During this special week devoted to love, love, and more love, I learned my little one has two addictions – my iPhone (annoyingly taking photos and playing games like Fruit Ninja and Temple Runner) and eating chocolate.
Webster’s definition of an addict is “one addicted to an evil habit” and the word addicted means, “devoted, wholly given over to.” Yeah, I’d say that about sums it up! All week, Lil’ Man’s been snatching these things and running away, sneaking around, and I’ve even caught him hiding treats to ensure that he gets his fix later.
Why do I bring this up? Why is this huge news? And why am I happy about it?
First off, Jake has food allergies, peanut being one of them, and he has never had chocolate. I make him special chocolate cupcakes for birthdays and Christmas, but that is it. At three years old, he has never had a candy bar or M&Ms because they are processed in a peanut facility.
This Valentine’s Day, I learned that Hershey Kisses are not made in a peanut facility. Yay! I promptly snatched up a bag at the grocery store on Tuesday and opened them once we got home. This is when the addition problem started. By dinner, about three hours after cracking open the bag, he had eaten at least twenty Kisses.
I was feeling a little scared, wondering how crazy he was going to be after eating so much chocolate so fast. What happened, however, shocked me … his speech drastically improved. When we were outside, he asked to go play with some kids a few houses down that he had never thought twice about. And while I was putting steaks on the grill, he answered the phone when my sister called and tried to talk to her. He said “hello,” he said her name for the first time, and he was even trying to tell her about Valentine’s Day!
Later that same evening, he and LD were playing hide seek inside and he counted to thirteen. The words weren’t pronounced perfectly, but they were definitely recognizable. He struggles with counting and has never came close to counting that high before.
The next morning on the way to school, he found four more kisses in LD’s Valentine box from school and quickly scarfed those down in about sixty seconds. We went to Target at 8:30 and he walked up to the counter when we checked out and said, “Hi there!” He rarely says “Hi” to strangers, much less “Hi there!”
Then, something huge happened. I asked him a question while we were standing there, and he answered with a beautiful, perfect “yes.” For those of you that have been reading my blog on a regular basis, you know that we have been working on this word for three full months with no success. On Wednesday, however, the moment I’ve been waiting for finally arrived and two days later, he’s still got it.
His speech continued to be good for the rest of the day on Wednesday and Thursday he did well at speech therapy. He had “ants in his pants,” but he said his words accurately. Today, Friday, he’s back to normal … not overly talkative, but not completely silent either. Was it the chocolate? I’ve heard of kids with speech problems taking fish oil supplements, but that’s not an option for us because he’s also allergic to fish.
After a quick Google search I found a Yahoo article titled, “A Guide to Boosting Brain Power: Eat More Chocolate!” The article stated …
A study made at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia discovered dark chocolate, milk chocolate and carob effects concentration, response time, and recall. The study shows to boost your mental performance you should eat 8 grams of chocolate, which equates to two chocolate bars. Students consuming two chocolate bars will boost their word and image recall as well as increase performance in specific tasks such as taking standard computer tests or studying.
The article went on to say that …
Dark chocolate has many stimulants, including caffeine and theobromine, which enhance the brain activity for a small amount of time. It boosts blood flow to areas of the brain for two or three hours. Milk chocolate has stimulants like sugar, which makes you’re brain move faster.
Hmmm … Maybe I will start giving him Kisses on a regular basis and see what happens. My only fear would be that his body would get used to it and I then I would have to keep giving him, more, more, more!
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