When Milk Doesn't Do a Body Good...

"Please, Mama, your mint chocolate chip is making me miserable..."

I haven’t written anything in this space lately because I can’t concentrate. Not because I’m a sleep-deprived frazzled mother whose toddler has very recently turned against her and whose 5-week-old is still feeding every 2 hours around the clock. No, I can’t concentrate because every ounce of mental energy I can muster is spent trying to crush the single thought that is playing over and over in my mind like a torturous broken record:

I want ice cream.

I want ice cream. I want ice cream. Right now I want a giant bowl of Turkey Hill’s Skinny Minty with a warmed brownie beneath it and a thick coating of Hershey’s syrup on top of it. Last night the craving was for Moose Tracks (same brownie, same syrup), but honestly I would have settled for vanilla. And that’s sayin’ something.

I want ice cream because I normally eat it on a very regular basis, and I currently can’t have it. Rather, I’m on a self-imposed restrictive diet due to an increasingly fussy newborn whose poop was consistently turning green. (Parents: Isn’t it amazing how part of parenthood means you talk to your spouse — with alarming frequency and casualness, I might add — about the color, frequency, consistency and smell of the contents of your tots’ diapers?? It’s sad, really. But I digress.)

Poor Evan was getting fussier and obviously uncomfortable with something in the milk he was digesting, and according to all the “experts,” he very well may have an intolerance to the proteins in the cow’s milk that I’m digesting and passing along to him.

That’s a convoluted way of saying I had to give up ice cream — and cheese, milk, sour cream, yogurt and butter — to see if eliminating it from my diet would make him a happier camper (with normal, mustard-colored poop. See, there I go again...) It should be mentioned that on the rare nights when I don’t cozy up to a dish of ice cream, my second choice of “bedtime treat” is usually a cup of lowfat yogurt with a generous handful of chocolate chips thrown in. This, of course, is also on the “banned” list. Sucks.

(God I want ice cream.)

All parents make sacrifices for their kids. I’ve sacrificed my job, relinquished my personal time and space, given up the dream of a decent night’s sleep, and let go of any hope for spending my 10-year anniversary in Europe, just to name a few. These of course are small, insignificant little “gives” that are far, far outweighed by the “gets” — the hugs, the smiles, the absolute wonder and abounding love that has filled my life because of these two little boys.

But giving up ice cream?! This one hurts. It hurts bad.

Since Evan’s allergic reaction seems to be on the mild end of the spectrum, I’ve opted to start by eliminating the basics like milk and cheese and ice cream, but not try to eliminate every food that includes any form of milk product from my diet. That, for me, would be mentally and emotionally exhausting, not to mention a logistical nightmare.

To put it another way, I ain’t givin’ up chocolate.

I have tried to cut down on my daily chocolate consumption (though Kostyn’s Easter basket isn’t helping that effort...), but I’m not to the point where I’m throwing out my bag of chocolate chips or my box of Reduced Fat White Cheddar Cheez-Its. I’m already facing life without pizza and ice cream, a world where tacos don’t get a dollup of sour cream, and turkey subs are stripped of their provalone, and Italian toast on a Saturday morning isn’t slathered with melting butter. A girl’s gotta draw a line somewhere.

The worst part about all this (sorry Evan) is that I think it’s working. That scares the bejeezus out of me because it could mean I have at least another six months of this friggin’ fast. They say most babies outgrow the cow’s milk protein intolerance by six months to a year — A YEAR! This is like telling Hugh Hefner he must remain abstinent for the rest of 2009. Damn near impossible.

I’ll do it, damnit, because that’s what parents do. We sacrifice. We hold down two or three jobs to make sure there’s food on the table. We work our fingers to the bone. We make do with old so our kids can have new. We shelve our dreams to fulfill our children’s.

We give up ice cream (and cheese!).

I’m definitely gonna make sure Evan knows about this when he gets older, though. Tip-top of the guilt trip list. I’ll have wrapped pints of Edy’s and Breyer’s given to me for every major holiday, mark my words. In the meantime, I’ll be cramming Girl Scout Trefoils down my throat each night in an attempt to fill the void.


Maestra said...

Hugs kiddo! I remember how frustrating and demoralizing this is.

Trader Joe's makes (well, made four years ago when I went through this) a lick the spoon delicious deep chocolate dairy-free sorbet.

Goat's milk is often well tolerated by those who are unable to tolerate cow's milk. After you do the six weeks dairy free and believe it is helping Evan then you could experiment with goat's milk products.

And hey, the soap worked, so maybe that trip to the chiropractor might be worth it...... ; )

Heather said...

Is frozen yogurt out of the question? I've been eating A LOT of that slathered in chocolate syrup. I think Rice Dreams makes some frozen faux ice cream treats. I know. Not the same. But it might help.

I don't think I've read a sadder post, Rob. I'm so sorry.

Robyn said...

Dee - I deleted your comment because it was really really long, but before I did that I copied and pasted it onto my laptop. Thanks for the tips and recipes!

joseph t said...

Hey Robyn,
My cousin in AZ is lactose intollerant and loves "skinny cow" ice cream sandwiches. They're soy based. I had one, and it's not bad at all, but it's no DQ, that's for sure.

Lyn said...

just when you think the sacrifices list has ended!

I truly feel for you! So much so in fact, I'll have a bowl for you...just kidding...

Robyn said...

Thanks for the sympathy and suggestions, all. It's not a lactose thing, so Lactaid and lactose-free ice cream won't do the trick. Wonder if there's a Trader Joe's somewhere around here....

That Nora Girl said...

Try to find the Tofutti brand in your local grocery stores. They make wonderful non-dairy ice cream and sour cream. Also, Earth Balance makes a very believable dairy free butter. May these items bring you comfort and food joy.