Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lousy, No Good, Very Bad Day

There's a book the title of which is something to that effect - "So-and-so and the Horrible Lousy No Good Very Bad Day". My librarian friend Witty will be ashamed that I can't remember exactly how it goes, but I do remember "No Good Very Bad Day".
That would be our day today.
First, I went to my brand-new ob-gyn I hadn't seen before and discovered, once THERE, that my insurance card is missing. No insurance card in my wallet anywhere. And no clue (since my wallet goes from purse to purse to purse intact) where it could be. Had to leave, order a NEW insurance card, and reschedule. Then went to buy groceries and spent as long in the checkout as I did shopping, because I'd totally blanked on how to do WIC, and because when I went to pay for the other stuff I'd bought, I froze up the card reader. This was all with Kittyboy throwing a fit because he could SEE the milk, but not drink it, and he could SEE the cereal but not eat it. So I got home, I got everything and everyone out of the car, we put away groceries, and I tried to open a bag of Craisins that came in one of the cereal boxes. I love Craisins, and I NEEDED a treat, since all this drama was before 9 this morning. Try as hard as I might, I could not open that bag. Handed it to Husband - who wordlessly held it in front of my face and pulled at the NOTCH in the SIDE of the bag, which tore quite easily.
I give up.
Kittyboy was pretty good, but tired, throughout a developmental re-eval this morning. He was happy to see Rhonda, whom he'd not seen since he un-qualified for DT last fall, but she came at ten and ten-thirty or eleven is when he generally naps. So she asked me if it was okay for him to have Froot Loops, as a bribe to keep him engaged (also, he'd found the container of them in her bag). I said yes. Chances are I shouldn't have - but we'd been thinking that he was now enough bigger than the disastrous first time he had artificial colors, that they were no longer a big deal (though I still read labels for them and he doesn't get candy)...
I don't think colored cereal alone is to blame for the fact that it's AFTER ONE AND HE'S STILL UP. I think most of the blame goes to the Nerds Jellybeans he got out of the pantry while I was in the bathroom. First time ever I've put my hand under his mouth and demanded he spit out something edible. I've done that for coins, small toys, batteries, etc, but if his mouth is stuffed with FOOD and he has to get rid of it, I grab some random container because that's just gross, you know? But realizing he had Easter candy (with who knows what sort of cocktail of artificial colors, which I'd hidden for Husband and I precisely because of those colors) called for panic mode. I made him spit out what was in his mouth immediately and explored his mouth for anything else - then I remembered, FAR too late, that he'd come in while I was in the bathroom with a mouth full of SOMETHING. I'd assumed cereal at the time, the crunching didn't sound like cereal, but at that point I hadn't realized the pantry was unlocked and the jellybean bag open. And the Nerds jellybeans, with that hard coating, would have sounded exactly like what he had a mouthful of at that moment.
Sugar has no effect on him, he eats doughnuts after church every Sunday and goes down for a nap without a fuss. Obviously, colors still DO have an effect. There's no other explanation for his out-of-it goofiness and the fact that he is both visibly sleepy AND wound like an eight-day clock. And I do mean goofy - I told him to lay down so I could change his diaper and he lay down on his stomach, and as I turned him over, he started shrieking and giggling and KICKING, and kept it up the whole time I was changing that diaper. He's hungry but not, thirsty but not, and standing on his head a lot (for the pressure, it's a "stim").
It's 1:30. And I can hear him in his room, out of bed, climbing the rocking chair. No nap going to happen today.
We thought colors weren't a problem anymore (or not as big of a problem) because we'd determined that a couple M&Ms weren't any big deal, and he's fine with powdered macaroni and cheese (every single brand of mac-and-cheese where the sauce is powder contains yellows 5 and 6, every single brand with a packet of actual sauce uses paprika or annato extract for the yellow - the things you learn reading labels). But we'd also made sure not to give him things with multiple colors, or Red 40, because in the studies done on children with ADHD or similar sensory problems Red 40 was a Bad Thing, as were combinations of colors. Well, so evidently we were right to keep withholding those, because he is WIRED.
At least he's not as wild as the first time this happened - colored cereal I bought as a treat, back when he was still taking TWO naps a day. And neither nap happened that day. He was goofy, falling all over, would barely drift off and then jolt back awake SCREAMING. Auditory processing was nil - I screamed "NO!" standing RIGHT behind him, because he was emptying the cat food into the cat water, and he didn't even startle. He whimpered and whined all day. Nothing made him happy. At one point, he was pushing a car across the floor - whining. That evening, you could actually see his expression change from restless upset to a look of exhaustion and relief, probably as the colors were wearing off. I am a skeptic, but I knew that the cereal was the only new thing he'd had that day, and remembered having heard something about artificial colors "being a problem", and so I looked it up, and there were two studies I found of which I could actually read the researchers' notes and conclusions. The one that stuck in my mind was a double-blind study where parents AND researchers didn't know if the child was being given colors or a placebo, and that while the children who had been given colors did act a bit differently under observation but not outstandingly different, the PARENTS of those kids (who knew them inside and out, and what was normal and what was not where their child was concerned) across the board had reported that something was very definitely Not Right. And uniformly, those were the parents of the kids who had actually been given artificial colors and not the placebo. Just as an outside observer of Kittyboy would say, "Oh, but kids act up, he's a toddler, etc" but when I was watching him crawl across the floor pushing a car and whining even though he was playing, that's Not Right.
Been reading labels religiously since, and slowly allowing things like powdered mac-and-cheese, yellow or blue lollipops (and single colors haven't been a big deal), but hadn't tried "here, have a mouthful of every color out there plus Red 40." Hahaha. And hey, now I don't have to work up to that - we have an answer, the answer is no.
Well, I've heard mostly silence since about 2, and it's now 2:15 - maybe he's passed out now. I'm not about to go check, I'll just thank God for however much peace and quiet He gives us.


Pres. Kathy said...

Hang in there - hopefully today will be a better day!

Pres. Kathy said...

You have been tagged!

Caeseria said...

So am I "it"? I don't run fast...

Mimi said...

"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" and fantastic book.

Hugs, we all have them (even in Australia)