Monday, September 8, 2014


Multiple times a day I commit the egregious sin of opening the refrigerator door and staring, slack-jawed, at the contents in the vain hope that they will somehow magically assemble themselves into something edible.  It’s not that I am not inspired or no longer enjoy cooking – the baby is even willing to sit contentedly in his rocker or lie on his playmat for a few minutes at a time, affording me the concentrated use of two hands needed to slice vegetables or open the oven.  And my love of food remains undaunted by my depressing revelations about my unsightly body when I stand in front of the mirror.  No, it’s that I am dairy-free for Freddie, and now everything without dairy tastes like the bitter tears of a new mother who cannot satisfy her cravings.


Freddie has grown so fast that I am sure we would both benefit from the calcium in such devilishly delightful dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream, and, oh God yes, cheese.  But his little tummy can’t handle dairy proteins right now, so we’re stuck with probiotic supplements and coconut-milk ice cream bars for the near future.


Worse than the snacks are the meals.  What do I eat?  Peanut butter? Chips and salsa?  Salad, again?  (My poor intestinal tract is having a hard time with the lack of cheese and yogurt, and more salad only makes things worse.)  Tuna?  Soup?  Cereal with almond milk?  Eggs (without cheese!)?  But then dinner comes around and I’m even less creative.  Grilled chicken, again?


And then I come up with something brilliant: Thai chicken skewers with homemade peanut sauce, say, or paella with chicken sausage.  Maybe red curry (not spicy!) with potatoes and broccoli or crock-pot cowboys beans with chicken.  I feel great!  I made something healthy and interesting and delicious!  And the first thing I hear when we all sit down to dinner is a high-pitched whine: “I don’t like this dinner!”


Inevitably, the other child either responds with “I don’t like this dinner, either,” or, if I’m lucky, the child will be in a contrary mood and want to be different than his brother and will exclaim, “I LOVE this dinner!” while shoveling it into his mouth so fast that he chokes.


When we finally start eating things with dairy again (Enchiladas! Ranch chicken! Lasagna!  Cheesy broccoli soup! Cheeseburger casserole!  Nachos!  Pizza!  Potatoes au gratin!  Chili rellenos!  Grilled cheese sandwiches!  Rice pudding!  Ice cream!  Holy Moses, I miss dairy!) it will feel like Christmas, I’m sure.  For a few days, anyway.  Then, one kid will start to turn his nose up, regardless of the cheese content of the meal in front of him, and sneer, “I don’t like this dinner!”  And then I will eat his dairy-licious dinner AND his portion of ice cream.


You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.


Sylvie said...

Coconut milk yogurts. So good ya not right :). I soy mind the soy yogurts but I know some people don't. Try the coconut milk ones. They had them at Fred Meyer here. And your side of the state is way more foodie/vegan than here so you should find them easily.

I remember how I missed dairy. But that was worth not having a screaming baby.

Julia said...

With you here. Having been on & off dairy (& gluten - even worse!) and trying to fix meals for everyone while meeting dietary restrictions sucks. Worth it, yes, but way crappy. My solutions were basically meat & some starch for days on end.

Amelia said...

It IS worth it, for sure. I can't even imagine how much more exhausted and crabby I'd be if Freddie was screaming and uncomfortable with gas from the dairy. Luckily for us, it should only be a couple more months.