So, we started an experiment. We had that older child go without red dye for a long period of time--not difficult in this house anymore. We never eat it here.
One day, the older child came home very angry. This is a very unusual state for this child who is typically very sweet and agreeable and helpful. Nothing was right.
It has now happened three times.
The most recent experience was this past Sunday. Saturday had been spent at a track meet--all day. Sunday morning, this kid was more than disagreeable. We were all awful people. I mean, seriously, if we'd asked this young person to breathe, we would have had our heads bitten off. We all quickly learned to keep our mouths shut and smile.
The older child looked me square in the face and said no. Another sibling, who'd been with this child the day before leaned over to me and whispered, "Except for those Sour Patch Kids."
I leaned across again, somewhat hesitantly, and asked, "Did you have Sour Patch Kids yesterday?"
Enough said. By afternoon, I received an apology and all was good.
I do have to add this, though, as we sat in church, I handed this kid a note. I asked what it felt like when under the influence of the dye. The answer: "I am intolerant towards everyone."
You'd have to know this kid, but "intolerant" is NEVER a word I'd use to talk about this child. I would typically say quite the opposite.
So, maybe the intolerance toward red dye brings out intolerance toward others. I guess my thought that this was genetic may still be true--just not in the way I originally thought.