In case it isn’t clear why we were so driven to figure this diet-thing out, let me tell you about one Sunday morning from that same summer of 2015.
It took place before the Weekend of Orange. I know this, because we found ourselves in a forest, our son in his pajamas, and we had no idea whatsoever what had caused the tantrum that had brought us there.
I think I was still wearing my pajama top, along with hastily grabbed sweatpants. That is how early and quickly our day had gone sour.
We were barely out of bed when the tantrums began. At the time, we were living in a pressure cooker, because we had downsized from two acres in the country to a townhome in the city. (Long story.)
Fortunately our townhome was an endcap unit, by which I mean three sides had outside walls. But one wall we shared with another family, a lovely couple from Kazakhstan and their two small children. And we faced another line of townhomes across the street. There were eyes and ears everywhere.
This was good, in a way, because we felt less alone. But these people were all strangers. They didn’t know we were decent people doing our best. All they knew was we had a child—a 10-year-old—and there was a whole lot of yelling and crashing going on.
And sometimes it would all pour out into the front yard. In an effort not to disturb our neighbors, we would pull our son out the front door and into the car, so we could take our tantrum on the road. That way, we reasoned, fewer people would have to listen to it, and those that did would hear it only for a very few moments as we wheeled past.
That’s what had happened on this particular Sunday morning in 2015. I got in the driver’s seat, and Jon got in the back with our son, who was pretty far out of control. It soon became clear that this was not a safe driving situation, so I took our party to a nearby university campus, which includes acres and acres of forest land. We got out and started walking.
Our son refused, for a while. A sheriff’s cruiser rolled by, and I half-hoped he would stop and pick up all of us, in our disheveled, pajama-ed splendor. Surely he’d put me in a cell for a while as he sorted things out. Maybe even solitary. The crazy thought gave me an almost hopeful feeling. That’s how much I craved a break from the bedlam.
Finally, when our son was a bit calmer, I called his pediatrician. Yes, on a Sunday morning. Yes, from the woods. She had given me her cell phone number, and I needed a lifeline. She didn’t answer. I wasn’t surprised but left a message anyway. It might have been a bit frantic-sounding.
She called back minutes later—from her out-of-town vacation. She talked me down, and I agreed to call her office the next morning to set up an appointment.
That would be the appointment that would open my eyes and change everything.
Next: Following the clues
Today’s spoonful of sugar: Breakfast! The many additives found in cereals, pastries and drinks can set the day off on the wrong foot. Here’s one of my favorite breakfasts: an easy-to-make, nutritious banana pudding!