Sunday, December 30, 2012

One of the best decisions I made in 2012: antidepressants

I wish that eating well, running, and staying busy were enough to keep depression and anxiety at bay for me, but they aren't. Those are all things I've been doing for years, and still - for years - I had this constant, nagging feeling of Something is wrong with me. I planned my own funeral for fun. I wrote depressing entries in my diary. I made friends and lost them, over and over again. Something is wrong with me. I got angry and threw things. I cried while lying on the floor of the bathroom, light off, door locked. I quit things, changed jobs, viewed moving once every year or two as a perfectly logical approach to dealing with social discomfort. Something is wrong with me.

And yet throughout that time, I looked totally functional to most people. I went to school or work. I excelled in classes and in my jobs. I smiled, bantered, was personable. I maintained my relationship with my husband. I had a kid.

Few people outside my immediate family knew how much I was struggling. I didn't know how much I was struggling. Periodic bouts of exhaustion, near-constant irritability, and daily anxiety attacks were, from my perspective, just part of the fabric of my personality. And to a certain degree, one gets used to feeling bad when one has felt that way since her early teens. I had enough coping strategies in place (like working really hard, eating well, running, sleeping, zoning out, distancing myself from others if I might go all Jekyll-and-Hyde on them, etc.) that I got by, for the most part. As the years went on I also became adept at hiding what was really going on.

That's a common theme in mental health: hiding. Which is partly why so many of us who struggle with difficult mental experiences feel so isolated and alone. We don't want to embarrass ourselves, so we compensate by striving to look normal (or better yet, GREAT!); when we do furtively glance over the wall to see if there's anyone else out there, the place looks empty. In reality the mental health landscape is full of people struggling with similar things, all hiding from one another, afraid (often understandably so) to stand up and put it all out there. I think that's slowly changing. Finally.

I started therapy long before I started taking an antidepressant, a strategy that now seems somewhat backwards. Don't get me wrong: therapy has been invaluable in that it's offered a place where I can dig through my life and identify where, how, and why ineffective habits developed. It's given me tools: I've learned how to set boundaries, be nice to myself, combat negative thoughts, handle conflict, and be more assertive. I needed the therapy; it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The problem was, implementing these strategies while dealing with full-on depression and anxiety was like trying to build a life raft while in the active process of drowning. 

Only after I got in touch with a psychiatrist, received a diagnosis (major depression and PTSD), and started on Zoloft (a relatively reliable, long-studied antidepressant used specifically to treat PTSD, among other conditions) did I realize just how long I'd been on the verge of being pulled under permanently. I'd gotten so used to treading water that I didn't know life's not supposed to be a constant day-to-day, year-to-year struggle. I did recognize that the bad times were growing progressively worse. By last January I was having the conversation with my therapist of, "I won't end my life. But I think about it. But I won't do it. But sometimes I want to just not exist," and him saying, "What you're holding onto is an emergency exit option. As long as that door is open, even just a little, you are in danger."

It's hard to describe how different my life is now that I am taking that little white pill every morning. Maybe it looks the same from the outside. I'm still doing what I've always done: working hard, running, putting time and effort into my relationships, challenging myself. But from the inside, it's like Extreme Makeover: Headspace Edition. My anxiety is still there, but I'm mostly able to manage it. I still get depressed, but I recognize the warning signs and know to take action before things get really bad. And all the techniques from therapy? Now I can actually put them into practice on a consistent basis. (Turns out, positive self-talk really works, if you can make yourself do it!)

Sometimes it's hard to remember what it used to be like. I do find myself wondering why I couldn't pull it together, why I made things so hard for myself. But then I'll read an old journal entry or think back to one of my earlier sessions in therapy, and I'll remember that I didn't do this to myself, that I was working as hard as I possibly could to fix my brain. I couldn't save myself no matter how much CBT, EMDR, or western meditation I did. A person with two broken arms might know everything about what it takes to construct a house; she might have all the tools, all the blueprints. But unless her broken arms are set and have a chance to heal, there's no way she's going to be able to actively use her arms to build it.

