Grocery List: October 20, 2013 (The One Where Post Something, Take It Down and Repost an Edited Version)

NOTE: Cold medicine makes me indecisive.

“No. 1 on the top 10 things I hate about motherhood: Other mothers.”

The Wife’s pronouncement came Friday night at the Dinosaur Barbque as we waited on delivery of our ribs. It’s not a new feeling for her. When The Kid was The Baby, The Wife would go to the parenting forums, seeking methods to developing sleep schedules and such, only to find herself aghast at the Alphadog Earth Mothers whose breasts have produced enough milk to feed the Asian subcontinent, had children who latched the first time, made their own food and used only organic diapers and never used wipes with alcohol in them AND WHY WOULD YOU DO TO THAT TO YOUR BABY YOU HORRIFIC UNFIT WOMAN WHO IS JUST A STEP ABOVE SUSAN SMITH BUT NOT BY MUCH SO TURN IN YOUR CAR KEYS ANYWAYS JUST IN CASE.

“I’ve been doing this wrong since she was born. Hell, I didn’t even give birth correctly.” (You may or may not know that The Kid was delivered via emergency surgery.)

The Wife’s barbecue-tinged insight was the result of my story of how Twitter exploded in my face the other day. The Wife thinks I should just let this go, and learn the lesson of Josh Lyman from The West Wing‘s 16th episode in season three. After 16 years, you would think that she a) recognized that my bitterness knows no bounds and b) I don’t learn lessons from others’ mistakes. Or my own.

Earlier this year, I chronicled our story of The Kid’s Celiac disease diagnosis and our introduction to the world of gluten-free food. In an effort to start some conversations with other gluten-free diet/Celiac disease bloggers out there and get some feedback, I reached out on Twitter and asked for the thoughts of about two dozen people in that realm. Most offered well wishes, some offered their sympathy to The Wife and me, as we had a very scared then-2 1/2 year old going through all of these tests with no comprehension as to why. Others offered suggestions of brands, support groups, and organizations that I should investigate. Some said nothing.

Last week, a couple of people contacted me over Twitter. It seemed innocuous enough:

The other had read a few blog posts and thought that The Kid’s picky eating was due to her broken relationship with food. Fair enough…

That made sense. As a matter of fact, gfreemarketingguru (@doGFREEright) was quite kind, encouraging us to try some different things with ingredients to make food appealing. She was also receptive to the fact that prior to the trigger that led to the yellow poop, The Kid was a difficult eater. As a newborn, she wouldn’t latch. As an infant, she rejected all of the single-grain cereals. Her personality — always right, stubborn, doing things on her terms — manifested itself into a mealtime attitude of NO! No amount of trying, offering, or deception (sneaking veggies into cookies or sweets) could break it. She’s the mix of her parents and that, my friends, is dangerous. But, I’d like to inform you today that I’m wrong. And, possibly unfit to have a child. Because, you see…

(Side note: I had a really nasty temper once. It was a trademark thing of mine in college and grad school. I’ve since mellowed significantly. In the old days, I would have launched into a tossed salad of things we have actually done, mixed with f-bombs and other pleasantries. Today, I post photos of porn stars laughing uncontrollably.)

But seriously, what is her problem? What am I doing to support my daughter? I’m not showing enough empathy? She’s being fucking serious, isn’t she?

(Side note: This is part of the problem with writing a blog. I think about a line from one of my favorite movies, Clerks: “This job would be great if it wasn’t for the fkg customers.” I’ve long said that I would be better at public relations if I didn’t have complete contempt for the public. And, I suppose it would be better if I didn’t engage people like the GlutenFreeGal, who believe that if you don’t do it like her then you should burn in the fiery pits of hell and have your child removed from your care. But what’s the fun in that?)

The problem with GlutenFreeGal and her ilk is that they are self-promoters, only interested in your problems if you are willing to submit to their every direction and follow their prescribed plan or buy their silly ebook or subscribe to their insipid e-newsletter about the right way to live, because clearly she has it pegged and the rest of us should walk around with fucking helmets and reside in group homes.

Later, after I questioned her reading comprehension skills and Alpha’ed her back a little, she went into passive aggressive mode and attempted some faux concern.

My main problem with the GlutenFreeGal is her drive-by approach to my conversation. Rather than learn about what we are doing here or how The Kid has grown up, she slowed just long enough to scream her opinion before taking off. She is, for all intents and purposes, Sarah Palin. It takes too long to learn about the subject, so instead she’ll tell you that you are wrong because you aren’t doing it like her. Rather than wrap her hands around the whole of a situation, she’ll tell you that there are death panels ready to kill your grandparents and that the Republican party should be defunded. It takes too much effort to click the About Al Dente link and learn that this blog is, in fact, a blog about cooking and eating with some stories about my daughter sprinkled in. (I’ve never sold Al Dente as anything else.) And just like her dimwitted Alaskan counterpart, she offers uninformed opinion with just enough charisma to convince people that her way is best. She’s no different than the mothers in the parenting forums who immolate others for deigning to give their child formula, or accusing people of not loving their child because they purchased packaged baby food.

And because she brought her garbage to my doorstep, I’m not just going to let it go without saying something.

