Monday, August 14, 2006

Mother's instincts

I was talking to a friend yesterday night, and spouting off about mother's instincts. You see, a mother is supposed to know when something's wrong with her kids.

But in today's parenting game, most mothers don't trust their instincts. They trust their doctors, or their own parents (okay, sometimes not so much their own parents), or whatever book has been recommended to them. But as another mom once told me, the doctor -- or the book's author -- isn't with your kid 24 hours a day, and doesn't get it when you just "feel" like something's wrong.

The friend I was talking to had a colicky child who screamed for hours a day, until about 4 months of age. And then once she started solids, she got hives and a horrible rash from dairy. But the mom hadn't really cut out dairy from her diet, even though she'd gotten that advice from friends, and her own mommy instincts told her that something was wrong. But the doctor said that dairy doesn't go into breastmilk, and so did the La Leche League counsellor.

(I want to go and throttle the La Leche League counsellor, but that's another post. I think that she should hold herself personally responsible for this poor babe crying in pain for all those months.)

But I'm just as guilty of ignoring my mommy instincts.

I've been (mostly) off dairy for the last year. I went off dairy about a month before Geoff was born, and then had an accidental exposure when he was about 3 months old. That wee exposure made him cry for two nights, and caused a rash on his calves that took six weeks to go away.

Last week, I decided to try again. I had a bite of aged cheddar cheese because it's supposedly got the lowest amount of milk protein. No reaction from Geoff that night, so I was delighted. Two days later, I had a bit more. Again, no reaction. Woo hoo!

Then last weekend, I had some (cow's milk) feta on my greek salad. Still no reaction that night. But the next day, he stated getting rashy dry-ish skin on his calves and forearms. I spent the next day coming up with excuses for why his skin was dry.

But my mommy instinct has finally kicked me in the shins. It is an allergic reaction, and I need to recognize it as such. I'll go off dairy again for another month, and maybe I'll try again after that.

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