Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Because it is My Name - Thoughts on Raising a Well-Behaved Child

My son is 4.

He is a good boy. He is kind and compassionate. He shares his food with me whenever I ask. Sometimes, I ask just to see if he's willing, even if I "change my mind" after he says yes. And I am happy to say that he always does, though he sometimes hesitates at first. 

He is interested in many different walks of life and happy to chat with everyone we see. He is generally very helpful around the house. He says please and thank you and I'm sorry. He loves his friends and his family, and, though still a small child, is pretty good about sharing his toys.

But lately, he has been getting quite an attitude.

He has begun to sigh when I ask him to do something.

He has sassed back when I've corrected him or instructed him to do something.

I have caught him rolling his eyes at me when I do not give him what he wants immediately.

And tonight, he went too far. He not only sassed me when I told him to eat his dinner, he did so with the mimicky, high-pitched voice that warranted an immediate response from me.

I am frustrated with this increase in attitude. Steve and I do not spank, but we are very clear in our expectations and, I like to think, very consistent in our responses to misbehavior. We treat each other with respect and make it a habit to model the behavior we expect from our son. We certainly do not sass each other, nor do we perform the mimicky voice he pulled this evening. I have to presume he learned some of this from outside the home, and developed the rest on his own as he tests the limits.

We do not spank, but we do correct.

As I commanded his attention, directing him to look me in the eyes, I suddenly remembered this scene from The Crucible. I was surprised to discover that, by about mid-January, I missed my 11th grade curriculum. I have taught The Crucible for the past 8 years, and suddenly, quotes from it come floating to me at the most random moments.

PROCTOR, with a cry of his whole soul: [...] how may I teach [my son] to walk like [a man] in the world? [...]Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! [...] How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!

It is my name. My son has my name. Everything I do and for everything I strive - I must teach my son, guide my son - so he is worthy of my name, and so I am worthy of the title of 'Mommy.' 

There is a meme floating around cyberspace that says, if I remember correctly, "Leave a better planet for our kids? Why not leave better kids for our planet!" How can I ensure my son will be able to help in some capacity when he's older? 

I corrected him. Immediately and clearly, but calmly.

Will it happen again? Of course. He learned this somewhere, but he is also of the age where he is testing limits - seeing just how much he can get away with before he is called on his behavior. He will also forget. We all forget. The only thing I desperately hope he remembers the first time around is when safety is involved. The rest, I may be frustrated or disappointed, but I understand repetition and consistency are necessary.

I love my son - so much so that I insist on his being respectful to others. So much so, that I will not allow him to get away with sassing others. He is a good boy and I am proud of him, but I know there is still a lot of work ahead of us all.

Image courtesy of

Saturday, April 12, 2014

An Endometriosis Update - Part V

As of January 1st, I started going gluten-free to see if that would help with any of my discomfort. At first, I was simply reducing the amount of gluten that I ingested. I would say I was about 75% gluten-free in my diet.

But as it is, I started to forget when I had had actual bread, or cake, or pizza. And then I started to justify eating it. And then I started to feel badly again, and was bloated, and had an upset stomach.

So, I rearranged my thoughts, reasserted myself to the strictest of diets, and now, I am consistently approximately 99% gluten-free. I am very conscientious of what I'm eating and when, and I've noticed enough of a change in how I feel to stay on this path of restricted diet. It is encouraging.

This does not mean that I don't have the incessant back-ache. Or the pain in my ovaries. Or that I don't bloat. But the repercussions from these are reduced, enough so to encourage me to keep to this change.

The few occasions I have allowed myself to slip, I've noticed a difference the following day - enough of one to cause me to redirect back to my gluten-free diet. There is one particular meme I've found on Pinterest that describes how I felt on a regular basis before beginning this diet.

Do you remember (I don't know if they still exist, honestly) the Pillsbury dinner rolls? You press a spoon on the seal after peeling back the paper and it pops open? Yeah - that is how I used to feel before this diet. I used to feel like I would pop buttons on my jeans any minute. I used to buy multiple boxes at a time of diuretics to help me feel better about dinner out with friends or other special events. I used to suck down water endlessly, hoping my body would begin to reject it and I would stop looking pregnant.

I am so happy with the lessening of bloat and pain I've felt that I actually bought a bread maker (for health reasons, too... far fewer chemicals if I make the bread homemade...) that has a gluten-free setting on it, and I can assure you, homemade gf bread is nothing like the store bought. It is something you will not regret.

So, ladies, if you haven't already gone gluten-free, I would recommend it. I know different treatments work differently on us all. And it takes time to work through each to see which effects we notice, but this is one my doctor approved of. My next goal is to reduce dairy, but I love sour cream and cheese, and I know that will be much harder to let go of for me.

In the meantime, keep on trying. Know you're not alone, and let me know if this post was helpful. Endo sisters forever.