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Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Next Chapter on Sweetie

We've been doing great keeping Sweetie off sugar.

The other day, I promised the kids that I'd make them brownies in a mug for helping clean house.  When all was said and done, and I was pulling the sugar off the shelf, I realized my blunder and turned to Sweetie and said, "Oh no!  I can't make you a brownie in a mug.  It's got sugar in it."  Sweetie just replied with, "Okay."  What?!  All was fine.  SHOCK!

The other thing I had removed from Sweetie's diet was red dye.  I hadn't told anyone I was doing it, but after talking to a couple of friends and having them tell me about some of its effects on behavior, I decided that I'd do that too.

We were doing great until early this week.  We were at the beach and served red Crystal Light for lunch--sugar free, but definitely not red dye free.  I thought twice about it but then thought, "Well, we'll see if this makes a difference."

After the fact, I regretted it.  He was doing so well and then UGH!  The bomb dropped, and we were back to square one with his behavior.  What my friend told me was true.  It took three days for him to go back to normal-ish.

I say normal-ish because there are some habits that have been built up over time that we're needing to undo.  I think I already shared that I would just put Sweetie in the bedroom and hope that Sweetie would figure things out.  Well, Sweetie didn't figure things out, so there needs to be some retraining.  I think I have come up with a cure; a way to defuse the situation when things get out of control.

I ask Sweetie to come over and talk to me, and I whisper, "I love you" in Sweetie's ear.  That's the first thing I say as a reminder to both Sweetie and to myself--sometimes in these kinds of situations, I need to remind myself to stay calm.  These three words mellow Sweetie out almost immediately.  I try to be compassionate and understanding.  I share what I think Sweetie's feeling and ask if I'm right.  If I get an affirmative, I work with Sweetie to come up with a solution.  So far this has worked beautifully.


Patrick and Paige said...

Yes yes!!! Red food dye is so bad!!! My little Sweetie has never had any and I will steer as clear as possible from it. Glad you are figuring out how to manage that sweetie;) I'm proud of you!

Kimberly said...

Wow, I am sooo glad you tried the no red dye. Crazy, right? How just a tiny (or not so tiny) bit completely alters their psychosis. He will Hopefully not hesitate to avoid it in the future, knowing how it makes him feel. Good luck, and fingers crossed!

Alyson said...

I'm sorry it took three days to get back to normal-ish; but aren't you glad you have absolute confirmation? We're vegan/vegetarian here in our house because Blaine is allergic (like, hives and anaphylaxis) to meat, dairy, and eggs. It was a big old pain for him to figure out by elimination and isolation which foods were the problem, and it took a bit of a physical toll, but I'm so glad now, when people ask, "He can't eat that?!" that we figured out out definitively. No guesswork, no "Well, we think..." about it. Now you know red dye is a problem, and you can treat it like a food allergy and say with confidence (like, when he's invited to parties or something), "He can't have anything with red dye in it." Yay!

Jef said...

I had never heard about red dye affecting behavior like that. Good to know.

The other thing I thought about when you said sugar-free was the artificial sweeteners that are in Crystal Light. My physician told me that fake sweets are just as bad as real sugar because they trick the brain into dealing with sweetness that isn't there, and insulin gets released into the blood stream anyway.

If it is "no sugar added" for your sweetie then maybe you might consider "no sweetner added," too.

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