By Abbey Doyle
As parents I think we question every move.
Well, at least I do; and I don’t think I’m the only one who does it.
In the last couple weeks we’ve made some pretty big parenting decisions in the life our little guy. The first involved food. Not to get into icky details, but my son has had some issues with pooping. I know, I know, everybody poops. Well he wasn’t, at least he wasn’t for several days in a row way too regularly.
Part of the problem was that this kid boycotts eating on a regular basis. He won’t eat the super nutritious four course meals I prepare or the crap-laden kid’s meal from a fast food joint. Miles eats a bite or two a meal (if we are lucky) for a few days and then, all of a sudden and with no explanation, will eat every thing on his plate. Then we go back to the no food thing for days. It’s a cycle. And I can’t force feed him.
So after much fretting, research and medical consultation we decided to cut all dairy products, a big move when that was one of the food groups he pretty regularly consumed (even if only on a small scale.) Cottage cheese, cheese and yogurt were among his favorites. We switched to almond milk and stopped the others cold turkey. We also consistently started him on a probiotic daily and have noticed a world of difference.
He still won’t eat. He still occasionally will get constipated, but it is far less than before.
But that felt like a huge decision. Am I depriving him something important? Is he getting enough fat and calories, calcium and vitamin D? He loves those foods, is he going to hate me?
The second big parenting decision in some ways has been easier and others tougher — school. Miles turns three on July 20. He’s been a stay-at-home-kid for most of his life so I felt like he needed some organized, outside of the home, structure and socialization. Preschool seemed like a great option.
My husband and I both seemed to be on board with the idea but got some pushback from some extended family members. Isn’t he too young for school? He has 18-plus years to be in school, let him have fun while he’s still a baby!
My response has been, “It’s preschool people! It will be fun!” They color and sing about animals. They read books and have circle time. They talk about shapes and dinosaurs and monkeys and eat cookies. He will have a blast. And you know what, if he doesn’t, if we discover that maybe he isn’t ready, he won’t go to school! But I think he’s ready.
Let me tell you though, the “standard parent doubt” coupled with doubt from family and friends made the decision a little harder. Is he ready? Will he feel like we are abandoning him, especially with the new baby around the corner? Will he like it; make friends? Is it the right fit for him?
Tell me this agonizing and doubt goes away? It does, right? Soon?
I did get a little reprieve. Miles went to his 3 year old check up today and the doctor said he was perfect. Yes, he’s under the 15th percentile for weight (what do you expect from a kid who doesn’t eat much) and has only gained three pounds in a year but he’s healthy, is passing milestones on schedule or ahead and has tons of energy. Our decision to cut dairy, it was right on, she said, encouraging us to “keep up what we are doing.”
What have been some of your bigger parenting doubts? How did you deal with them?