but if it really does help her feel better, it’s worth it.
Last week was REALLY hard for a lot of reasons. I’m so hoping that this week continues to remind us why we’re doing this, because it’s not easy, and it really helps to have hope.
Is there anything that you feel hopeful about right now?