Previously, on Diary of a SAHM….
Boatman went fishing with Taylah and Bailey, and Bridie, Ava and I planned a girls night out at Hogs Breath.
Bridie (who is five,) thought she wasn’t pretty.
So we are out at dinner, in our beautiful dresses, with our hair done (three ‘curly ones’ for Bridie), drinking our apple juice and Diet coke, and munching on garlic bread. I am absolutely loving the time with Bridie, and she is babbling on about hogs breath, and a boy called jacob from school who went to Hogs Breath in Adelaide, and who likes camping, and blah blah blah. You get the idea. She is five, so it’s pretty standard.
Anyway, whenever I get the opportunity to have one on one time with any of the kids, I try to, at some point, impart to them some wisdom that I think they need to hear. So I was looking for the opportunity to mention something about self worth, and it’s what’s inside that counts, when the food arrived.
With her mouth full of chicken nuggets and curly fries, Bridie made the observation that sometimes food doesn’t look nice, but it is nice when you eat it. And some food does look really pretty (like lettuce), but it doesn’t taste good when you eat it.
‘It’s a bit like people really,’ I say. ‘Sometimes even if people don’t look that pretty, they have a beautiful heart, and it’s only when you get to know them that you realise how beautiful they are. And other times, we think people are so pretty, and then when we make friends with them we find out they are mean, and tell lies, and aren’t very nice at all.’
‘yeah,’ Bridie replied thoughtfully. ‘But it’s hard because you can’t see inside people. You can’t see their heart.’
We were interrupted by the waitress then, and when she left the conversation moved on, but what I wanted to tell her is that you can see peoples hearts. The things people do and say, show us what’s on the inside. What they talk about tells us what’s important to them. How they deal with the tough times shows us what they are made of.
Everyone thinks my little Bridie is quiet, meek and mild. And around strangers she is. But at home, she is strong willed and determined, and she does not back down easily. She will fight when she thinks it’s worth it, and she is supremely practical, to the point of being quite hard hearted sometimes.
But she has needed to be strong.
It seems there is always one child in ever family, who seems to suffer the worst illness wise. Well in our family it is Bridie. Now don’t get me wrong; we really don’t have anything to complain about, compared to what some families endure, but still, small things are big things to small people.
When Bridie was a week old, she projectile vomited all over me. It was a lot, and I remember being concerned, but everyone convinced me it was probably just wind. Well at six months old, after lots of obvious tummy pain, and unsettled nights, we discovered she was lactose intolerant.
Because I wanted to continue breast feeding her, I cut all dairy out of my diet. And I mean ALL of it. If I ate a biscuit that had milk product as the second last ingredient on the packet, she suffered for it.
At about 18 months it appeared she had outgrown it. But then there were other stomach problems. A gastroscopy at 2 revealed reflux (which was odd at that age, and she had never had it as a baby,) but then that stopped as well.
This year, after a bevy of doctors visits, blood-tests, stool samples, and nutritionist recommended diets, we have come to the conclusion that she is Casein intolerant. (Casein is the protein in cows milk, while Lactose is the sugar.) Basically it means that when she has any dairy at all, she gets tummy cramps and headaches. It also means because Hogs Breath doesn’t do sorbet, we got to go Baskin Robbins afterwards for sorbet.
This week we have also discovered she is allergic to strawberries. Not severely, but enough to make her cheeks and neck glow with a shiny, red rash. I can’t explain how devastated this makes me. Bridie does not like fruit, except for strawberries. So now she can’t eat chocolate, strawberries, or ice-cream. Like I said, not a big thing in the grand scheme of things, but a big thing, to us.
So it’s true, that you can never know what’s inside a person by looking. To the world she is just a little girl, but to us she is a gorgeous little fire ball who puts up with tummy pain, and birthday party’s where she has to bring her own cake.
And that is all before the issues with her ears.
Which brings me to part three.