I promised more info on Eli and I’d like to get this down before I forget. I do hope to forget some of this, you know, eventually. I hope the bad behavior will become such a distant memory that when I read these old posts, I’ll feel sure I was writing hypothetically or about someone else’s kid. Fingers crossed. Because look at this kid.
It became pretty common, as in daily, for Eli to have total meltdowns. These were prompted by anything and nothing, and I never knew when they would happen. If I gave an answer he didn’t like to a question, said no when he felt I should have said yes, asked him the wrong question, blinked at him wrong, etc, he would fly into a rage.
The meltdowns often manifested with bouts of increased stubbornness. Now, this boy is no stranger to bullheaded behavior, but he can really kick it up a notch or twelve when he sets his mind to it. I would try to talk through something with him, but he wouldn’t answer. He would cross his arms and absolutely refuse to speak to me. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know how infuriating such behavior is and he knew that it would set me off. So we’d do battle. It would turn into a hollering match and he’d screech things that he didn’t mean at me and when I’d leave his room he would scream out, “You’re stupid!” until he was blue in the face. He’d throw anything he could find, the heavier the better, at his bedroom door. He’d get spanked and spanked and sometimes the spankings would snap him out of it and sometimes not. I think you can see why this behavior was less than desirable, totally unacceptable, and also completely heartbreaking. I could plainly see he was out of control; this wasn’t my sweet baby boy, but I didn’t know why he was doing these things and I didn’t know how to fix it. To put it in my favorite way (that of an 83 year old version of myself I like to call Gertie): I was at my wit’s end.
Ok, to be fair, “during” and “slightly after” are nearly the same thing, because this is all very new. Everything happened quickly, because once I read up on Feingold, I was convinced we needed to give it a shot immediately. As I’ve mentioned, the kids were nervous. They didn’t want to give up the variety we are able to have now, nor did they want to lose the fun random stuff that was strictly forbidden on Paleo. I swear, that’s a bad word in our house now.
Once I arrived home with things like Snackimals, Pringles, the ingredients for Chickpea and Kale Soup (weirdos, I know), and Annie’s mac n cheese (among lots of other things), they were relieved and excited.
We began to see results shockingly fast. Within a day he was slowing down to slightly less than warp speed, which was a nice change. He started actually listening to me. I could ask him to do something or ask him a question or even discipline him and he would remain calm (for the most part) and react appropriately. It was weird and awesome. We’ve been at this for about a week, and he’s doing so well. He’s had one meltdown this entire time, with a few moments of impatience/tears that we were able to quickly resolve. I am so relieved, both for myself and for him, because you can tell how much better he FEELS. One day, early in the week, I gave him something to eat and he was concerned about it.
“What if I go crazy?” My heart kind of did a cross between a melt and a shatter. I hated to see him so worried about being out of control again, but the fact that he stopped to think about it and that he recognized that he had stopped being crazy was so encouraging.
He’s got better focus during school time, and much better recall of information. I really couldn’t be happier.
The end. (For now.)