Communist Waffles!

You don’t know me, but I’m the husband sometimes mentioned on Mommy Needs A Swear Jar.  Like my bride, I am an accomplished user of profanity.  According to the Internet research I just conducted, Mark Twain once said that profanity can furnish a relief denied even to prayer.  In other words, when you’re stressed out and just sick of everybody’s shit ($0.25), nothing relieves the pressure like a skillfully crafted stream of profanity.  It’s a fitting theme for her blog.

Earlier this year we became concerned that our youngest child had symptoms consistent with autism and, after months of therapy, an autism diagnosis was made this fall.  Once we got over the initial shock, we set about finding the best treatment for our little man.  Aside from the wealth of medical advice we received from qualified and licensed medical professionals, up to speed on the latest peer-reviewed research in nationally published journals of repute, we also consulted The Internet.  The Internet was very confident that a gluten-free diet would help.  My wife approached me one morning and announced that she wanted to try this with Charlie.

I didn’t tell her this at the time, but I rolled my optic nerve into the back of my cranium.  It’s my understanding that, other than people with celiac disease, there’s no medical reason to go gluten-free.  There’s just People On The Internet Who Say It Works.  But, the more important consideration for me is that wives must be handled gingerly and mine is no exception.  There are two ways I could take this conversation:

#1 – I tell her No Fucking ($0.25) Way, and if Charlie grows up with even the slightest developmental delay, even if he’s spent years in therapy, my wife will go to her grave wracked with guilt and uncertainty over having not eliminated wheat, barley and rye from his diet.  That goes double if, in fifteen years, somebody publishes actual medical research supporting this theory.  So that’s out.

B) – I jump on board with both feet, agree to this plan and support and encourage her without question.  I was reasonably certain that this experiment wouldn’t last a week because it sounded like a huge pain in the ass ($0.25).  You have to execute it flawlessly and our toddler is, at best, a picky eater.  I know my wife, and she has to live with it, so getting on board quickly and enthusiastically is really the only option.

Mackenzie went shopping for gluten-free cooking ingredients, and they were easy to find.  They had gluten-free versions of everything Charlie loved!  This would be a piece of cake!  Hey, look!  They even have gluten-free waffles!  Fantastic!  But, wait.  These were not real American waffles.  They were a pale imitation of a waffle.  They were an interpretation of waffles.  They mocked waffles.

Charlie hated all of it.  He dumped every gluten-free food molecule we offered on the floor.  At one point during the gluten-free enterprise, I caught Charlie fishing a couple of toasted raviolis out of the garbage.  He saw me, I saw him, and he turned and made a run for it like a starving North Korean defector trying to cross the DMZ.  I chased him down and pried the raviolis from his kung fu death grip moments before he could hunker down and steal a nibble.

The waffles were the most spectacular failure.  You have to understand … Charlie loves waffles.  This child could subsist on nothing but frozen waffles and chicken nuggets.  When we gave him a gluten-free waffle, he first grimaced and then launched them across the kitchen, slapping his fists on his high-chair tray in protest.  He’s not a big talker but the message was received.  That shit ($0.25) ain’t a waffle.

The only way we could get him to choke these things down was to drown them in butter and maple syrup which, after a period of time, would mix with the “waffle” and coagulate into some kind of tacky paste that could double as constructive adhesive, and which Charlie promptly rubbed into his hair, clothes, and eye sockets.  It was a gigantic fuck ($0.25) you guys for trying to trick him into eating this vile doppelganger of a breakfast pastry.

At some point, Mackenzie called an audible.  “I’m ready to give up the gluten-free diet” she confessed.  “I don’t know what else to feed this child.”  I was equally flummoxed.  “Those waffles can’t be that bad” she said.  So we got the box out and took a look at the ingredients.

Please remember what a waffle is, definitionally.  A waffle is a batter of wheat flour, sugar, eggs, oil, and milk, warmed between two cooking plates.

POP QUIZ MOTHERFUCKERS ($0.25).  If a waffle is essentially gluten and dairy what the hell is in a gluten-free, dairy-free waffle?

Ingredients listed on the box:

1. Water

Seriously.  The first ingredient is water?  The first ingredient in an Eggo is delicious, amazing, wonderful, enriched wheat flour.

2. Van’s Gluten Free Flax Mix

This sounds like an epic shit-mix ($0.25) formula.  Just reading that makes me want to go poop for about four hours.  I’m surprised they didn’t include coffee grounds and black beans.

