Halloween and more

Owen is all about pretending these days. Half the time, he’s crawling around on all fours, imagining he’s a dog or a cat. A lot of times when he’s nursing, he likes to pretend he’s a little baby. And speaking of babies, he now likes to imagine that we have a little baby around the house. He calls her Lydia, after our neighbor’s baby, and likes to include her in our daily activities. “Where is Lydia?”, he will say, to which I reply that she’s sleeping in the other room or beside us on the floor. We had a funny moment today when I was relating this to Becky (the real Lydia’s mom), and about how we had forgotten Lydia at home… Becky then said something along the lines of not wanting to leave Lydia with us for sitting any time soon!

I wondered if I should include this bit of information, but I’ve decided to go ahead and do so, considering the broader ramifications. We’ve had some extremely challenging moments over the past week, and I wonder if a lot of the truly out-of-control behavior had to do with Halloween candy that Owen consumed the day of and the day after. As a preface, Owen normally doesn’t get a lot of candy… we might do desserts as a special treat occasionally, but generally not the regular stuff off the shelves. Anyway, he got several very brightly colored candies, as well as some chocolate, and basically went berserk. It made me think of an article I read recently that talked about synthetic food dyes (which are made from petroleum!) and how it can impact children by making them excessively hyperactive.

Tuesday night, nearly at wit’s end, we threw out the rest of the bright candy and then restricted his intake of chocolate both yesterday and today. Today was the first ‘normal’ day since Halloween, and he’s been sleeping much better than the previous two nights. I definitely attribute the change to the withdrawal of the dyes.

Here are some links that talk of this topic in case anyone else is interested in further reading:
http://www.feingold.org/PR/pr-southampton.html
http://www.chem-tox.com/pregnancy/artificial.htm
http://www.feingold.org/halloween2.html

I still love Halloween; the excitement of going out after dark, the intrigue of wearing the costumes, etc., but we will be seriously thinking about how we will celebrate in the coming years. I still want the fun, without the chemicals. Next year, we may try out the idea of the Halloween sprite, who brings another item in exchange for leftover candy; only, we may tweak it a bit and cull out the colored candy right off the bat.

While we’re on the subject of Halloween, hopefully, we can get some pictures of Owen in costume up on the site soon. After wanting to first be a camel and then a unicorn, Owen finally opted to be a ghost. I think several Halloween books from the library heavily influenced his final choice. Having already gotten the materials for the unicorn, though, I decided this would by my costume. This was partly so as to not let the material go to waste, but it also had as much to do with satisfying an inner desire to be one, leftover from a youthful infatuation with them. 🙂