Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Barak is driving me crazy.

Yesterday I got a phone call at noon from the director of early childhood education at his school. Barak had bitten another child and I needed to come pick him up, right away. I told her I couldn't--it was an hour until school ended and I couldn't make it there that fast on foot in all the snow with a double stroller. He came home in regular carpool, and spent the rest of the afternoon whining, complaining, doing things he wasn't supposed to do, and whining some more. He didn't want to use the bathroom. Wouldn't eat his dinner and campaigned loudly and obnoxiously for cereal instead. Didn't want to go to bed. Needed a different Middos Machine CD. Add to this that Iyyar had had a cookie made with butter on Sunday and was right back to square one with the tummy distress--so while Iyyar was writhing and wailing on the floor, howling that his tushy hurt and he needed to POOP, Barak was hollering even louder to make himself heard about NEEDING THE PINK MIDDOS MACHINE CD BECAUSE HE DIDN'T WANT THE GREEN ONE AND HE NEEDED IT A GOTCHION MUCH AND IF HE DIDN' T GET IT HE WAS JUST GOING TO SCREAM.

Good thing I am opposed to corporal punishment, isn't it?

We got through the day somehow and this morning was all the same. I need oatmeal. I need raisins. I NEED THEM! I NEED RAISINS! I know he is four but his total inability to see that I AM ALREADY IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING YOUR RAISINS or I CANNOT GET YOU RAISINS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I AM NURSING THE BABY is a little hard to take. (Sound familiar, Zahava?) Before I had gotten him anything else he decided that in fact he wanted granola and yogurt. I got him granola and yogurt. He took one look and announced that THERE WASN'T ENOUGH GRANOLA IN HIS YOGURT. I told him he could eat it or not eat it but he had kvetched and therefore was not going to get what he had kvetched for (policy around here--ineffective at quelling the kvetching, but consistently applied in an undying hope that it'll work eventually). He sat down and started eating. Sloooowwwlly.

All this was going on while Iyyar, who had pooped out two days' worth of post-cookie poop over the course of the night, was getting de-pooped in the bathtub, while Avtalyon was proclaiming his righteous outrage from the highchair. Decibel level climbing, nerves frazzling.

And on the way to carpool: "Imma, there wasn't enough granola in my yogurt."


Uh-oh. I hear Iyyar crying for me. I kept him home from school today because by the time he got out of the bathtub it was already time to take Barak to carpool; if I'd come back to get him and taken him to school I would have lost half an hour of work time. Easier to keep him home with Asnat and Avtalyon. He's been fine tummy-wise for more than a week, but on Sunday he had two of the cookies I made for Sunday night, which had butter in them--and then started crying a couple of hours later that he needed to poop and his tummy hurt. I really want to think that this is not mere coincidence and dairy is the culprit, because it's something that's relatively easy to manage. So why am I hearing him crying now?


Oh, and did I mention that when I was packing Barak's bag this morning, it was full of toys he'd taken home from school? "Did your morah know that you took those?" "No." "Were you allowed to take those or not allowed?" "Not."

He's four. I know he's four. And much of the time he is sweet and charming. He is usually obedient and always happy to run get me a rag or a box of wipes when I need them. He plays nicely with his brothers 90% of the time. He gives the baby kisses. He likes school. He's polite. He draws pictures for the lady at work who doesn't have anyone to draw her pictures. He is getting a huge kick out of learning the alphabet and reading the signs that say OPEN on the stores. He knows STOP and ONE WAY too. On Sunday he took three polite bites of a vegetable omelet without spitting anything out. True, he took cookies he wasn't supposed to take on Sunday--but he told me the truth right away.

He's a good boy. He really is. He's just driving me slowly insane.


LC said...

I really want to think that this is not mere coincidence and dairy is the culprit, because it's something that's relatively easy to manage. So why am I hearing him crying now?

Makes sense to me that it should be; if it messed with his insides, I could see it taking a few days to get all better, especially if everything is still irritated.

Don't 'dairy-free' diets need a full week to prove effectiveness? That seems to say it can take a week for someone's system to clear/heal itself. Good luck!

uberimma said...

I took him off dairy Thursday, so two weeks ago this Thursday. By the following Tuesday it was like nothing had ever happened. The Cookie of Doom was Sunday, the day before yesterday. So we'll see, I guess.

miriamp said...

Time to switch your baking strategy to all parve all the time.

I've never baked with butter, so i don't miss it, but it's just not worth it if it's going to ruin your (and Iyyar's) entire week for two cookies.

Earth Balance Buttery sticks and Smart Balance (regular) small tubs make good parve AND non-hydrogenated butter substitutes.

1 small tub is 15 oz -- roughly equivalent to 16 oz of sticks (ie 2) and I just substitute straight (I slice the block in half for 1 stick) and haven't noticed that one TBL making a huge difference.

But anyway, what LC said. Also, there's always the slim possibility that it's the dairy AND something else, but hopefully not, and it really does sound like the dairy is the culprit -- just banish it from things worth sharing with him (like cookies) and hope it's enough!

miriamp said...

On Barak -- of course he's slowly driving you insane. that is the job of every single 4 and 5 year old boy (probably the girls too, but in a different, more subtle way) in the universe. He will eventually grow out of it.

At least that's what I keep telling myself about my 5 year old boy -- but I look at his older brother, and he mostly outgrew it! (Pre-teens have different, more insidious ways of driving you crazy... if you come through motherhood sane, you haven't done your job properly.)

LC said...

if you come through motherhood sane, you haven't done your job properly

So if you start out insane you're ahead of the game? One can hope :)