uggh, what a mess and it sounds like there are some major control issues going on. We’ll see what the lawyer say but what I would do is: Have the doctor’s write notes stating that she has no milk allergy and get copies of medical records to show the cases of ringworm and the tests for milk allergy. If she was allergic to milk it would be more than a localized rash anyway. If mom is so insistent not to give her milk then she can get her calcium and vitamin D other ways…fortified soy milk, yogurt, cheese. What’s difficult here is if mom has this young child so convinced and you try and do things totally differently at your house. There is no reason that you have to feed the children a vegan diet at your home but kids follow vegan/vegetarian diets and are perfectly healthy, though I would check and see about things like variety and multi-vitamins. Since she doesn’t seem to mind if/when you take her to a doctor you may want to have her checked out for weight appropriate to height/age and if there is an issue let the doctor address it with the mom.
I have no problem with the diet while they are at their momma’s. My son’s doctor told me once if a kid is hungry they’ll eat. My problem is with the confusion this is giving little girl. She has her momma who she loves and trusts telling her she’s allergic, her daddy who she loves and trusts contradicting her momma. She’s caught in the middle. She’s gotten so it seen she’s afraid to state her own opinion because it would contridict something one of them says. We try to give her the tools to be her own person. I just see a little girl caught trying to make everybody happy and I want to help her grow strong enough to think for herself.
I completely symphathize with this situation, been there before too. What we did with my stepsons when they were being put in the middle by their mother is talked to them. We let them know that no matter what the situation is they could ALWAYS talk to us about it. We do our best when they bring up “Mamma says…” not to be too quick to say something, but we listen and then let them know that at our house, they are free to speak their mind. The youngest was 7 at the time and we weren’t sure that he quite understood, but he got it after a while. Make both the children feel free to talk to you two about any situation, or feelings. Don’t restrict discussions. It may be uncomfortable at times for you and your husband, but it will eventually get easier. There may be times that they ask you not to tell their mother they have told you something…to that we usually respond that it depends on what they tell us. If it’s something their mother needs to be aware of then he talks to her about it but normally, it just makes them feel better to not have to feel like they are keeping it secret, no matter how small.
You don’t necessarily have to contradict their mother. Simply tell the daughter that you have special medicine that will clear up her rash. If she refuses to drink milk at your home because mom is telling her that she’s allergic ask her to remember that she was tested. You don’t have to say “Your mother is lying to you” but giving them enough information to think it through themselves and eventually they understand that maybe mom doesn’t know everything. Keep records of all these occurances and when school is back in, keep in contact with the school nurse about the situation because it’s doubtful that you will keep a little girl away from a cat [;)]
I agree with mal, have her weight/age/height measured at the doctor. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, just a routine checkup and request that this be looked at because other children her age are bigger…or maybe have the doctor suggest a daily multivitamin…
BTW - When you and your husband discuss this situation with the ex, he needs to let her know that you do not follow the same diet restrictions. She does not have a say in what the children eat at your home as long as you aren’t giving them illegal substances. Just as your husband doesn’t have a say in what is eaten at her home. All you can do is give the child enough information to make a decision. Fruits do have sugar but unless you are diabetic, it is not bad for you. In fact, unless you are a diabetic you need some sugar in your diet. And natural sugars raise blood sugar levels slowly so that you get what you need instead of the sugar rush and crash.
My stepsons are getting used to the two different lifestyles. They live one way with their mother and are completely different with us…it’s just the way things are.
Just another thought, but I was told up until I was 20 years old that I was needed to gain weight. My stepmother, who raised me, always thought I was little compaired to other children. As I’ve gotten older though I’m a lot more “healthy” than anyone would have thought while I was growing up and I don’t seem to have a problem gaining weight any more[:I] a multivitamin may be all your stepchildren need to give them what they are not getting in their diet…don’t focus on just her with this…
I wouldn’t contradict mom but I would say that we have different rules/habits at our house. She is young enough so she will learn to adapt if you don’t make too much of this. We had a similar issue w/ my stepson’s eating habits but he was too heavy and was eating crap. I made the fatal mistake of trying to talk to ex about this and it just created more problems and tensions. We resolved to do the best that we could while he was with us and that has actually worked fairly well.
