Monday, August 1, 2011
Max started on the Modified Atkins diet last August. I can't believe a year has gone by since our house acquired its fine glaze of butter on every surface. Just last week I noticed a very odd stain on a throw pillow on our couch. It looked to be in the shape of a small open mouth. It only took a few seconds to figure it out, it was the Messy Robot.
Early on in the diet Max began the habit of running away from us after each meal or dose of Levo Carnitine (served in butter). He takes off from the kitchen, usually in a circular route through the family room and back into the kitchen, all the while yelling Messy Robot. Most parents would find this highly annoying. He literally does this three or more times a day. However, for us it is different. The key is, Max is RUNNING. Maybe someday I will stop him from running, but not any time soon. It is just so fun to watch him pick up speed and we are always looking for opportunities for him to work out his legs. So Messy Robot has become part of our life this year. Usually I catch him and clean him before he does any damage...I guess I missed his face plant into the couch throw pillow the other day. A small price to pay for an active boy!
Max's team at Children's Hospital has always marveled at how well he has accepted the diet. We started off with monthly visits last summer and then moved to visits every three months near the beginning of 2011. Each time they saw him he was clutching a hunk of Bree or munching on some bacon. They were in awe the few times Caroline was with us. She would be sipping a milkshake or holding a donut and Max was just fine. He showed no jealousy and he never seemed to want or miss the treats she was eating. All in all this diet has been very easy for us to adjust to and it seemed even easier for Max. In fact, I was beginning to feel like we could write a big check mark over Modified Atkins in our heads and cruise on with life.
Well, I should know better. As soon as you think you have something down, it will change. That is life and I suppose that is what keeps life interesting. Last week I was making breakfast for Caroline and myself as Max ate his cheese, one small strawberry and bacon in the shape of a smiley face. I had just finished spreading the peanut butter on Caroline's toast and as I was topping it with cut up banana, Max turned to me and with the most serious voice said:
Mommy I don't like this diet. I don't want to be on a special diet. I WANT to eat regular food.
It caught me so off guard that my eyes teared up instantly and I struggled to even answer him. The smell of peanut butter and a banana was his breaking point? Wow. After months of watching others eat cake, candy, pizza, and all manner of treats, he broke over the smell of peanut butter and banana. My sweet little man. It wasn't just what he said, it was the tone of his voice that got to me. It was so clear and so very serious. The usually silly Max was gone and there sat a 4 year old who wanted a banana.
Is banana on my diet Mommy?
I am used to telling Max what is and is not on his diet. From the beginning he has asked about every food he sees. He always accepted my answer, which was usually no, with an amazing attitude. It broke my heart to tell him no, banana was not on his diet. I could measure it on the gram scale and figure a tiny amount for him, like I did with the Twinkie last month. But I didn't want to start down a slippery slope of him craving foods he just can't eat enough of to satisfy himself.
I found it ironic that he expressed dislike for the diet almost a year to the date of it starting. Honestly, I expected it long before and we thought we were in the clear going this long with him never mentioning any dissatisfaction with his food choices. The moment passed quickly though and Max's sunny disposition returned in a few minutes. He has not mentioned it again. Who knows, maybe it was just a fluke and not the beginning of him pushing against the one thing that has made such an amazing difference in his life. I am crossing my fingers and saying a few prayers. I will also not make that combination of food in front of him for a while, just in case.
I am happy to have a year of the diet behind us, we have all learned so much. Max is truly a different child. He is now a healthy, thriving, active little boy. I will try not to worry about the banana incident, if he has more concerns we will deal with them, one stick of butter at a time. Who knows, maybe it was just the Messy Robot in him. Just think of the pillow stain he could have created with peanut butter and banana!