Proud mom mode instantly engaged. I smiled, and lingered to hear his answer.
"Oh, my parents force me to eat this way."
Punch to the gut.
What?! Since when!? He has always been on board with his diet and is his own best advocate. I've never had to police him or convince him. He doesn't sneak and NEVER complains about wanting junk. His feeling was valid- we do dictate his diet -I just didn't expect it.
Today at lunch, I brought up what I'd heard. He kept his cool for a few seconds before breaking down in tears. "Everyone [in his class] bought bags of cotton candy at the zoo and were all eating it so freely". He felt left out. He wanted the treat, but more than that, he wanted to be part of that carefree group. "They were so free..." he kept reiterating.
It's not fair for him to have to manage such a big responsibility. I know that. But what are our options? I asked him, genuinely, if he wanted to go off the diet. He didn't even want to discuss it. He doesn't like his reactions and doesn't want to deal with them any more than he has to, so the diet stays. He said he just wanted to make cotton candy at home.
I'll admit my mind went straight to As Seen On TV personal cotton candy makers. But realistically, that would take weeks. And this is definitely going to come up again, but it's not always going to be cotton candy. We agreed that he just wanted a "special treat" that other kids like.
We got a pack of these rolly snacks at the market for a starter. They're safe, but novel, since he's never had them before. He was satisfied, but I just felt worse. Those snacks are just not fun!
So here's where I got clever. The lady was making them in her press, rolling them out by hand, and bagging them up on the spot. A quick whisper from Whim and we were headed home with these.
Ice cream cones!
The boys have only had ice cream cones once, over a year ago, so they definitely qualify as a special treat.
He didn't get his bag of cotton candy, but the ice cream cone did the trick.
I'm so proud of him. His attitude and his choices aren't easy to maintain. I will spoil him with ice cream cones any chance I get.