That's what medicine has done for me: it's put me in a place where my brain can rest long enough to (hopefully) get better. Sometimes I do wonder whether I will ever be able to stop taking Zoloft. Part of me believes it's just a temporary support beam, and that if I can just use this time to reconstruct and galvanize my way of thinking, I'll eventually be able to remove that support. Another part of me worries that if I ever stop, the whole thing will collapse. At any rate, I'm not ready to quit medication just yet. It's working for me; if it's working, why stop? The statistics also give me pause. Depression is one of those things where if you experience it a couple of times, you're likely to experience it again in the future, and it might be worse the next time.

Of course, every person's experiences are unique, and that's certainly true when it comes to antidepressants. I've read that for some people, they don't work; some people have side effects that negate the positive outcomes; other people do well on them for awhile, and then the medication loses its effectiveness. For all I know, Zoloft might lose its oomph for me, too. But for now, I'm just grateful that it's working. It's one of the best - perhaps the best - decision I made this year.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Marginally-Homemade Vegan Chocolate Nibbles

I have an issue with vegan energy bars, and it's that most of them (with the exception of Zing bars, which are my absolute favorite but which are expensive and not readily available around here) are date-based. Dates are tasty, but they're also texturally dense and very sweet. When you add to that things like dried cherries, walnuts, and agave, they turn into brick-like sugarbombs.

If I had to pick a favorite - Zing not included - it would be the Pure Bar:

The chocolate one especially. It doesn't really taste like a brownie to me, contrary to what the package says, but the cocoa cuts the sweetness a bit. The cherry cashew is... okay. When I'm desperate for a quick snack in the middle of the day, I'll eat one if it's the only carb-y thing around. 

But still... These things have heft, and once I eat one, I can feel the heft in my stomach. See? Dense, dense, dense:

However, they make a fantastic base for quick and easy chocolate nibbles. All you need is a bar and some dark chocolate. I use Trader Joe's: it melts well, and it's inexpensive:

Cut the bars up into little bite-size pieces...

...and then melt a few of the chocolate bars in the microwave. Heat on medium-high for 2-3 minutes, stirring once every minute.

Then just drizzle the chocolate over the bites. My five-year-old son did this part - his method was to dot each bite with a glob of chocolate. My method is to cover the whole thing (chocolate everywhere!), but I like how his chocolate dribbled over the sides. He did, too: he now fancies himself quite the pastry chef.

So easy, a Kindergartner can do it! (He loves stuff like this.)

I'll keep them in the refrigerator and have them as dessert for the next few days. Two or three bites are enough to make me feel satisfied and chocolate-happy.

This "recipe" makes Sandra Lee's creations look like food worthy of the French Laundry.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Most Fantastic Present: The RunnerBox

I love giving gifts but I generally suck at picking them out. This is especially true when it comes to my husband, my parents, and my brother's family. I consistently end up finding stuff that *I* want, but for everyone else, it's a crapshoot. And although I'm loath to give gift cards, sometimes that's the best I can do.

My husband is one of those people who's hard to buy for because he doesn't want a lot of stuff. That's something I love about him, but it makes gifty holidays a little challenging. Things I do not buy for him:
  • Clothing. No t-shirts, no sweaters, definitely no pants or shoes. I did manage to get him a running jacket he liked last year, but I was very careful to include the gift receipt and was pleasantly surprised when he did not use it.
  • Power tools. I'm much more likely to wield a drill or a hammer than he is.
  • Books. 
  • Anything even remotely related to man-scaping.
Things I know he likes:
  • Peet's Coffee. But at $14+ per pound, I'm hesitant to splurge for it.
  • Gift certificates to running stores and Hammer Nutrition. Useful, but not very creative.
  • Apple products. Too expensive. 
I was at a loss this year until I read a review of The RunnerBox at Yo Momma Runs. The RunnerBox is a subscription that entitles the recipient to a box of running-related goodies every other month. I  knew immediately that my running-addicted husband would love it. Staci of the RunnerBox team mailed the first shipment the day after I placed the order. When I had an issue with PayPal, Staci also got to work on the problem, resolved it within hours, and kept me posted. I had the gift in hand by Christmas Eve; I didn't have to do much in the way of wrapping it because it came with a gift card, a ribbon, and a little gift-topper. I definitely got the sense that these folks care about the quality of the product and customer service.

