'Dolly can't have milk,' Baby told Daddy, solemnly, this morning, as she climbed into the 'Big Bed.'
'Oh!' I said brightly, when I was informed, 'well, that's alright, she can have soya milk like you, then, can't she?'
Baby didn't respond quite as I expected - which was to agree happily. That is, she did agree but didn't look too happy about it, as she continued to discuss her dolly's options. It's given me pause for thought.
Like many little girls, Baby is the proud owner of several dollies. Usually, she just does all the normal dolly things you would expect - reenacting all the things that I have done with her - feeding, bathing, nappy changing etc. However, her favourite, Annabelle, has also been a vehicle through which she has expressed her feelings.
Once or twice, when I have got really cross, she has picked up her dolly and cuddled her extra tenderly, as if to say, 'See Mummy, I need a cuddle too!' Or when I have refused her a treat (like chocolate) I have found her very obviously giving her doll the thing she has been refused, as if she's underlining her desire for that very thing.
Yesterday and over the weekend she has been among close relatives who have been eating things that she can't have - because they're made with milk. She's been very good about it, including when, in a pub on Sunday her Grandma ate a chocolate brownie with ice cream; sharing it with her cousin and Grandad. Grandma often shares a dessert with Grandad, when out for a meal - it makes her feel like she's not indulging too much, if it's shared.
Both Baby and her cousin had been served the same dessert, which looked rather fun - jelly topped with marshmallows, which resembled a bubbly froth. But Baby has previous experience of jelly. She doesn't like it. The marshmallows interested her for a bit... but interest waned about the same time as her cousin stopped eating hers and started helping herself to a bit of Grandma's pudding.
Chocolate, cake and ice cream (probably in that order) are three of Baby's favourite things, yet she made not a murmur as they ate it in front of her, although she did go rather quiet and stared intently at them, all the while. I felt like I was watching her die a thousand deaths. Fortunately, the manager of the restaurant saved the day, by unexpectedly offering the girls some candyfloss, which he made then and there, right in front of them!! We've never had THAT in a pub before!!
|The magic of candyfloss manufacture!|
The Hub and I don't usually do desserts and definitely not those that Baby can't eat - ever since a disastrous occasion when Baby was a bit younger. When others have food or treats that she can't have (like at parties or toddler groups) I've usually thought ahead and compensated in some way, with an attractive dairy free alternative. So I suppose we have shielded her, in a way, from the fact that she is different to others.
THAT day all I had was a packet of Kelkin gluten and dairy free jaffa cakes - usually an attractive proposition, but faced with chocolate brownie and ice cream...
As she gets older, it's becoming more and more apparent to Baby, that others are able to eat things that she can't but would rather like to eat - they look so scrummy. And usually I am the one who's apparently denying her, by saying that she can't, because it contains milk. I don't know if she feels it as badly as I think she does, but I have noticed her behaviour worsening, not actually on but rather after the occasion.
Temper tantrums are, of course, normal in toddlers, but she has kicked off BIG time recently and normally after we have spent time with the rellies. I thought that it was because she was missing the extra attention, but now I am wondering if it's a knock-back following the food issue - especially as she saw Grandma yesterday and we had the conversation about dolly, this morning, AS WELL AS the tantrums today.
Yesterday, she ate her sandwiches quite happily, sat next to Grandma, as Grandma tucked into hers, but there was a conversation at some point about whether there was milk in Grandma's sandwich. Later on, there was the same conversation about some cake. It's almost as if the conversation with Grandma is to verify what Mummy has been saying to her about food - and things are clicking into place.
The time before it was another cousin's birthday and there was an enormous cream cake at stake - from Patisserie Valerie, no more, no less! There was an alternative for her, but... everyone else (except me, but I don't count) had the other... That evening, after we got home home she was horrendous!!!
So now I'm left wondering what to do for the best. Do I ask the rellies to politely refrain from eating this stuff in front of her? Do I continue to try to laden myself with food for every eventuality? How do I address the hurt and confusion that I think she's feeling? I've deliberately tried to be calm and matter of fact and not go into it too much (sort of never complain, never explain, although we have had a basic discussion about how the milk makes her tummy sore) up to now. And of course, I often have to go without food, for some reason or another, myself.
I would really like to hear back from people who have been through similar issues with their little ones, or who have had allergies or intolerances as a child and experienced similar situations. It would really help, to talk this one through. As although I developed some of my allergies as a child, having to forgo fresh fruit, that I'm not too bothered about, is hardly the same thing as being forced to forgo chocolate cake, now, is it??
Found this article which help help those experiencing the same kind of difficulties, with their children.