Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I grew up on Spam and Mac & Cheese and I turned out all right

On Monday, I was telling my mom how badly Michael was sleeping and the strain the sleep deprivation was putting on me. This is made even worse by my depression starting to creep back. I am spending so much energy trying to beat that monster into submission that I don't have much left for anything else. Well, rather than the gentle, "Maybe you should let him cry," that my mother has given in the past to this sort of venting, she suggested that maybe he wasn't eating enough to sustain him through the night. The ever present sadist in me started jumping up and down, screaming, "You're starving your baby!" The angry teenager suspected my mother of trying to sound like she knew more about my child than I did, which is surprising considering she only sees him once a month (no issues there). We then went on to discuss his diet during the latter part of the day and what kind of sustaining foods I could add to it. He's fairly picky and I don't jump through hoops to find things that he wants to eat, not wanting to end up like one of those, "My toddler only eats chicken nuggets and hot dogs," kind of moms. The result is he mostly grazes. I offer fruits, veggies, and some whole grain breads and crackers for snacks, and I offer him food off of my plate at dinner which he may or may not eat (he's very anti protein right now).

Well I got off of the phone with her, and then the despair and anger set in. How on earth was I supposed to manage to make these sustaining foods? For the past few months (great timing on my part), I've been very gung-ho about changing our eating habits and starting a whole foods/all natural diet. Since money is so tight right now, this means the elimination of convenience foods from our diet. So I make almost everything from scratch. I am having serious trouble keeping up with this load as it is - now my mom is suggesting (for the good of my son) that I start making egg custards and risotto on a regular basis to I can tank him up on food.

I took her advice that night and set to work. He was whining and bouncing at the gate while I made some sushi rice (he definitely wasn't in the mood to wait for brown). I shredded some chicken and started a roux for the sauce to a steady stream of whining punctuated with a shriek every once in a while. I finished the sauce, thought about doing a vegetable and decided that my nerves couldn't handle it, dumped it on the rice and we both ate.

He slept through the night.

Please God, let this have been just a coincidence.