Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’


Didn’t I recently blog about how much of a bad idea it is to ask my middle daughter to quantify and compare her feelings on things? I might not have.  Well, if I didn’t I will now.

It’s a bad idea to ask her to quantify and compare her feelings because I’m learning that it’s either difficult or impossible.  In some instances the choice is clear.

Mommy: Gracie, which do you like better: pumpkin muffins or rotted goat cheese?
Gracie: PUMPKIN MUFFINS! SHUT UP! That was a BAD CHOICE!

If I offer other types of choices where she has to quantify her feelings or how much she likes something, especially if she likes something over another something, she looks at me blankly or gets frustrated.

Mommy: Gracie, which do you like better: pumpkin muffins or apple muffins?
Gracie: I… but… YOU CAN NOT MAKE ME CHOICE THOSE! THAT WAS A BAD! CHOICE!
Mommy: Do you like both?
Gracie: I eat both.
Mommy: Do you like pumpkin more than apple?
Gracie: YOU ask TOO MANY QUESTIONS!
Mommy: If I make muffins right now, which muffins would you like me to make?
Gracie: Pumpkin.

If I ask her leading questions about her day, about new things we did or tried, it’s very similar.

Mommy: Gracie, did you have art class today?
Gracie: We did leaf impressions.  I colored them…
Mommy:  How much did you enjoy it?
Gracie: Ummmm… that is not a very good question.
Mommy: Did you like coloring with real leaves?
Gracie: I had fun.
Mommy: A lot of fun?
Gracie: I don’t know.
Mommy: Okay.  Did you like coloring leaf impressions so much that you would like to teach your sisters and me how to do them at home?
Gracie: NO! Never ask me again! Leaves belong outside!

Mommy: Gracie, did you have pizza?
Gracie: I had pizza! It had pepperoni!
Mommy: Was there cheese pizza too?
Gracie: Yes. I had pepperoni.
Mommy: Do you like plain cheese pizza too?
Gracie: It is PIZZA.
Mommy:  Which flavor do you like better? Plain cheese with nothing else? Or pepperoni?
Gracie: I like PIZZA!
Mommy: If I ordered you a pizza right now, what kind would you want me to order?
Gracie: Pepperoni.

She must think I have this weird obsession that requires her to quantify everything.  I’m learning how to rephrase and break the habit of adding, “how much” and other qualifiers onto questions with her.  I think that’s really what throws her off.  I should probably simply present two choices and ask her which one she wants and let HER be the one to choose to clarify as needed.  She also doesn’t necessarily see where I’m going with a line of questioning, so she sees things as pointless.  I have to also learn to just get to the point and be a lot more direct with her.  I would save her a lot of frustration.

Thinking about it, she doesn’t use very many qualifiers in her speech.  She doesn’t use “a lot” or “a little” when she talks about liking things or disliking things.  She simply says she likes it, dislikes it, loves it, or hates it.  That’s it.  Four descriptors.  When she loves someone, she just loves them.  She doesn’t love someone MORE than someone else unless it’s her baby cousins.  Because, duh, she clearly loves babies MORE than anyone else.

I really look forward to more expansive conversations when she’s older, if she’ll allow it.  I have to be careful right now because if she gets too upset by too much questioning I risk triggering a meltdown or overly frustrating her enough that she’ll shut down and refuse to speak for a while.

Or maybe I have it all wrong.  Any insight?

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image from cartoonstock.com

Sweet Girl enjoys little enough food due to tactile food issues that when she asks for something new I move heaven and earth to find it.  I don’t care if she ends up liking it or not because it just means that she’s willing to try and taste something new.  It doesn’t happen often, but for her to try a new taste and texture is a Big Deal even if it’s based on her anticipating how something might taste and feel.

Before shopping last night I asked her what she wanted in her school lunches this week and usually she shouts, “NOTHING! I HATE LUNCH! NO SNACK! GIVE ME YOGURT!” and my ears are blown out.  I had no reason to expect anything different but I still have to ask.  It’s our thing. It’s our routine.

Instead of the usual she asked for “stick mozzarella that won’t hurt my tummy.”  It was a very well thought out statement and her eyes were pleading.

Now I had a mission.  If Kraft can make shredded mozzarella and cheddar and Cabot can make cheddar blocks that cater to Lactose Intolerant people by making these products Lactose-Free, then I had hope that I could find a L-F string cheese.  I checked every single brand in every single “style” of mozzarella.  You’d be surprised how many string cheeses and stick cheeses there are out there.

There are a lot.  I won’t enumerate them.  You’re just going to have to trust me.

Lactose Free Polly-O String 2% milk

Despite all of the dozen or more string cheeses, I accomplished my mission with immense thanks to Polly-O who, I shouldn’t be surprised, is part of the Kraft Corporation.  It’s a specific style, though, and it’s the ONLY ONE that’s Lactose Free.  All of the others have lactose.  The bag on this one actually says “0 grams of lactose” under nutrition information.  All of the bags will say “enzyme” listed in their ingredients but unless it also says “0 grams of lactose” then it’s not actually Lactose Free.

This morning when it was time to make her lunch, SHE reminded ME about the new snack.  She even helped me make her lunch and put it together.  This never happens.  Today she has her dream lunch: Cinnamon Swirl Bread, grasshopper pie yogurt, and string cheese.  She had her favorite cereal for breakfast, which was a bit of a struggle but she ate it nonetheless, which was Almond Vanilla Special K.  She loves the crunch.  It’s a VERY crispy cereal and vanilla is one of her favorite things.

Of course the real test on this cheese and it’s flavor and texture is going to be the road test.  It might look pretty and have all of the requirements to be able to give it to her… but it might taste too salty or it might have a texture that she can’t tolerate.  It’s still a success in my book because she’s going to TRY it and that’s all I can ask.  I realize that it’s a blessing that she’s trying it since so many children on the Autism Spectrum won’t ever, ever try new foods.  This is a rarity, but it does happen and for that we’re blessed.  Let’s just hope that she finds it a risk worth taking.

P.S. This image was located with her help. 🙂

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