I appriciate the input. Little girl loves to drink milk, eat it in her cereal, yougert, ice cream. That is the issue the momma has with us. We encourage her to eat it. Although she is little, I am not so concerned that she is developing propertly (I was tiny myself, my grandma made me eat butter sandwiches shutter in order to “put some meat on my bones”). The kids know that we have different priorities at our house. They were very young (2/3) when their momma and daddy divorced. We have tried to get them to be open with us. When we ask a simple question (Monday it was do you want to go out to eat… where?) You can see them both trying to read our reaction to what they want to do, to make sure it is the “right” answer. It is kind of weird, they don’t mention “mommy” at all at our house except when they accidently call me that. Then they get all flustered and red faced. I play it off and say they can call me whaterver as long as it’s not “hey you”. The momma lives in Roanoke, va, we live in Orange County. The kids are all with us during the week. We do our best to keep things on an even keel and keep our opinions about the momma’s choices to ourselves. I would never put either of the kids through the confusion of trying to “pick sides” We raise them as we see fit. I have a 13 yo from a previous marriage, and it seems to have worked for him. I am trying to make them think for themselves, be able to make their own descions ( with the responsibilities that go with them) and at almost every turn it seems momma has undone the progress we make during the week. It shows more in the summer because she pretty much leaves all their educational stuff to us and we build on their accomplishments. Oh well, I guess I am just venting here. Thanks for listening. [;)]
I don’t mind you venting. This forum has been very helpful to me as well. While all of the stuff that we have to go through w/ the ex is frustrating ;I remind myself all the time that the ones who suffer the most are the kids.
Absolutely, keep venting here! It’s nice to hear how other parents and stepparents deal with this type of thing, to hear what has worked and what hasn’t. This forum has occasionally helped me with keeping things in perspective and sometimes it’s just nice to know that you aren’t going through the chaos alone…
I need some outside input. My husband and his ex wife have a 7 yo girl and 8 yo boy. The momma favors the girl over the boy, to the point of suggesting they be seperated and one parent gets each. Since their divorce, she has completely changed her lifestyle, which is fine for her. We don’t really care what she does as long as the kids are left out of the extreemes. She has become a vegan, which again, no problem with, Her choice. And we’ve discussed diets and if she wants to feed the kids her choice of foods, fine. All we worry about is that they get enough vitamins and protien, but as long as they grow, not a problem. I say all this to get to the latest drama with her. For the past two years she has told the daughter that she’s (the daughter) allergic to milk. There was a point where the little girl had a rash on her forehead. The momma insisted it was an allergic reaction to the milk she drinks at our house. The momma at that time worked in a dermatologist’s office. My husband asked her to get little girl an appointment. This enitre time the rash has spread from the size of a dime to the size of a half dollar. Up into her hairline. I called it as ringworm the day I saw it. Momma insisted it was a milk allergy, saying she knew more about things like this because of working in a doctor’s office. Grudgingly the momma got a sample of a precription for ringworm from her office (I’m not sure if she talked to the doctor about it, even though she said she did). She applied it once. Then said to us that it wasn’t ringworm because it got redder with the medicine. She takes the kids to school on Monday. My husband gets a call to pick up little girl because she has to be cleared by a doctor before she can return to school. ( This is two weeks from the initial symptoms) I told my husband not to wait for his ex to make the appointment, to make his own or take her to the pediatrition. He did take little girl to the dermatoligist office where her momma worked. The doctor said that little girl had ringworm. She also said that the type most likely came from a cat. The momma has six cats inside. We have a miniature poodle (but did not have her at that time). My husband and I got the medication needed and the 20.00 shampoo recomended. It cleared up. Fast forward a few months. Little girl has it again, this time on the back of her legs. Momma is telling her it is a milk allergy. We treat it and it goes away. Again and again this happens. We take little girl to the doctor and have her test specifically for a milk allergy. The prick test comes back negative. Momma takes her to hsve her own test done… negative. Mom is insisting the only 100% way of knowing is to have a blood test. Little boy got ringworm on his chin right before school pictures. Last week, I see it again on little girl’s wrist. I mention it to my husband. He mentions it to the momma. Then asks if she ever got the cats tested. She blew up. Asking if he knows how much it would cost to have 6 cats tested. She then brings up the rash (her words) on the back of little girl’s knees. Insisting it is a milk allergy. When the kids came home on Sunday I looked at little girl’s legs. What she had were bug bites up and down her legs. To me they look like flea bites. In order to keep things civil, we aren’t trying to going to be the ones to point out her misinterpretation. The fact is little girl has sensitive skin. She is prone to eczema (my thoughts on the milk allergy rash), she is not allergic to milk. The problem is the momma is telling her that she is. Telling her that all sugar is bad, including from stuff like strawberries. That she shouldn’t eat any meat at all. Little girl is just that… little. She is 7 and barely weighs 40 lbs. She needs all the protien and vitamins she can get. She needs the milk to build her bones and teeth. Any suggestions on how to handle this situation with out makeing things more confusing for a little girl?