What Are You Feeding That Kid?

OK, now that I’ve written a post about the baby, let’s attack the other part of that title: food. Ugh.

So. Last night, we took Jack to his preschool orientation. It was sort of a disaster. We like the place, love the teachers. But Jack clung to his father and cried pretty much the whole time. I’d love to say that I was a sympathetic mother and concerned for him, but frankly, I was just embarrassed. All of the other kids were on the floor, playing together–including the little girl who had come in bawling. Jesus Christ. We tried a bottle of milk, distracting him, etc. Both of his new teachers tried endlessly to engage and comfort him. Nothing worked. Finally, we just left early.

Both teachers, as well as the preschool director, were reassuring and sort of scrambling to encourage us to bring Jack back. I had no intention of not bringing him back. If anything, the experience confirmed for me that he needs to learn to socialize with his peers. I just felt ashamed by his behavior. I wanted him to be more likeable, more… normal. Even though from the day he was born, I knew he wasn’t normal. Not that he has anything wrong with him. He’s just an unusual little guy. He’s dreamy and sweet and spacey, like a good Pisces boy. He takes for. Ever. to eat any meal and would rather sing and play with his toys. He had no interest in the Disney characters and toys they offered in that preschool classroom. I could also tell that the racket of eight other kids and their parents and nervous teachers was jangling him. It jangled me.

On the way home from that fiasco, we called Indochine and ordered takeout. I ate not only my chicken pad thai, but also two huge shrimp summer rolls, a hefty serving of coconut ice cream, and about half a pound of cake. Sugar coma, anyone?

It’s an old pattern for me, eating my feelings. It’s a hell of a lot more comfortable than actually feeling them. But in the end, where does it get me? The sugar overload actually got my endometriosis all excited, so I ended up not sleeping well, when I *desperately* needed sleep and rest. So if the work I’ve been doing at the gym doesn’t get me to eat more mindfully, my uterus will. And it turns out that feeling my feelings may actually end up being more comfortable than tossing and turning and taking extra ibuprofen at four a.m.

It turns out, after some online research, that sugar is a bad idea with endometriosis. Estrogen loves sugar. And estrogen is what increases my belly pain. Sugar’s also inflammatory and causes swelling. I know that I will be happier to eat nuts, beans, whole grain pasta, and veggies. I know that in the long run, I will be happier to let my emotions run their course, instead of numbing out. I already know this stuff. But apparently, I need a lot of reminders. As my old healing teacher used to say, “We are in the lineage of people who fall down and get back up again.”

So now I’m getting up. I’ll make fish or chicken for dinner. And next week, I’ll take Jack in for his first day of preschool. It may involve a lot of crying, for Jack and Mom. But we’re allowed to be scared, both of us. I need to teach both Jack and myself that lesson. Feelings are friends, not food. They may not always be gentle friends or nice friends, but in the end, they always help me. And that is something I can swallow.

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4 responses

  1. Let me give you a piece of advice you don’t need, lol, about the first day/week of daycare. Go ahead and talk to him about it this weekend and remind him and tell him it will be so much fun. Blah blah blah. Then on the actual day of, take him into the classroom and try to get him started on some sort of activity. If he refuses to be distracted and he’s still really upset, tell him you love him, that mommy is going bye bye now, but YOU’LL BE BACK soon. Very important about coming back. And then leave him with is teacher. Walk. Out. The. Door. If you stay and he freaks out even more…it will be so traumatic for both of you and much much harder for the teacher to get him calmed down after you eventually leave. This is advice from my first and most wonderful daycare teacher. Even though this seemed harsh, this lady was so awesome and sweet…I just had to believe her. She promised she would call when he calmed down so I would know everything was ok. And she did. And he was! It took about a week. We still have times when Luke doesn’t want to go to “school.” Sometimes he asks to “Home, Mommy?” This morning he tried to lead me back out of the daycare’s doors and back to the car. But every kid does this. I actually remember doing this to my mom when I was in Pre-K and I was not mistreated. Actually, I loved that place. I just always wanted to be with Mom. And the proof is in the pudding. Just about every single time I pick Luke up, I spy through the window first to see what he is doing. He is always happy and playing. And I think…you are SOME actor, dude. lol. Good luck. Sorry for the novel.

  2. P.S. Chris Guppy…don’t you dare be ashamed girl. As my grandmother used to say about parenting, “Don’t take too much credit or too much blame.” I have to repeat this to myself daily. I am constantly telling myself…he is his own little person…not just a product of exposure to you, lmao.

  3. Amen to all above. I’ll add: (1) I’ve had all kinds of experiences with my kids and school, and I ALWAYS ended up making the worst parenting mistakes when I was reacting to what I thought others (esp. teachers, administration, other parents) thought of my parenting. (2) I’m reading “Breaking Free from Emotional Eating” by Geneen Roth, and enjoying it. (3) I feel for you! Sending a kid to school is hard, no matter what. Good thing they never suffer as much as we do. đŸ™‚

  4. Our very wise preschool teacher’s advice was to leave with the child something of yours that they feel you will come back and get…Like you will remember tocome back to pick up your umbrella (or whatever) not them? It makes perfect sense to a 3 year old!

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