Oh…and here’s my grocery list for the week:

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3 thoughts on “Grocery List: October 20, 2013 (The One Where Post Something, Take It Down and Repost an Edited Version)”

  1. Jared,
    believe it or not, I had the rare opportunity to sleep in this morning (actual sleep is not something Ive done in years) while my husband watched the kids, as I listened to them happily play from the quiet of my room…for some reason I thought of your daughter and decided to click on your blog (which by the way, when you asked for advice on twitter – I actually read it). I’ve been a little heartbroken for The Kid, cause well, I have 3 kids and well, eating/healing has been a full time job for the past year and a bit. Celiac almost killed my child and well, it was hurting all of us. I suggest you take 5 minutes and read my short, non – commercial blog.

    I was stunned when I read this post. Please know, there is am active community supporting each other on twitter & other social media. We offer each other advice and can be really blunt – because we’ve been there and know the pain and how skeptical the rest of the world is about it. We want to help. I saw your post asking for advice and was really really concerned for you and your family and asked a good friend to take an interest, you referenced her in this piece. GlutenFreeGal ♻ (@kirsten__berman) is a passionate advocate for the gluten free lifestyle, has lived the journey with much pain and suffering, has impacted countless lives by spending endless hours researching and studying and then providing information, insight and wisdom to those of us who are struggling on our journeys (I’d suggest you actual read her blog) and NO she is not a personal consultant charging fees to any individual seeking help or advice (I suggest you do your research before putting out such accusations). Don’t trash others. But do accept you and your family need help. You don’t even realize it, but you are screaming for it (reading between the lines her), your frustration is obvious – but are a bit defensive when actually advised. It’s human nature. I get it. But eating Italian bread at the dinner table while your wife deals with The Kid being sick again…is not a coincidence. I see your shopping list and there is no wonder The Kid won’t eat.

    The kid’s journey to health needs to be your journey too. Yeah, I hate other perfect mom’s too. I had one of those emergency c-sections. My kids wouldn’t latch. When my then 5 yr old started acting like a maniac and pooping his pants, I thought it was a stage. I ignored the black and blue marks covering my daughter’s body, she’s just clumsy like mom. No they were sick and I had no idea it was celiac. And when I watched my 1 year old literally dying while countless docs said it’s a virus, there was little they could do, I almost gave up. I didnt. Yes, I found celiac. And the changes we made were lifechanging for all of us.

    I suggest you drop the stubborn attitude & take some advice. You might want to detract your negative comments about GlutenFreeGal ♻ (@kirsten__berman) before you feel the wrath of the masses who would not take kindly to your remarks and misrepresentation of her consulting. But then again, that might bring a lot of traffic to your blog, choose wisely.

    I’ve said my piece. I’d love to chat sometime. Really I would. But now I’m off to make gluten free pancakes in my happy gluten free kitchen.
    Jeanne
    @doGFREEright

    1. “Please know, there is am active community supporting each other on twitter & other social media. We offer each other advice and can be really blunt – because we’ve been there and know the pain and how skeptical the rest of the world is about it.”

      I am aware. I find it to be comforting and informative. I even found GlutenFreeGal to be informative. I found her approach to be offensive, judgemental and unwarranted. Whether my response is the same or not is, well…it is what it is.

      I never set out to write a gluten-free lifestyle blog. It’s not what interests me. I’m interested in maintaining a little bit of privacy for my family (hence why they are referred to as The Wife and The Kid), so I don’t get into mountains of detail about what steps and measures I’m taking here. I decided a long time ago that my daughter was not going to be the sole subject of my writing. She deserves the cloak of privacy.

      After seeing professionals and participating in person-to-person groups (oh, wait, see I didn’t mention that either), what we’ve determined is that my child’s personality is driven by what she wants to do. We eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables (farmer’s markets and CSA’s don’t make it to shopping lists). They are prepared in a gluten-free manner. She doesn’t have the interest.

      Her lack of interest in eating predates the Celiac trigger. It’s who she is. Could we all go gluten free here and hope that she will learn by example? Absolutely. We could do that. It seems like a perfectly reasonable approach. However, I think there are two things at play: 1) She has been a stereotypical three-year-old in terms of behavior and 2) Her interest in food (GF or otherwise) has been nonexistent since the start. It’s a fact. Her relationship with food isn’t damaged. It never existed. I know this is a point of contention with both you and the Gluten Free Gal, but had you lived here between June 2010 and December 2012, you would have concluded the same thing: she is a difficult eater.

      I’m glad that people have the community to rely on. I’m horrified at the runaround that you received from your doctors. We put a lot of trust in medical professionals, particularly in the infant stages, to have them betray us. I heard a story today about a 3-year-old going in for her endoscopy this week. It turns out that the rheumatoid arthritis that she had been diagnosed with was not the reason for her joint pain and swelling. It turns out that her peptides are a mess, according to the bloodwork. Probably Celiac.

      I’m also glad that you have someone like the Gluten Free Gal to rely on. I’m sure she has touched a lot of people and I’m sure she’s knowledgable. I find her insistence that she is right and I am wrong without taking so much as a moment to learn about my child to be repugnant and the worst kind of advocate: an uninformed one that paints her picture by number. She made the choice to enter my world and scatter her attitude across my landscape without stopping long enough to ask more than how old my daughter was.

      Web traffic was not the impetus for why I wrote this today. Frustration motivated me. No, not frustration with my daughter’s diagnosis or my perceived issues with food. My frustration lies within one individual’s belief that any deviation from her prescribed method of dealing with a situation is wrong. My “wrath” for her lies above. I do not intent to “detract” anything.

      I hope that everyone enjoyed the GF pancakes. And maybe we should chat sometime.

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