Monday, May 2, 2011
I've thought to myself, so many times "if only I would have had someone when I was young, to take control, and lead me on a healthier path". Ya know, I didn't taste my very first mango, until just last week? Same with papaya. Adventurous foods just weren't part of my growing up. Healthy foods weren't. And neither was water. It was always kool aid or pop, or something flavored and loaded with sugar. I didn't start drinking actual glasses of water until I was 19 years old.
Well not my kids.
We've always eaten kind of healthy, in our house, but recently we've made big changes. One of those changes, and this one is hitting Charlie the hardest, is "we drink water".
Its been about a week now, that we ditched the soy milk and simply apple. Since we've gone raw everywhere else, we're doing it for beverages as well.
We've made compromises though- we understand that this isn't going to be easy for the kids, they don't like water and they don't like change- so we've made fresh fruit smoothies and juices, neither of which the kids will drink.
Eleanore is coming around. She'll sit down with her stainless steel and pink water bottle, and she'll suck down her water like a good girl. Its not easy getting her to do it sometimes, but she does it.
Charlie, on the other hand- not so much. Its gotten so bad with Charlie, that today I had a moment of weakness, and offered him some simply apple. Pasteurized apple juice, that I've been avoiding giving him, but felt I had no choice, because I know how dehydrated he is and its killing me.
I feel terrible. I hate seeing him cry. I hate hearing him whine. I hate not changing diapers, because theres no wetness to change. Its gotten to be that bad.
Well he wouldn't drink even the Simply Apple today. The same stuff that he used to drink gallons of before, and now he wants nothing to do with it. Wouldn't drink water, wouldn't drink a strawberry banana smoothie, wouldn't drink pedialite, wouldn't drink homemade fresh apple juice- nothing.
My moment of weakness reversed when I thought about how 6 months from now, things will be different. How 10 years from now, it will have all been worth it. The crying, and fighting, and tantrums. All over a stupid bottle of water. It will have been nothing, once we get past it. Besides, I wish I would have had someone to do the same for me.
Unless this kid wants to go to the ER and get a needle shoved into his vein and taped to his arm everyday, we have to get him to drink water.
So today, rather than repeating "Charlie drink your water please", and hearing his whiny response of "I don't want to", and then forgetting about it completely the minute we get distracted by something else- we got fed up, and took him to his high chair. We'd battle it out there.
You will drink something today, Charlie.
We set him up in his high chair, with both his favorite dinosaur water bottle, and a rocket ship sippy cup full of freshly made smoothie. Pick one. Pick both. ...drink?
As you can see, he didn't like that idea very much.
"IIIIII dooooon't waaaaaant tooooo", he screamed in between cries, as he tried to hand both of them back to me.
No no son, you have to drink something. All of something.
So he put the straw to his mouth, and took a little tiny baby sip. He pulled it away, trails of slobber still attached to both the cup and his lips, and said "IIIII draaaaank it aaaaallll", trying his best to catch his breath through his barely understandable words.
No Charlie baby. You just took one sip. And thats good, thats soooo good, but- baby you have to drink it all.
Oh that was not what he wanted to hear. It was devastating, to his tired eyes. And every time he took a drink, I'd praise him, but immediately have to break the bad news to him again.
Charlie you have to drink all of it.
The crying was unreal. He screamed in ways hes never screamed before. He kicked his legs against the foot rest as hard as he could. He twisted his body in his seat to try to get away. He hated me.
But I love you, son. I love you so much, that I want to see you grow up as healthy as I can. And we have to start somewhere. And that somewhere is here. Which is why I'm not giving in, and giving you the soy milk that you're used to. It upsets your stomach, and it has sugar in it. I love you, I'm sorry.
I had sent Christopher upstairs with the baby, who was crying at the overpowering shrieks coming from her brother. And while they were up there, Eleanore had woken up from her nap. About an hour into the battle over the water bottle, I took a break and went upstairs, ears still ringing, and saw that Elie and Daddy were happily playing Crazy 8's in the play room, and Evelyn was giggly playing with her panda teeter totter.
So I left them alone, took a deep breath, and headed back downstairs to continue to calmly ask Charlie to take sips, occasionally reach out to rub his arm, leg, or face, remind him that I love him every couple of minutes, and remind myself that this was all for the better. There was/is a reason behind all of this.
Every couple of minutes, he'd get so thirsty from the screaming, which was always loud and intense, that he'd break long enough to take a sip. And then just like I said before, he'd think he was done, and as soon as I told him he needed to drink more, he'd breakdown all over again.
He covered his ears. He didn't want to hear it.
We had been doing this for so long, that it became dinner time. I had a raw veggie slaw, and Daddy and Elie had great big salads. Charlie had nothing though, since he hadn't yet finished his water. I set his sweet potatoes on the table, and in my most reassuring its-not-that-bad-baby-i-swear voice, I told him he could have it the moment he sipped his last sip.
Our dinner time came and went, and there Charlie sat. Until I compromised just a little bit more, and when the water in the bottle got to a certain low level, promised that after just one more sip, he could get down.
At which time we all had ridiculous looks on our faces, but felt heavy amounts of relief and love.
And soon he feasted on sweet potatoes.
Total amount of water drank my Charlie today: .85 water bottles.
We'll do it all over again tomorrow if we have to. Even if it causes me to get worst mother of the year award, and cause my children emotional scarring. They're going to be better off than I was, even if I have to sacrifice my excellent household reputation.
I love you, Charlie.