It’s a bit of a seven year saga that I’m not really in the mood to rehash… but long story short, Jacob has what is called sugar sensitivity.  In a nutshell, his blood sugar is highly volatile and what he eats tips his biochemistry out of whack, wreaking havoc with his emotions and his self esteem.

As a baby he rarely cried.  He was super happy.  And he was eating every three hours on the nose.  Then as his eating habits evolved, he became a little ticking time bomb… first we thought it was just the terrible two’s.  But then it was the trying three’s.  And the tantrumy four’s.  And what my sister-in-law has started calling the “effing five’s.”  His meltdowns were epic.  They came out of nowhere and seemed to last forever.  We tried so many things— Time outs make it worse.  Is he over-tired?  Too much screen time?  Transitions are a challenge.  He’s just the most stubborn and willful child on the face of the planet… it was an emotional roller coaster and he had us all along for the ride.

Then, about six years into this, we were in the driveway of what has now become our “mountain house.”  One minute Jake was happy and talkative, and the next minute he was refusing to get into his car seat and was crouched on the floor of the car.  I checked my watch: 10:15am.  Almost exactly three hours since breakfast.  Every Saturday around 10:15am Jake’s personality switch flips.  I think I’m on to something…

It was August, after a particularly horrendous weekend, when I started googling things on my phone desperately searching for answers.  I literally cried on the platform of Caltrain when I finally found Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons write-up on sugar sensitive children.

And so we started focusing on food.  Especially breakfast.  And protein.  And feeding him “enough and on time.”  It hasn’t been a silver bullet… but it has certainly changed our lives.  I traded in my diaper bag for the orange insulated snack bag… emergency provisions that I never leave home without.

This weekend we were headed up to Great Grandma Terra’s 80th birthday party and I was driving and singing along to the radio.  James found my new lyrics to Old Dominion’s “Snapback” country song particularly funny:

Those stars need to be wished on
Your skin needs to be kissed on
My eyes baby they’re fixed on you and your snackbag
T-shirt of your favorite rock band
Checkin’ your make-up in my Ray Bans
Breakin’ hearts like only you can and your snackbag

Woah oh oh oh
Woah oh oh oh
Woah oh oh oh
And your snackbag

Even Jakey now exclaims, “Mom, Mom– Snackbag!” when it comes on the radio.  I can totally see the YouTube video…

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