The box came with lots of goodies, including tea, a reflector, gum, gels, protein powders, and other stuff that my husband is excited to try out:

I plan to steal some of these from him:

I've already stolen this:

This would be perfect for anyone who enjoys running, and particularly for someone who's new to running or training for a race. What great motivation! Plus, who doesn't love the anticipation of waiting for a present in the mail? :-)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Very Vegan Christmas

Merry Christmas and/or happy holidays, depending on what you celebrate. Regardless, I hope you get to spend this time of year with people you love.

My parents are in town to help celebrate, and yesterday I made a whole vegan spread for dinner. (Today is Day 8 of my 30 Day Vegan Challenge.)

This was super easy. The hardest part was simply cutting the squash in half. Had anyone been watching me try to slice through this thing with a butcher knife, I would have probably given them a heart attack. Thankfully it all worked out.

2. Steamed mustard, turnip, and collard greens with sweet onions, grape tomatoes, and yellow squash:

I didn't use a recipe for this one. I just made it up as I went along. I heated up the onions, then the tomatoes and the squash; this lent some sweetness to the pan. Then I added the greens and steamed it all on low for about 10 minutes or so. It takes a while for these types of leaves to soften up.

3. Roasted beets, carrots, and brussels sprouts:

Another easy one. I coated the brussels sprouts and carrots with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and then sprinkled in salt and pepper. I did the same to the beets, but separately to minimize getting beet juice everywhere (still happened during the cooking process, though). Then I roasted the mixture at 400F for ~30 minutes.

4. Smashed potatoes:

I peeled the potatoes and cooked them in the microwave until they were soft. Then I squished them up using a potato masher and added Earth Balance spread (not too much, since it tends to be a bit oily) and almond milk (probably between 1 and 1 1/2 cups in total).

Also, I purchased a crusty loaf of bread for everyone else's enjoyment. I heated it up, sliced it, and slathered a piece of it with butter for my son. Kid looked like he was in gluten heaven.

Verdict: I thought it was fantastic; the best thing was feeling full and satisfied, but not stuffed. My mom said she loved it. My husband seemed to enjoy it, especially the potatoes. My dad... Not so much. This was not his idea of a traditional Christmas dinner. Or traditional Christmas anything, given that we do not go to church or attend a Christmas Eve service. I have to be really careful not to let myself fall into the "I never do anything right" thing with them.

But whatever. You come to my house, you get to eat my hippie granola food and do the holidays our way. In the end, I hope they realize that we do have common ground - not in food, not in spiritual beliefs or practices, not in income, but in family and in doing our best for the kids in our family.

Anyway, have a wonderful day! I hope you get to eat, and rest, and share, and get all of the things you need and at least a few of the things you want.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday Six; Vegan Days 3-5

1. My family came into town today. One thing that I've noticed since being in therapy, taking antidepressants, and learning how to set boundaries is that I can now handle having my relatives in my home for extended periods of time (and by "extended," I mean six hours or so, tops). This has not always been the case. Used to be that having them here for even half an hour sent me into a tailspin of anxiety, depression, and dissociation. The most important thing for me is not letting them infiltrate my own space: whereas we used to have them stay in our house, we now ask them to stay in a hotel. Although somewhat inconvenient, it works out so much better for everyone.

Confession: as healthy as that all sounds, I was kind of a mess yesterday. When it comes to my family, panic attacks are my autopilot measure.

2. Another confession: while they are in town, we have plenty of libation on hand. Alcohol does serve its purpose at the holidays. I did not learn this in therapy. 

This is one of my favorite inexpensive wines - mostly because it tastes good, but I also do love the label. :-)

3. One of my students from this past semester sent me a hand-written thank you card. My grades have been in for two weeks and she's already received her updated transcript, so it's not like she was doing this to win favors. I have to give her props. Maybe one day I'll make writing personalized thank-you messages a goal; as it is, I'm happy if we manage to get the water bill in the mail.

4. Paper snowflakes: I love them.

5. Today was Day 5 of the 30 Day Vegan Challenge. So far, so good! 

Breakfast: GF granola cereal with almond milk
Snack: Almond milk (!) latte at the new cafe in town... This is the first time I've been to a local place that offers almond milk
Lunch: GF pasta (Trader Joe's brand, which is pretty good) and sauce with an apple on the side
Snack: Orange and a Larabar
Dinner: Sauerkraut with potatoes, green beans, and mushrooms. Sauerkraut: smells stinky, tastes delish, yay for fermented food.

