“I’m trying to jump out the window!” She kicked the screen. I grabbed her and held her back. I got my arms around her body and dragged her — shouting “Noooo!” — to her room and wrestled her onto her bed. I lay there with her, telling her this would pass and we’d have to wait it out. “I don’t care!” she said. “You don’t care about me! I wanna jump out the window!” I held her down as she cried and fought me.
What a difference two weeks can make! Until about two weeks ago, my almost-six-year-old daughter was having frequent, epic – and I mean epic — meltdowns. She wouldn’t just cry and scream and hit, she’d try to hurt herself to get attention. She’d punch herself, try to make herself vomit by choking herself and once she tried to climb off the second-story deck. But now the meltdowns have pretty much stopped.
That’s right, stopped. After reading “Dog-tirade,” a close friend commented about what she thought was going on. She said that my daughter’s tantrum sounded a lot like her daughter’s behavior before she stopped consuming artificial colors. I never thought we’d be a family that had dietary restrictions. It’s not that I don’t believe in them, it’s that we weren’t allergic to anything. Even my friend said “I felt like a crazy hippie at first, then I said to myself, what are artificial colors? Chemical dyes. Red is made out of coal. Yellow is made out of petroleum. If I gave my daughter, say, a small amount of methamphetamine and she had a reaction, no one would be surprised. So…my daughter reacts to the chemicals in artificial colors the way a tweeker reacts to meth.” Because I haven’t watched “Breaking Bad” yet, I’d never heard the term “tweeker,” but I took her word for it.