Controlling the Meanies

Controlling the Meanies

It’s been a long couple of weeks. We’ve been busily trying to get the homeschool classroom put together, since Jed has announced that he can only go to school IN a classroom. (Love opinionated kiddos!)

Really our classroom is just half of our office cleaned out and dedicated to school work, but that necessitates my cleaning out the office first.

Remember when I mentioned my own personal organizational demon? Yeah. It’s A LOT to go through to clean out my office. I sorted through quite a bit last fall, but never finished going through all of it. My paper shredder is going to have a nervous breakdown.

Work slowed down on that project quite a bit last week, as I had to go to work for half the time, but it’s almost done. Jed should be ready to start school by the end of the month (if not sooner).

I’ll admit I’ve been having loads of fun getting things ready to start school. I’m one of those weird people who LOVE school and office supplies. Remember the line in “You’ve Got Mail” about “…a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils”? I completely resonated with that thought!

Putting up a dry erase calendar, buying a globe, putting up a map of the U.S., getting my lesson plans put together, ensuring we have enough crayons and pencils, putting up my old dry erase board to use…it’s all like Christmas to me! The potential! The learning! The fun! I can’t wait!

(And yes, I was going to college to become a teacher, once upon a time. I feel like I’m fulfilling a dream of mine!)

I am a little frustrated about one thing, though. Ever since it became clear that we are just about  to start actual school, Jed has refused to do anything that resembles learning or instruction. As an example, he won’t say his alphabet now. “No, Mommy. I’ll do my alphabet when I start school.” he tells me. Trying to convince him that you don’t need to be in school to learn has been an exercise in futility.

Ah, well. With luck, we will get that particular lesson through his head over the next few years. He only has a short alphabet reprieve, anyway: school will be starting very soon!

In the meantime, we completed an entire food trial with nary a hitch in our gait: olive oil is safe for Zac!


We use olive oil for everything in this house. With Zac finally able to use olive oil, cooking has become unbelievably easier! No more “two pans to fry” with. Everyone’s food gets cooked in the same pan, now (as long as all the ingredients are safe for Zac, of course).

Who would have thought that a little olive oil would make life so much easier I’m feeling like a boulder has been lifted off my shoulders? It’s amazing!

So, on to the next trial. We start tomatos today. 

Hopefully, it will go as well as olive oil. Tomatos puts me one step closer to a salad. Or a pizza. Or ketchup.

I kind of miss those things.

In fact, I catch myself drooling when I see someone eating a nice, crisp salad sometimes. It’s pathetic.

please be a pass tomatos oh please be safe for Zac thank you in advance God

In other news, Jed accidentally ate some wheat a week and a half ago and had a full blown case of the Meanies the next day. (Fructans=reaction for us)

For the first time ever, though, his reaction did NOT happen on his previous “like clockwork” schedule. Instead of symptoms beginning 4 hours post-ingestion, it took 14 hours for the symptoms to appear.

However, when the symptoms showed up, they showed up just as always. He turned into Devil Child like a switch had been thrown.

After about an hour of his screaming and tantruming his way through the house, I investigated a little deeper into what he’d eaten for dinner the night before and learned that wheat was actually a part of his meal.

I told Jed, “Honey, you have the Meanies right now. Last night you ate some wheat, which we know isn’t good for you.” His eyes got big for a minute. Then I told him to go to his room: whether he’s got the Meanies or not, some of the things he was doing were not acceptable. We all needed a break.

I mentally prepared myself for 36 more hours of Meanie behavior, as that is usually how long his reactions last, but found myself completely discombobulated two hours later when I realized Jed had been behaving perfectly lovely for the last 30 minutes.

Curious, I questioned Jed. In our conversation, it came out that he finds it easier to control his bad behavior when he knows it’s the MEANIES causing him to feel so mean, angry, and icky. He knows it isn’t HIM or US; that his feelings are not ‘real’, and so he can rein in his desire to scream, hit, and be completely unreasonable. 

I found that to be not only fascinating, but also a moment of intense motherly pride in my incredibly self-aware son.

It kind of figures, though; I have reactions to foods, as well, and I’ve discovered the exact same thing that Jed figured out all on his own. When I know my food is making me hate the world, I can actually be nicer than I usually am! At times like that, I filter every insult, slight, or frustration through the “Oh, this isn’t that big a deal – it just seems like it because my food is making me hate everyone right now. Just blow it off!” filter. Consequently, I let everything – even things that are legitimate gripes – roll right off my back when I’m reacting.

Strange, right?

And something I thought was well beyond the capacity of my 5 year old to understand, or I would have tried to teach him that sooner. Apparently, I underestimated Jed. He’s a pretty awesome kid.

Unfortunately, just because he was able to control his bad behavior during the reaction, he could do nothing for the stomach pain. He reported an “icky tummy” all day.

That, too, didn’t last as long as normal, though. He was perfectly fine the next morning, far sooner than his typical reaction times.

I’m SO hoping the delay in symptom onset and reduced reaction time means he’s gaining tolerance as he gets bigger. Time will tell.

I’m curious: have any of you have discovered you can control yourself better if you know your feelings are a food reaction? 

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4 Responses to Controlling the Meanies

  1. dkaj says:

    Carrie, I’m just curious if the wheat he ate was a whole wheat or whole grain type of bread or if it was made from bleached white wheat flour? I know some can tolerate the white wheat breads or sourdough white wheat breads but the whole wheat or whole grains do them in. My dd gets bloating and rectal itching *histamine reaction* from whole grain wheat. PS. Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties to it also. If you have trialed basil yet, it also has anti-inflamatory properties. You can make a scewer with a small tomato,some goat cheese, basil leaf and then drizzle all in some olive oil. PSS. Tomato is both high in histamines and a fodmap, so be careful. Roma tomatoes are less acidic if histamines or reflux is an issue.

    • Carrie says:

      I actually don’t know if the wheat was whole or white. Something to investigate! I’d love to trial basil. Beyond the health benefits, well, YUM! LOL

      Thanks for the tomato warning; turns out, the trial didn’t even happen.

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