She stopped swimming every day in the middle of winter (we were both bored out of our minds) and quit playing soccer. Since exercise is like medicine and Molly is naturally an athlete who loves to climb trees and hang from the monkey bars, she started gymnastics with a private coach who was patient, kind and encouraging. Molly excelled and the instructors commented on her physical strength.
The 2nd grade teacher, whom we will call Mrs. Patience had little communication with me after the 504 plan with the exception of a few emails regarding homework completion. The only indication of a problem were comments Mrs. Patience would occasionally make about Molly's behavior to my oldest son, her student the previous year, who stopped by her room sometimes to say hello while walking Molly to class. I found these comments somewhat inappropriate but decided not to address them in order to gain a small glimpse of this teacher's real thoughts about my daughter. Things weren't too bad I thought. We've got it made. I've got this food thing down. I've got the 504 plan in place. I've got the school doing what I want. No problem.
Three days later, I got another call. This time from Mrs. Vice-Principal reporting that Molly had been cursing in the cafeteria. In my bleary-eyed state, after being woken up to my equivalent of 4 o'clock in the morning after 2.5 hours of sleep, I heard that Molly had told a joke to her friends at the lunch table and had spelled out S-H-I-T. The joke did sound vaguely familiar since I had originally heard it from my eldest a few days prior while driving somewhere. I didn't tell Mrs. VP that we had all found the joke extremely hilarious in an early elementary sort of way, and had been laughing our heads off. Of course, the joke didn't involve any profanity at the time. I am really not one to get uptight about profanity. I do keep it away from my kids which I am able to do easily after a lifetime of clean vocabulary around my family of origin who probably don't realize that I curse like a drunken sailor with a stubbed toe when I'm at work. I think I was more upset about being woken up. However, I didn't think that would be the right lesson to impart. Molly maintains to this very day that her classmate told her to "spell out the word 'hit" and put an 'S" in front of it." Molly maintained quite innocently that she didn't even know what that word meant, for which I gave her the benefit of the doubt. For that terrible transgression, she spent the next day eating all by herself. She would have rather laid on a bed of nails.
You think we would be done. She had gotten two referrals in one week. She had been in her bedroom. She had missed out on recess and time with her friends at lunch. Nobody was happy. But the following week, I got another call. Molly had walked up to two boys who were standing in line in the cafeteria facing each, talking amiably while waiting for their class to leave like normal second graders. She grabbed each surprised boy by the back of the neck and clonked their foreheads together like two watermelons. I think one boy cried (which secretly makes me smile because my girl didn't cry even when she got socked in the mouth and no I'm not proud to be smiling about a little boy crying). When Molly was confronted about her behavior, her only explanation was "I thought it would be funny." When Mr. Principal called to talk to me about it, I had to suppress my strong urge to put my hands on my hips and say in a sing-songy voice "see? toldya so." I had told him several times when she was in kindergarten if she didn't have something constructive to do in the cafeteria, she would continue to have problems. I tell Mr. Principal and everyone else that will listen that my daughter is not malicious, just impulsive. I hope they believe me. Molly spent a whole week at the lunch table alone. She came home sad each day and needed extra hugs. I was desperate just to reach the end of the school year since I had been informed that one more problem would result in an in-school suspension.
Molly doesn't really know about the bread. It's not that I kept it a secret. We talked about it. It's just that in these situations, from Molly's perspective, I place the responsibility squarely on her, not the food, not even myself (of course I blame myself). These are her choices after all, although there are some mental health professionals that would argue that it is her brain, her frontal cortex and dopamine levels, that are responsible for her impulse control. But, I have seen the consequences of children who grow up using their diagnosis to deflect personal responsibility. It's never pretty.