There’s no point in even replacing his clothes yet! As has been noted by everyone in contact with him, my son has experienced a series of physical growth spurts over the past several months. If you’ve read my book, you know that this is the same kid who literally didn’t grow from age two to age three -one of the many terrifying symptoms he showed before we learned about how conventional “nutrition” just doesn’t cut it for so many kids.
Here are the strategies I’ve been implementing to support him through the physical aspect of his growth spurt:
1. The bin – Actually, this is always there, but now I make sure it’s stocked even more -and with a wider variety of protein and fat, to encourage higher consumption of both. The bin is a tall, clear Rubbermaid filled with foods he can choose freely from all day long. Yesterday I added to it foods we’ve never before eaten -canned sardines and canned oysters.
2. The troops – Because I needed two kid-friends to teach me to eat eggs, and I imagine I might be squeamish about oysters, I’ve asked a friend to come over this evening and “teach” us how to eat the canned sardines and oysters. Like his two kids that taught me how to eat eggs (man, did I ever despise eggs!), I trust he will bring technique and enthusiasm that will win us over to these slimy foods.
3. The puddings – Knowing he would come out of his shower crabby from growing, while he was in there I whipped random amounts of the following together: eggs, coconut oil, butter, pumpkin puree, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, honey, salt. (Because he no longer needs to be on strict GAPS, I also added to this batch molasses -for the gingerbready taste and for the additional minerals.) Sometimes I serve this to him raw, as “pudding”. Today is chilly here, so I baked it until he exited the shower. He loved it. He ate almost the entire mixing bowl full. (In my book, I emphasize not restricting the amount of dense nutrition you offer to your kids, and to yourself when you are in an intensive healing phase like Intro. You can see that I’m still gung-ho about that.) Emergency dishes can be other than puddings, too -the point is to put lots of fat, protein, and other nutrients into an easy-to-consume form. In GAPS Guide 2nd Edition I present an approach for shakes following this same concept.
4. The sleep – I make sure he has even more opportunity for deep rest, as this can do wonders to help a body assimilate the benefits of all that nutrition, to focus on what it needs to do, and also to help him feel stronger and more peaceful during a challenging physical transition.
Because we homeschool/unschool, he always gets lots of opportunities for fresh air and exercise, allowing him to stretch that body and wiggle into its new size.
Now, the emotional aspects are something else. On a spontaneous trip to Ikea last night for an hour of dreaming, my son learned that he is now too tall to play in their ball pit. He was devastated. Later, he sobbed and sobbed over this loss. We talked about what happens when we grow up, how we become ineligible for some activities and behaviours, but newly able to access others. What he doesn’t yet know is that next Tuesday (I like to give him time to feel and process a loss) he will receive a gift honouring his new level of physical, emotional, and intellectual maturity. A relatively small thing, but one that will hopefully support him emotionally and psychologically through the losses experienced as one grows.
In the meantime, I’m off to replenish the bin!