I'm reminded that this whole vegan thing isn't an issue for me as long as I have access to the food I like/need and a way to cook it. I'm not craving meat or dairy so far. In the long run, I think cheese will be the toughest thing: I do love a good stinky cheese.

6. To offset the calorie count: mat Pilates last night (first time doing a bona-fide Pilates class) and an Xtend Barre class today. After two weeks of being away, I'm sore.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Home Again; Vegan Challenge, Days 1 and 2

I'm home, I'm home! I'm so happy to be home. This trip to California felt really long, even though it was similar in length to other trips I've taken. While I did appreciate the opportunity to gather some much-needed data for my dissertation research, and while I definitely appreciated the opportunity to hang out in such a lovely place, it seemed like I was gone for a month, not 12 days.

Overall, it was a good trip. I never felt overly lonely, and I was able to go out, run, and enjoy the fresh air quite often. I also indulged in activities that are more difficult when I'm home with an active five-year-old - namely, eating dinner in bed while watching Sister Wives and Catfish uninterrupted. There's something to be said for that.

But I missed my little man, and my husband, and now that I'm back, our holiday can actually start. 

*  *  *
I'm on Day 3 of the 30 Day Vegan Challenge. So far, so good. Days 1 and 2 involved some creative meal planning using food from the motel's free breakfast (coffee, juice, cereal, granola bars), quick-cook meals from Trader Joe's, and a pomelo that took me approximately 24 minutes to peel (I was feeling ambitious and adventurous with that one; in the end, it tasted okay).

Something I've learned so far: I do not like soy yogurt. At all. Too gluey, and it tastes like... pasty beans. Not my thing. But this heat-and-serve rice noodle soup with edamame crackers was easy and yummy.

The highlight of Day 2 was a stop at the Mariposa Baking Company in San Francisco's Ferry Building. MBC makes entirely gluten-free breads and goodies. It was on the way to the airport, so I got off the BART at Embarcadero, indulged, and then headed to SFO with a full, happy belly.

Drool, drool, drool:

Everything was gluten free, of course, but a lot of it was also vegan. For lunch, I ordered the vegan empanadas with a side salad (complete with GF croutons):

PERFECTION. The curry filling consisted of potatoes, tomatoes, and Indian spices:

And... I also splurged on a carton of Penguinos, which are akin to (and probably inspired by) the cream-filled Hostess chocolate cupcakes - but even more moist and delicious. 

*  *  *
Plans for the day include:

-Continuing to lay around in my pajamas
-Going downtown to select our yearly family ornaments (we pick a couple nice ones for Christmas every year)
-Doing laundry. Maybe.
-Resting my knee, which was SUPER sore on the plane yesterday. It felt fine when I did my pre-flight run in Berkeley in the morning, but by the third leg of the flight, it ached a lot.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Vegan for 30 days: Day 1 starts tomorrow!

I've been thinking a lot about veganism. It's something I tried this past summer and fall, and for much of that time, I felt really good about not eating animal products. My primary reason for going vegan was sustainability: calorie for calorie, a plant-based diet is better for the environment in that growing crops requires less water, creates less pollution, requires less energy, and supports more people than does raising animals for food.

Veganism didn't stick - but somewhat surprisingly, it wasn't because I couldn't say no to a slab of steak or a grilled cheese sandwich. I like to cook, I like fresh produce, I'm addicted to rice and beans, and I still had my dark chocolate and coffee (which I absolutely refuse to give up, ever). I was fine with giving up animal products. Rather, it was because I started to feel like a giant pain in the ass whenever I ate with people other than my immediate family. Keep in mind that I also follow a gluten free diet, for health reasons (reasons like, I don't like having headaches every day and sinus infections once every month or two, and I do not enjoy stabbing pain in my stomach). So that meant that whenever I went out to eat with friends, or attended a party, it would turn into this big THING. 

Let's go out to for lunch/dinner!

