For those of you that have been reading this blog for a long time, you are aware of my son Will's food allergies. They first appeared to us when he was 4-months old at which time we were told to never expose him to the allergens -- cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, tree-nuts, bananas and strawberries. An Epi-Pen, which we have never had to use, was prescribed even though the worst reaction we had seen was eczema. Still, Will carries the Epi with him in his backpack almost everywhere he goes—who knows if or what a reaction would be now... Annoying, like a skin rash.. Or scary and life-threatening with anaphylactic shock.
Inevitably I fell into a pit of fear that -- for the past five years, has not only made me rather manic about everything Will does but has also led to an obsessive education in regards to food. I have to catch myself when talking about this situation and the state of what we eat and are doing to our food-supply... Here in the world-leading nation... GMOs or GEs -- Genetically modified anythings that, after years of research, I entirely blame Will's allergies on. I sound crazy, even though professionals are also saying it... Lord knows what my eyes look like as my blood pressure ignites. I can just hear the thoughts of the other parents -- Here she comes, that anti-nut activist and her non-egg, tupperware full of non-milk-fat chocolate chip cookies. WATCH OUT and don't even MENTION SHELF-LIFE!!!! As they run for cover....
Managing all of this has not been fun, as you can imagine. Cheese is a problem. As are cows and chickens. Will's sister, it seems, is not allergic to any foods at this point, and loves to eat just about anything you offer. (I became allergic to shellfish at 25.. as did my 30-something sister... although she might just be copying me. GET YOUR OWN ISSUES!) Even still, however, I am cautious -- reading the PLU codes on all veggies and fruit to make sure that, if not actually organic, at the very least conventionally grown. Corn syrup too, as you know is the devil. Totally modified. But you see what I mean. TOO MUCH INFO, thanks Ryan. We hear you -- which is why we are looking at our feet and backing away. By the way, and I am yelling at you now... If the number 8 is at the beginning of the PLU code it's been GENEROUSLY MODIFIED. If you eat it you might grow an ear on your shoulder and arms out of your cheek-bones. Food allergies and, AHEM, cancer are only the beginning. Thanks to the Monosato Company and the other human haters of the world. Webbed feet are no joke. And neither are tails on people.
But I know. He will grow out of it, hopefully. And it is only food we are talking about here. He's already lower on most of the allergens than in years past and has out-grown the bananas and strawberries. The others, however... The hard ones remain and we aren't "there-yet" on the scale of food challenges. In the beginning, out of efforts to remain normal...if there is such a thing in these circumstances, I started making food for Will. Baking. Cooking. Freezing. You name it. I started a website, Will's Kitchen, if you remember which we had a great time with... we made up and converted recipes... took pictures.. internetted... I made him a part of tasting and making all of the things that he could eat -- and he was trying most things. Honestly, he loved it. I gained 5-7 pounds. And then things changed. Was it the arrival of his baby sister? Was it the constant fear lingering above my eye-brows when I dropped him off at school? Was it my overbearing enthusiasm to get him to try new things (probably)? Who knows. But this very intelligent little boy decided to stop trying any and all new foods that I put in front of him. He even cut several things out of his diet that I thought he liked. Suddenly, he only wanted the same thing with very minor alternatives. I lost way more than 5-7 pounds. And this is where we have been since months before our last posting on Will's Kitchen—August 27th 2012.
(As lights go down on Will's Kitchen)
I've decided, however, to keep trying (cue the curtains and that guy with the microphone). Now that Will's sister is a little older and also seems to be interested in making things to eat it can be a family thing. Who knows what is up with Will -- is it food textures? Is it a real issue like Neophobia (I don't think so) or is he just stubborn and picky? His nutrition is something that can't be messed with, but thankfully all of the things he does eat are beyond healthy making him par to the healthiest child alive. But in looking at website stats the other day for Will's Kitchen, I noticed that people are reading it. People that might be in the same position as we are... People that we might be helping with our past food experiments or that might be gleaming with advice. So why stop? Maybe if I clang around in the kitchen for a while he'll want to join in and all of this "No" "Gross" "THAT IS DISGUSTING" can come to an end. In all honesty, as much as we hate the allergies, we are beyond used to them... Like the creepy guy that used to live next door.... that was standing there looking back at you every time I opened the blinds. (((shiver))). All we have to do is AVOID until we are told otherwise. We just want him to try. Just a little bit. Oh, but this time, as I move the treadmill into the kitchen for optimal multi-tasking, no way am I gaining any weight.