Friday, December 12, 2014


It’s 3:30 AM and little man is sitting on my lap.  He’s not screaming.  I consider that an accomplishment.


Here’s the short version: Freddie is not yet ready for me to add dairy back into my diet.


The long version:

Charles used to scream like this, all night long.  Nothing was okay.  I could not make it right.  Eventually, he’d wear himself out and go to sleep for a couple of hours, then wake up screaming again.  We thought it was colic.  We thought some of it was normal.  I sometimes thought that God was punishing me for some unknown infraction.


The truth was that his baby tummy didn’t produce the enzymes to digest the dairy protein in my milk.  When I finally figured it out, after a Google rabbit hole of “What is wrong with my baby?” and cut out dairy from my diet, he got better.  He didn’t sleep much more, but he did stop screaming.  When he was about 6 months old, I started eating dairy again and he handled it fine.


I cut out dairy immediately upon birth of both Jamie and Freddie.


Freddie has only screamed like Charles did a couple of times in his short life, when he was in pain.  Tonight.  Oh, tonight.  My ears hurt.  But right now he’s content to just sit here while I type, so I’ll keep going.  Anything is better than the screaming.


Tony and I attended his office Christmas party this evening and, since Freddie is 5 months old, I thought I’d work some dairy back into my diet.  Seriously, it’s been AGES since I’ve had cheese and I miss it so much.  Forget about the ice cream, not having cheese means no lasagna, no enchiladas, no macaroni and cheese, no quesadillas… the list is long and delicious.  Just take a look at every meal on Pinterest, the devil’s website.  They all have cheese, and I can’t eat any of them.  It’s a tough way to live, especially when you’re trying to come up with new dinner ideas every night. 


TANGENT ALERT: What is up with no one else EVER having an idea for what to make for dinner?  Do your menfolk do this?  I ask for dinner suggestions for the week before I go grocery shopping, and it’s like they’ve never had dinner before in their lives.  Charles can only ever think of “chicken with skin” (rotisserie chicken, not something I’m willing to eat every week) and I get blank looks from Tony and Jamie.  I get into these cooking ruts, especially since most of what I crave right now has cheese or milk (cheeseburgers, nachos, omelets… OH MY GOD, stop it, Amelia!), and I’d like some help coming up with meals we can all enjoy, but I’m coming to realize that my boys don’t actually care.  They just want food.  They might even be content to eat the same thing in a row for a whole week (so long as it’s not quinoa).  Food as only fuel and not a daily enjoyment?  I can’t imagine living that way.


So here’s how tonight’s disaster went down:


Me: “Oh my God, I love cheese so much!”

Tony: Smiles indulgently at his addled wife who actually said that rather loudly at his office Christmas party.

Freddie, much later: “Waaaaaaa!” Repeat, ad infinitum.


Sacrifice, man.  I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately – namely, that I do a lot of it.  And it is the nature of sacrifice that you get nothing (or very little) in return.  I will sacrifice, for at least another month, cheese and the varied diet provided by dairy.  In return, I will get sleep.  It would seem a small price to pay for something so comforting, so vital, no?  And yet, I grow bitter, because NO ONE ELSE has to sacrifice a damned thing.  We mothers, we sacrifice our bodies, our careers, and our lifestyles for these small people.  Sometimes I look at them and I think, will it all be worth it?  And then I look at my life and wonder, would my mother say it was worth it, given what I’ve become?  I sure hope so.


3:30 AM is kind of a depressing time, y’all.  Commence praying for sleep.


Monica said...

It's not actual cheese, but have you tried Daiya ( It's the best cheese substitute I have found, and I have tried a bunch. Melts and stretches and tastes pretty cheesy, and even comes in different kinds - cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, etc. In the stores around here we have it in shreds, slices, and small blocks, and even some dairy-free cream cheese.

Amelia said...

I have tried Daiya, and I found the taste to be pretty repulsive, but perhaps that was just the flavor I tried (pepper jack). I'm pretty stubborn - I'll just cut it out entirely until I can have it. I KNOW it is only a short season in my life, but when one is sleep deprived and working hard and feeling roughed up by life, sometimes the littlest things really suck, you know? It's just cheese, for God's sake, but I like it and I miss it. Sigh.