Oh wait. You can't eat gluten. So where can we go? [This alone causes unnecessary drama way more often than I'd like, despite the fact that the vast majority of restaurants/eateries now have GF options of some sort.]

Uhhhhh AND you can't eat meat? Really?

Or cheese? No dairy at all?

...Eggs? NO?

Oh god. That really limits our options.

And that's when this is going on in a major metropolitan area. This doesn't include the issues that unfold when I'm on a field trip and my advisor wants to cook camp food for everyone, every night, or when people invite my family to dinner and want to know what they should cook.

I really DON'T want it to cause drama, and yet it so often does. And I hate - HATE - inconveniencing people. Just the sense that I'm creating problems makes me feel horribly guilty, like I'm draining all the fun and all of the options out of the event. Then it degenerates into me wanting to crawl under a table, covering my ears and rocking back and forth. Really.

So I gave up on veganism, somewhat reluctantly but also with some relief from a social standpoint. I tried to stick to organic dairy products, free range eggs, and meat from farms that supposedly treat animals properly - though of course, depending on the situation and where I was, I didn't always have much control over that.

Then, two days ago, I watched the documentary Vegucated. It wasn't the most engaging documentary about food I've ever seen - it was no Food, Inc. - but it definitely made me reconsider veganism. One thing this movie did that others have not is look at the truth behind labels like "organic" and "free range" and similar terms carefully chosen to make the consumer feel good about her food choices. For example: "free range" doesn't necessarily mean than birds are allowed to freely roam the farm. More like, they're not stuffed into cages but instead have to trip over their cohorts and walk through mounds of poop in giant indoor chicken pens. Those same "free range" facilities may still cut off the beaks of chickens and chop up live male chicks for cat food. Another example: Even cows that are not stuffed with antibiotics may have their babies taken away from them and, if they get sick, are often put down with a bolt to the head.

More than the horrible video footage, I was disgusted by the hypocrisy. Companies KNOW that most consumers aren't aware of what goes on behind the scenes, and they take advantage of that.

I'm not saying that every meat or dairy farmer, or every food purveyor, operates in a hypocritical way. But I don't feel like having to dig for the truth every time I purchase an animal product. So, considering the environmental issues I already mentioned, and the health benefits I haven't touched on, I decided to go back to veganism for 30 days to see how it goes. I took the PETA 30 day challenge. I know that my friends and extended family have their own point of view, and I know I may end up inconveniencing some of them (especially at the holidays!). But this is something I want to try, and I hope the people will try to understand my reasons for it.

30 days starts tomorrow! My breakfast plans include a coconut milk "yogurt" with granola, orange juice, and of course coffee.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Things I love about running: continuity

One thing I love about running is that it keeps me centered when I travel. Running gives me a sense of continuity when everything else - the climate, the food, the atmosphere, the people I'm around - is different from what I experience in my everyday life.  

I've been traveling a lot lately: several days per month on average. The trips are necessary and beneficial from a professional point of view, but they can be difficult because sometimes being away from home makes me feel like I'm losing my connection to myself. My brain starts getting kind of fragmented. The worst case of that occurred during a work trip last June; when I came home, I felt so depressed and out of it that I spent a week in bed. I don't want that to happen again.

Running helps. Wherever I am, I can put on my Asics, head out the door, and physically/mentally feel just as I do when I run at home or anywhere else. I am so grateful for that. I do not know what I'd do on these trips if I weren't a runner.

Here in Berkeley, I ran 6 miles yesterday and 7 miles today. I loved how the damp, drizzly air felt as I breathed it in, and how the bay looked from the hills above the university. I loved how the leaves on some of the maple trees are still a brilliant red. I loved seeing so many people out walking, biking, and running on a weekend morning. Running has been one of my favorite things to do here and a great way to see the city.

 Berkeley Hills

I love the neighborhoods here. I love how the houses are all so unique and how the trees are so grown.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Inadequate words on a tragic day

Today a young man shot and killed 20 elementary school students. Little kids. The same age as my son. Of all the horrible acts of violence that have happened in the last few years, I think this is the one I understand the least. It makes my brain reel. I was doing all sorts of things today, and doing them sufficiently well I guess, but my mind was half somewhere else. 

