Yes. You read that correctly.
As many of you know Miller has been battling ear infections since October. We had tubes put in before Christmas only to have them both clogged and infected about 2-1/2 weeks later. It's been frustrating to say the least. I had a doctor's appointment in January and my doctor asked "what's been going on" and I mentioned that we'd been having so much trouble with Miller's ears and just didn't have any idea what to do to help her. She suggested going to a health food store and asking what they have to help boost an infant/toddler's immune system. I thought, "can't hurt, I guess".
So, I drive down to the local coop to see what's going on. I've never been in so I'm expecting a real flying freak show of a circus and to be tackled by the nature police at the door for wearing chemically dyed polyester and reeking of red meat. I wasn't tackled, but I was otherwise not let down. Did you know that there is a kind of rock that you can put in your laundry instead of soap to clean your clothes? Did you know they make vegan DOG food? There is and they do. Too much. I walked into the side room that has all the supplements and a friendly guy asked if he could help me. I looked up to see a white guy with dreds that would have made Denise Huxtable jealous. He was not wearing anything chemically dyed- it had probably been washed with "soap" rocks, too. I proceeded to tell him about Miller's troubles and waited for my new witch doctor's analysis. He showed me a few products and left me with "you should also not give her any milk- that can really aggravate congestion." To myself, "Yeah right you FRUIT! I'll just NOT give my baby milk, that's healthy." I didn't buy any of his echinacea either.
A few days later I was at a party and saw a friend I hadn't seen in awhile. She said she'd read on our blog about how we'd been having so much ear trouble and how sorry she was. She also mentioned that she had a friend that had been in the same boat and her ENT had said it might be a milk allergy and to go off of milk and replace it with soy products for a couple of weeks. Then switch back to milk and see what happened. The more I stood and listened to her, the more I started thinking THIS IS IT! We had so much trouble with milk as an infant and as soon as we were able to get on regular formula and milk around 9 or 10 months we started with the ear stuff. Why had no one suggested this possibility yet?! (if you'd like a window into this saint's world here's a link to her blog- thank you thank you thank you Dr. Jennifer!!)
So I went to the grocery store that night and bought some soy milk and yogurt and we began a new regiment immediately. And not too long after that I remembered why soy formula was never an option. Miller has a violent intestinal reaction to soy. I tried to keep her on it for a couple of days, but she developed the worst diaper rash ever and we had to quit.
Sooooo, I googled "alternatives to dairy and soy milk" and began reading. After I read about several options I went to the grocery store to see what was available. I could not believe it when I read about it on the web. I wrote it off because I knew it wouldn't be sold at a regular grocery store- and there was no way I'd be making regular trips to the coop (and thereby becoming a "co-oper"). But it did have the best ratings as far as nutrition went. Had some protein, was all natural, you can cook with it. But who cares, I wouldn't be able to find it and who would feed that to their child anyway? But there on the shelf in the regular grocery store in Nowheresville, USA it sat. Hemp milk. I grabbed a box and hid it under the feminine products (there was a time when I'd buy a doormat to hide those from the other shoppers). I can not believe I am buying weed milk for my baby.
I had a sippy cup in the car, so I loaded it up and handed it to Millie Moo. She took one sip and threw it to the floor. When we got home I put a little chocolate syrup in it and handed it back to her. What can I say. She's my child. You could put chocolate in a mud pie and we'd eat it. She sucked back a couple of cups of it throughout the day.
And then I started getting a little concerned. I mean what if it's a gateway beverage. What if this one little misstep on my part causes her to leave my house as a "lefty". She could refuse to go mainstream, start wearing jumpers and want to be home schooled. What if she becomes a flag burning, war protesting hippie. What it if she insists on feeding the dog vegan food and washing our clothes with rocks. What if she becomes . . . a . . . democrat?
It's too horrific to think that I might be leading these chubby little cheeks and bright eyes down that path. I chunked the half full, cardboard, hemp milk box away. We're back to juice a couple of times a day and water. She gets a Pediasure every now and then for a little extra fat and calories.
She has been ear infection free for about a month and a half now. She's also wearing a chemically died sundress that was purchased at a mega store.