Monday, August 13, 2012

A regular Monday with a little extra food dye

Today is Monday, which means I will be vocally corralling Bella around Aldi's, like every Monday, in that borderline tone between withered nerves and the patience of Jesus. Which is what I did.
"Bella, please close that refrigerator door. Bella, I asked you to stay by Mama. Can you see Mama? No you can't, you need to stay where you can see me. Honey, don't open the package of peppers. We don't need any more fruit snacks, we have a lot at home still. Honey, I'm sorry you bumped your head but I had asked you to not push the cart like that.  Bella, I told you we can't open things unless we buy them. Please don't pick up gallons of milk."

I have to say I keep my cool 98% of the time. One random act of kindness one Monday was from a woman who kindly stopped me at the checkout and said, "You are doing such a good job with them." ('Them' being Bella and Emmett, who I usually have with me also) "You are so patient."
That literally made my entire month. On those hard days where the patience of churchy Jesus was nonexistent, I would think back to that lady's words. "You are doing such a good job with them". As a mom, half of the time it's really easy to think you're not.

So, today I was bagging the groceries while they sat on the counter looking out the window when it struck me that Bella's defiant behavior and extremely poor listening happened a few months ago, also. I had decided to try cutting out food dyes 1) to be healthier and 2) because I had heard that that can help with behavioral problems. The next two weeks we cut out the cereals, the yogurt, the snacks, the fruit snacks (which she would still get on special occasions) and everything else that food dye was surprisingly in. It's crazy how many things have food dye in them!!

After a good week of no food dye there was a definite difference. It wasn't a night and day difference because her behavior wasn't extreme, just over the top from the norm. The height of her tantrums decreased, the amount of tantrums decreased, she was much less defiant and more likely to listen and talk to me. Just like normal Bella. I realized this last week we had had either Fruit Loops, fruit snacks or flavored yogurt at least once a day. And this Bella that's been roaming the house lately is not the Bella that was here a few weeks ago.

It could easily just be a phase, which is totally normal, but we're cutting out the food dyes again to see if that really was the culprit last time.

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