*   *   *

It was one of those days where, when I looked at someone else walking down the street, and he or she looked back, there was an immediate connection, an understanding, because we were reminded of our common bond as human beings. 

*   *   *

I believe that there's no such thing as "evil." I think that when we label someone else as evil, we do two things: we make them the "other," someone who has little to nothing common with us; and we strip them of a certain level of basic responsibility. After all, the purpose of Evil is... to be evil. "Evil" seems like this force that comes from outside the human realm, something we can't extinguish. But the truth is that normal, everyday people - people like me and like you - can do truly horrible, unspeakable things. They aren't monsters. Their purpose in life was not to create suffering, but those are the acts they chose for whatever reason (abuse in their own life, trauma, mental illness), and in turn they pass on their suffering to others.

I could talk about gun control (I have strong feelings about that) and I could talk about the importance of mental health support (strong feelings about that too), but ultimately, what's wrong here is much deeper than that. 

*   *   *
"If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we cannot share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof. If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Defunct pier, Berkeley marina

"No-one got the instructions. That is the secret of life. Everyone is flailing around, winging it most of the time, trying to find the way out, or through, or up, without a map. This lack of instruction manual is how most people develop compassion, and how they figure out to show up, care, help and serve, as the only way of filling up and being free. Otherwise you grow up to be someone who needs to dominate and shame others so no one will know that you weren't there the day the instructions were passed out.” - Anne Lamott

End of the pier, Berkeley marina

San Francisco Bay

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Daydreaming, Part 2: Adventure

One time, I sailed as a deckhand from England to the Canary Islands on a tall ship. It took about a month, and we had to cross the Bay of Biscay, otherwise known as the "Bay of Sickbay" because of its stomach-lurching effects.

It was a really amazing trip - one of the biggest adventures I'll ever have, I'm sure. Things I best remember: drinking hot chocolate on the deck at midnight when I wasn't on watch, the brightness and density of the stars over the pitch black ocean, getting chased down the hall by a misplaced vacuum cleaner during a gale-force storm (one of two we experienced), getting hit so hard by a wave during the middle of the night that the water rushed into my Wellies and soaked everything I was wearing, learning to tie knots and stow rope, climbing up to the top of the main mast (terrifying), the weird things the British cook made us for breakfast and dinner.

It was pretty fantastic. I think I was happy and focused for 99.99% of that trip. Except that one time when the first mate yelled at me for not tying up a tarp as taut as it needed to be. Oh, and the time the cook made us eat hard-boiled eggs wrapped in stuffing and cornflakes. That was weird.

I love what I am doing now because I still get to have adventures. I get to spend time in the middle of nowhere and hike around for days on end. I get to travel. Sometimes I get to see places that I couldn't see as a tourist, simply because my studies give me a kind of "all access pass." I get to eat food cooked over a campfire. Every now and then I do things that don't seem very safe at all, which I both hate and love. Usually, at least one odd and unsettling (but ultimately harmless) thing happens on every adventure, and it makes for a good story later on.

And then I get to come home, be a mom, hang out with my kid and husband, go to school, work out, clean my house, go to the grocery store, fret over the balance in the checking account, and make dinner. All that is an adventure, too.

What are some of the adventurous things you do, either in your everyday life or once in a blue moon? What are the things that make your life awesome, that give you meaning, purpose, memories, adrenaline?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

By the numbers

2: number of scoops of ice cream I ate last night (coffee + effervescent cherry sorbet)

4: number of additional ice cream samples the lady behind the counter "made" me try (dark chocolate peppermint, sweet potato and marshmallow, bourbon maple, and something with beer). I roughed it out and licked those sample spoons clean.

9: miles ran/jogged this weekend

3: fitness class torture-fests I took part in last week

1: completed application submitted

1.5: glasses of wine consumed today

5: clementine oranges going in my lunch bag for tomorrow

3: average number of times I run the dryer before my husband gets annoyed and folds the clothes himself

1: free cup of coffee I'm getting tomorrow by bringing in my empty coffee bag

4: days until my next trip

12: days I'm going to be away from home (booooo)

1: cheap snow globe that was dropped and shattered over the weekend

1000000: bits of smashed snow globe glass

7: gluten-free pancakes eaten by five-year-old this morning