Last Sunday, M chose this mask from a lineup of every superhero imaginable.
I don't have to wonder why.
Whim is teaching M ways to overcome his reactions. He talks about growing up with reactions just like M's, and I don't doubt it. But without the benefit of the diet, he had to learn ways to manage his impulses. And get kicked out of multiple schools in the meantime.
Communicating with M in a way only a Papa could, Whim has turned M on to the idea that having a reaction is like Bruce Banner changing into the hulk. At first, it's out of his control, but he learns to manage it. Whim is teaching M to close his eyes, breathe, and pray when he feels a reaction coming on. At almost-four years old, he has never (yet) used reactions as an excuse for misbehavior, but regardless - he needs to learn that he can choose to behave, no matter what he has eaten.
It's hard for me to hold M accountable for what he does when he's "under the influence" of food additives. When I see him melting down over shirt tags or going right back to the same misbehavior seconds after being disciplined, to me he looks like the victim. I want to tell him that it's not his fault. I want to lash out at the companies that sell crude oil disguised as food additives. But instead, we pray with him. We talk to him about consequences. We pull patience out of places inside us we never knew we had, and we hold him to the same standard we do when he has eaten clean. He has to learn that he is responsible for his choices no matter what.
Days without incident. 0.