So Little Man's been having a rough go of it. He just wasn't himself yesterday and today. He seemed to need constant attention to be happy, well not happy more like appeased. Ugh, babies, they're so self-centered. My best guess is that he's teething as he's chewing everything and leaves a trail of drool wherever he goes. Of course, that's just par for the course with Little Man. Aunt Carrie has called him "moist" before. And she's right.
Because Little Man's been onerous, he and I stayed home while Sean and Sweet Girl had dinner with some friends. It's always a little nerve-wracking when entering a new environment and social situation with Sweet Girl. You never really know how she will react. So I try to prepare as much as possible and hope for the best. Tonight she was going to a new house where she would be around several heretofore unknown adults and two other kids. This has the potential for serious anxiety. So I said a little prayer, made a "real" dessert for everyone and some gfcf cupcakes for Sweet Girl (unfortunately no vegetables-I'll do better next time), and sent them on their way. Three hours later the reports of the evening were positive. Sean says there were a few moments of mild anxiety, and she didn't want to sit for dinner at first (sitting still AND dealing with strangers in close proximity is not a strong point) but she played with the other kids without a problem and there were no meltdowns. Yay, Sweet Girl!
I'm sure this doesn't sound like a huge success to some people, but a year ago this would not have been possible. Sweet Girl has come a long way from not being able to handle sitting in a shopping cart and going in stores. Anxiety levels are waaay down, still elevated for a "typical" three year old but much better. This is due mostly to God's grace and a plan beyond my comprehension, but the best thing we, as parents, have done for her is the diet. I know there is serious debate within the autism community (a whole other post believe you me) and among the medical professionals as to whether gfcf is a valid treatment. And, well, I don't care any more. It has worked for Sweet Girl. She is my proof that she needed it.
I could write a novel on this subject, so I'll keep it short tonight. I read just about everything I could find on the diet, recognized in Sweet Girl some things described by other parents, weighed the cons (expensive, restrictive, liable to induce tantrums at every meal for a time), and ultimately came to the decision that it was going to be painful but it wouldn't hurt her. I was willing to give it three months, but I had my answer in the first three weeks. Sweet Girl stopped compulsively climbing everything, started making more eye contact, lost some of her food obsessions, and went back to sleeping through the night. That was enough to convince me. It's amazing what a good night's sleep will do to one's perspective on the world. It was hard, there were tears on both sides of the high chair, but it was not any harder than watching my daughter withdraw further and further away from me. We have a long road to travel, but I'm not dragging her along kicking and screaming any more. Now she's walking beside me holding my hand. I could walk around the world like that.