The Accidental Vegan Baby

Back when I was vegan, I never expected my kids to be vegan. I made chicken and scrambled eggs for them on a regular basis, and they devoured blocks of cheese like locusts while I enjoyed my quinoa. In fact, one of my 17 year old’s first words was “cheeeeeeese.” Of course those days are long gone as I’m now a hardcore, low carb carnivore. I rarely crack 30 carbs a day.

Thus it was with some chagrin that it recently dawned on me that my 20 month old has been, essentially, a vegan baby since he weaned. And if breastmilk doesn’t count as “an animal product” he’s been vegan since birth. No, I don’t have him on a lettuce diet. He’s just a terribly finicky little eater, as were all my children. He lives on guacamole, crackers, fruit, and water (he absolutely refuses anything but water in his bottle). Yes, I have offered him milk, cheese, lamb, bacon, chicken, steak, fish and mayonnaise!! He shoves it all away with an annoyed glare.

As you can see, he’s withering away from this plant based diet:


(Now that I’ve started allow me to spam you with more baby pictures:)


If gobs of protein are so vital for human growth, why is he robust, beautiful, and healthy eating nothing but grain and avocados? I don’t have an answer, except for an opinion I’ve voiced previously on this blog. I think we humans are more like rats when it comes to food than we care to admit. We can thrive on just about anything- so long as it’s not outright poisonous or carcinogenic, and we don’t go overboard (or underboard (nothing like overuse of parentheses when writing!)).

So go ahead and enjoy your vegan diet, or your meat based diet, or your cookie diet (as long as you’re not diabetic!). Just take things in moderation and go for a long walk every now and then. And don’t forget to occasionally take a bath in the sink.

Dog Days of Summer

Summer vacation is now tallying three weeks. The house is eerily quiet with my oldest daughter “elsewhere.” I never realized how much noise the constant pacing, chattering, and random giggles produced. She also loves to blast youtube while pacing (Pink, according to her, is musical genius). So that’s not happening. And it’s quiet.

over the river
My parents took two girls to New England where they wile away the days in the pool, eating donuts, ice cream, and visiting my sister.


And they got to see fireworks twice- once at a private party and another time at the local park.

diurnal living
Us here, it’s down to my oldest, the overachiever (who did overachieve, she was valedictorian at her middle school- more impressive than it sounds), Dea (the artist, see chalk drawing below)…


…and the two youngest. It sounds like a lot of people but the house feels empty three men down. Every morning is the same- I change the baby, barricade the kitchen, and let him loose while he wreaks havoc. The following picture is not an unfamiliar scene.


Shortly after I took that picture (and retrieved him from the table) he walked into a corner cabinet… three times. He reminds me of a blind cat in that regard. He’s always walking into stuff, falling, and whacking his head. He even busted up his eye a few days ago (but it’s better now).


The overachiever often quips he’s either stupid or fearless; perhaps that’s a Venn diagram.

beach partay
With so few children to take care of, an outing to the beach is less daunting. This is precisely what we did over the weekend. As you can see, the Staten Island beaches were mobbed.


The overachiever and Adie got to “work on their tans” while I collected seashells.


visiting hours
Most evenings are punctuated with visiting my daughter in the psych ward. It’s a strange adventure each time: getting past the ill-tempered safety officers is like facing the cyclops, wandering the grounds is navigating a labyrinth, the random adult patients are passing minotaurs, and in the center of it all my daughter, a disheveled Phaedra, reigns over the adolescent unit.

The adolescent ward has a constant, mild party atmosphere. There’s a lot of video games, music, movies, jocular chit chat, and food. In fact food seems to be a perpetual pursuit amongst some of the girls: rifling through the freezer, concocting dishes in the microwave, idly stirring that evening’s dinner in its styrofoam container, clandestinely slipping packets of graham crackers hand to hand like a drug deal.

weight loss
A couple months ago I read an article about type 2 diabetics put on a very low calorie diet. According to the study, diabetes was reversed in all patients. However as is common with discussion of diabetes, it’s unclear if “reversed” means “eliminated” or “managed.” So I decided to try it myself, and got down to a little under 116 lbs. At my height this is approximately BMI 17.

Mission accomplished, I pulled out the glucose monitor, drank a glass of grape juice… drumroll please… and my blood sugar promptly shot up past 200 within an hour. So much for that theory. I hate to be pessimistic but if reducing myself to an underweight BMI has no impact on diabetic reactions, how is telling a morbidly obese person to lose 50 pounds going to help anything? But I’m not a doctor.

strange dreams
I continue to have strange dreams and nightmares most nights, which is nothing new, but the pace has picked up. Perhaps it’s spillover stress from my daughter’s situation. Last night I dreamed I returned to high school, but the facilities had been redone to look like The Hermitage. The teachers and other students kept referring to me as “princess” which I found odd but didn’t question. I saw two of the Romanov daughters running through the hallway (redolent of the scene from Russian Ark). I climbed up to the third floor of one building and the stairway began to collapse; so I instead walked down to the basement where a demon, locked in a prison cell, whispered through the walls to help him escape.