3. Non-GMP Expellar Pressed Canola Oil

Admit it.  You don’t know what that is.  Canola oil is the oil from a Canandian RAPE plant.  They call it “canola” because they know they have to put it on a grocery store shelf and convince women to buy it and no woman is taking home EXTRA VIRGIN RAPE OIL.

4. Van’s Natural Fruit Juice Blend

I’m sure this is the sweetener since there’s nothing else on this list that tastes like anything.  There’s no gluten in sugar so why can’t we have that?

5. Sea Salt

I’ll give them a pass on this one.  My wife says it’s okay, and her food is fantastic, so I believe her.

6. Guar Gum

Guar gum is used in shale oil refining, explosives manufacturing, fire-resistant materials, mining enterprises, printing and, of course, waffles.

It’s like a product from a factory in a David Lynch movie, or dreamed up in a Soviet laboratory. It’s a communist waffle.

Now let’s compare that to what’s in, for example, an Eggo.  An Eggo is made from: flour, water, oil, eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, sugar, salt, soy lecithin.

Fuck ($0.25) yes. That’s a waffle. That’s American, dammit. That’s a breath of warm, toasty, gluten-y air.  And if you don’t think there’s a genuine difference between that and the gluten-free waffle made from sawdust and eagle’s tears, you need only witness Charlie’s reaction when we threw in the towel on the gluten-free diet. That morning we made him a proper waffle and he tore into that thing like a starving hostage and pounded the table for more.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with a gluten-free diet.  For us, the attempt was the point. I knew my wife would not feel right until she put herself through the torment and came to the conclusion that this was not for us, and so I backed the effort cheerfully and tried my damnedest to avoid giving Charlie any gluten. The fact that she and I can sit together in the kitchen and laugh at ourselves after this misguided mission is one of those things that makes it easier to jump into the next one.  Together, we are fearless.


Total owed to the swear jar for this post: $1.75

25 thoughts on “Communist Waffles!

  1. Gluten-free food is improving. What once tasted like styrofoam peanuts, now tastes like flavorful cardboard. Some day in the near future I hope they (sciency folks who make fake food) will create something that more closely resembles real food and that won’t kill you for at least twenty years. Picky eaters are a whole other issue…

    • It really is terrible food. I really didn’t think it would be that big of a deal because there are so many foods that are naturally gluten-free. That’s where the picky eater thing comes into play. For me, it was trading one struggle for another and there’s absolutely no guarantees that it will work whereas therapy, especially at this young age, is proven. Thanks for commenting!

    • It is funny … NOW! Then, I thought I was going to have a heart-attack from the stress of this child not eating. He’s super fat so he wasn’t going to starve but he went a good two, maybe three, days eating nothing but corn chex. 🙂

    • Glad you liked it! I thought my husband had a unique perspective on this one and it would be better than he write it. He’s naturally hilarious but this topped even my expectations! Thanks for commenting ..

  2. Holy Crap (0.25) this is freaking hysterical. We tried to go gluten free and it was an epic failure. In what seventh layer of hell (0.25) does it make sense to not just use 4 ingredients that haven’t killed any kids born in the 1970′?

    • Seeing readers count up their cuss words is the equivalent of a singer having their songs sung to them while performing on stage. Now cough up $0.50! 🙂 You’re so right about the fads nowadays. Everything’s going to kill us. If it isn’t the preservatives in shelfed-foods, it’s gluten or it’s the GMOs in whole foods. Fuck it. Seriously. Not everyone can grow their own garden and raise their own livestock. My HOA would have something to say if I had chickens running around my yard for sure.

  3. A little tear rolled down my cheek at “that makes me want to go poop for about four hours,” because (1) poop is never not funny and (2) I once had an e.coli infection, so that turn of phrase caused some major PTSD. My sister, by the way, tried a gluten-free diet for her son when he was first diagnosed, and her efforts were similarly short-lived. But it’s lovely a testament to the lengths you will go to help your child. All in all, a hilarious post. Well done, Mr. Swear Jar.

  4. I was a little concerned that people would think that I’m a terrible mom for not seeing this one through. But then I realized I was trading one struggle for another. Life is stressful enough and I choose where I’m going to spend my precious energy. In the end, this was not a worthy endeavor. Thanks for commenting Jess!

