The light shines on in Logan’s room, even though it’s past his bedtime. I’m sitting in my bed, slowly wading through The Empathy Exams while listening to my son across the hall speed-read Pete the Cat, Hot Wheels Tunnel Trouble, and Bizcocho Va a la Escuela (I hadn’t even known he read in Spanish).
Conferences last week went extremely well: Logan scored off the charts in reading and math abilities, and his teacher reported he’s been doing well following along with class and not getting too wiggly.
This is all fabulous news. I should be ecstatic. And I am. But I’m also worried because now my husband is pushing even more to stop sticking to a strict sugar-free, grain-free, dairy-free diet. He argues that if Logan is doing fine, the diet’s not needed. But I worry it’s a marathon–we need to stay where we are for longer (a couple more years, at least!) to fully heal Logan’s gut and then ease off the diet. I read all the reasoning behind it–an entire year’s worth (and then some) of reading–but the details seem to have evaporated from my memory.
It’s not that I don’t empathize with Jason. He’s our full-time chef, who never gets to fall back on pre-made shortcuts. And he’s growing increasingly bored with our standard four-meal rotation: chicken, steak, fish, hamburger.
And it’s not that I don’t try to cook. (That was the point of this blog, after all.) It’s just that squeezing in time to cook is hard enough, let alone finding the extra time it takes to try out new things. Plus, any time we do deviate from our standard meals, it’s a gamble whether the kids will refuse to eat or not.
For example, Jason made wonderful pork chops and gravy from the Body Ecology Living cookbook this past weekend. I gobbled mine up; the kids delivered mixed reviews. At first, Logan declared he liked this “variety lunch” (fortuitously, he had just finished watching a cartoon where the protagonist learns to try a new food), but he really didn’t eat all that much of it.
And last week I tried to make chicken-quinoa soup. I cooked carrots and garlic in ghee, poured in a quart of our chicken stock and some spices, then cooked quinoa and added it and some leftover shredded chicken to the pot. It was delicious, and I was damn proud of myself for this completely improvised culinary success.
Logan refused to touch it.
My daughter said it was yummy, but to be fair, she thought she had cooked it; I’d let her peel the carrots into a small pot and pour in some water and salt. Then I put her pot on the stove and didn’t let her see when I served the soup from my pot.
Over the summer, I tried to create a “cereal” the kids could eat, throwing handfuls of berries, sliced almonds, chia seeds, and shredded coconut into a bowl with quinoa milk. I thought it was the perfect summer breakfast; the kids hated it.
We also tried making peanut butter cups last weekend, grinding up the coconut Logan had wanted to buy at the grocery store along with peanut butter. Jason melted dairy-free, sugar-free chocolate to layer on top, and stuck them in the freezer. They’re beyond amazing, though they’re also insanely sweet–Logan will barely bring himself to smell them.
Uggg…and trick-or-treating time is just around the corner.