Thanks to careful choices about food on the road, our vacation was going well. But with one wrong turn my ADHD daughter's behavior was suddenly all over the map.
by Sarah Kaczmarek
We enjoyed a summer vacation to South Dakota's Black Hills and a family reunion at the end of July. We planned to be gone for 10 days camping in our pop-up camper. My now-three-year-old barely slept in it last year, and being confined to a small space with the four of us doesn't sound like family bonding time; it sounds like insanity. Even writing this now, it sounds like a crazy idea. Still, I'm happy that didn't stop us from taking a family vacation. We had a really great time.
Most people plan their itinerary around seeing the sights. We were more concerned about where to shop for healthy and organic foods. I even called ahead to see what each store carried in each small town we'd be visiting. We mapped our sightseeing somewhat around where we could shop. Knowing how food can affect our children -- especially Hadley -- it was important to me to stick to what we're doing at home as much as possible.
About halfway into our trip the kids were having a terrible day. I was wondering if I was crazy to have taken this trip, and almost wished we were home. Up until this point our trip had been going pretty well and we were having fun. And then just before bedtime Hadley said, "Maybe I accidentally had dye or something. I can't help it."
I quickly ran through in my mind everything she had had that day. Then it dawned on me: pink bubblegum. She'd accidentally swallowed one piece and chewed a few pieces throughout the day. What was I thinking?! Red dye was in that brand!
I felt terrible. She'd been driving me bananas all day -- and it was all my fault.