  5. Gluten free does not need to be this horrific. You can make it at home. We do it all the time. Toddlers are totoriously picky eaters. Gluten free does not have to be the same premade junk in gluten free version. But real food : meat, vegetables, fruit in their natural state ( without being saturated in soy, cornsyrup and wheat goo) or made into homemade soups…not sure how to explain this : real food, damn it ( .25 $) that requires some actual cooking…it is that not freaking
    ( .25$) hard.also allergy test will help with figuring out actual allergies,

    • I feel you, girl. It’s a very simple diet and I really thought it would be easy to implement for my little guy but texture issues and sensory issues in his mouth really limit his food preferences. Add to that his language delay and short attention span and it’s just too much right now. I may try it again in the future. We generally eat a lower-carb (not gluten-free, per se) diet because my husband is diabetic but, for right now, it’s just too stressful. And those waffles are disgusting. 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  6. Ugh, I so hear you! We eat mostly gluten free with our 2 kids, but when I first started, it was just me living on my own and it was still so hard. I think the fact that I stumbled through the beginning stages when I only had myself to worry about is one of the big reasons I’m still able to do it today. And yeah, all the gluten free versions of food you love usually suck from what I’ve found too. The trick seems to be to go with something totally different so you don’t have a “regular” version to compare to. And there’s something to be said about stressing out over food. Gluten might be bad, but stress is no fucking picnic either. Here is $0.25 – that felt good!

    • You let it ALL out, girl! This is a safe zone for cussing. 🙂 Yeah, the gluten-free thing, for me, was trading one struggle for another so I just put a stop to it, for now. It’s a great diet, in theory, unless you have a child who will only eat pizza, waffles, crackers, cookies, eggs and baby food squash. A gluten-free diet wipes out 80% of his diet. I’m not happy about his diet but, after five kids, he’s the first truly picky eater (which apparently goes with the autism dx) and it is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to deal with as a mom. The MOST difficult would be potty training. GOD DAMN that sucked. And continues to suck. Because my husband told me AFTER we got married that he wet the bed until he was 12. And that is information he should have disclosed to me BEFORE we got married. Thanks for commenting!

  7. We tried the gluten-free way too. Didn’t work out. So, I can honestly say I know what you mean! There are a few choices we stuck with like Cup4Cup gluten-free flour, the gluten-free spaghetti noodles, and some snacks. I couldn’t take the flavorless life any longer, so we decided to try a different route. We have, for the most part, eliminited as many processed meals as possible. No more fast food trips every week, now it’s a treat. If it’s boxed, it probably isn’t getting made in my house. Takes more time, but it’s worth it.

    Great post!!!

  8. Pingback: The truth about my big family … | Mommy Needs A Swear Jar

  9. Gluten-free is nothing but a pain in the ass, I can agree. Tried it for about a day in an attempt to…gee, I’m not even sure. It sucked and not even worth the 10 minutes we lost trying it. Obviously, there are people who must live a gluten-free life for health reasons. But if you don’t really have to? Eh. Good read! Thanks for the laugh!

    • I think it’s a pretty good way to eat if you can give up bread and waffles. As an adult, some of the gluten-free foods like bread weren’t that bad but my toddler – who barely eats anything as it is – wasn’t having any of it! Thanks for commenting! My husband’s sense of humor is what gets us through our tougher times so I’m happy others can appreciate him.

  10. OMG – so funny! I do actually follow a gluten-free diet, and I know what you are talking about! This was hilarious! (Actually, my 8 year old and I are non-celiac gluten sensitive, and while there is no test for it now, we both feel SO much better on this diet there is nothing that would make us go back.). Having said that – we do cook a lot from scratch and have tried lots and lots of blogs and recipes to find things that work for us. Swapping out premade GF stuff for the usual stuff doesn’t usually work.

    This was my first time reading this blog and I think I’ll be back again!
    Thanks for the laughs!

    • My son is a ridiculously picky eater which, apparently, goes hand-in-hand with autism so going gluten free was about the most stressful thing I’ve ever done. He pretty much didn’t eat for five days before I gave up. Maybe when he’s older and we can reason with him better but, as of right now, he doesn’t eat meat or veggies or fruit really and there are times he’ll go on a hunger strike until he gets something crunchy and starchy. I just can’t fight with him. It’s trading one struggle for another. Thanks for commenting! That’s awesome that you and your son are gluten-free and it’s helping you!

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