I just had a strange experience at Wendy's. I pulled up to the drive-up window to pick up my food and the three women working by the window started laughing like crazy. Some folks would be offended, or bothered by this, but I was laughing too because I'm totally in on the joke. Here's the deal.
My three year old has Food Protein Induced Entercolitis Syndrome (FPIES for short). This basically means that she eats a VERY different diet than most kids her age. If any corn, rice, wheat....any grain at all really, gets into Lyla's belly, trouble will be coming. She can eat the bad stuff and all will seem fine until about two hours later, when out of nowhere, she'll start throwing up as if she's got food poisoning. It will go on and on until she's down to the yellow stomach bile. She will be totally dehydrated and she will want nothing more than to sleep. Once she wakes up, all is well again.
I figured all this out when she was about 8 months old. The first thing they tell you to feed your baby is rice cereal. I instinctively knew that her excessive "spit up" was a sign that rice cereal was not Lyla's thing. I moved on to basic, plain fruits and vegetables and she was fine. Then one day I fed her some new baby food jar that had corn mixed with the sweet potatoes. Two hours later she threw up so many times in the car that I had to sit in the backseat and hold her in my arms as Dave drove us home. I thought surely no child on the planet could be allergic to rice and corn. The doctor said it was possible, but after testing her for those allergies, it all came back negative. The doctor that helped me was great. He knew that any allergy she might have would be triggered instantly after she ate the offending food. That two hour time lapse guided him to the diagnosis of FPIES.
I hit the internet with my new knowledge and lucky for me I found an online group of women whose babies had the same strange thing as my child did. Some cases were less severe, and some seemed more intense with many of these poor parents making many trips to the emergency room with infants that had gone into shock. I was very lucky to have a well informed doctor that knew exactly what my kid had. We decided to just stick with the foods we already knew she could have and not try to many new foods.
A few years later, she is nearly four and still eats "jars" (our big girl word for baby food) nearly everyday. She took a long time to get used to food with more texture, but she also eats a certain brand of potato chip, chicken, turkey, raisins, craisins, and lots of different canned and fresh fruits and vegetables. She is very limited and we DO NOT branch out, for fear of a reaction. Our saving grace has by far been the potato. My kid would still be 20 pounds if it weren't for the potato. She can eat french fries at Wendy's and In and Out Burger. These are the only local places that have pure potato french fries that are cooked in an oil that she can eat. Do you even know what a pain in the ass it has been to find all this out? It sucks. She is so limited, but we LOVE being able to go to the Wendy's drive thru and pick her up a "value fry". She loves the taste, but more than that, she loves the normalcy. She never gets to eat what the other kids or adults are eating. It's alienating, even for a three and a half year old. So that's what we do, we stop at Wendy's a lot and we let her eat fries. I don't feel the least bit bad about it. I'm not scared of the grease! I love it. Those greasy fries have put some weight on my girl and they make her feel happy and normal. Lyla gets fries whenever she wants fries. She's NEVER eaten a cookie, she's NEVER eaten a slice of bread or a cheerio or macaroni or "nuggets", or ice-cream. She's totally allergic to dairy, did I even mention that? That one she may not grow out of, but we are told she should outgrow the FPIES. Fingers crossed.
So I pick Lyla up from pre-school today and we drive straight to Wendy's. This is pretty normal. We pull up to order our food. We ALWAYS order a "value fry". I can tell you from memory that it will be $1.07. But today I had my older daughter with us, so we ordered two value fries ($2.14). I pay the register lady and pull up to the food window. Remember now that every employee at Wendy's know me and my order well. We're practically family. So the ladies start cracking up, because they've been expecting me and no one has come through and ordered the single value fry. So they see an order of two value fries and they are sure that someone has screwed up because they KNOW that I only get one. So they have my single order ready and then I tell them I really did order two and they crack up. My favorite gal tells me, "We knew it was you and you NEVER get two". Camaraderie is great. I love my Wendy's gals!