Saturday, April 14, 2007

First Step Towards Kindergarten

One small step for Big Guy ... one giant leap for Mommy!

Earlier this week I signed up Big Guy for kindergarten. I absolutely think he is ready, so I'm not too freaked out about my "baby" going to school, but it is a lot to take in. And of course, on top of everything else, I need to think about the food allergy thing.

I filled out the forms and listed all of his allergies (luckily there is a looong blank line on the form!) and mentioned it to the mom-volunteer at registration. She said, "oh, they are really good here for kids with food allergies, they even have their own table in the cafeteria."

Oh.

I guess that is good news.

Right?

Because every mom dreams of having their child ostracized and forced to sit away from everyone else. Right?

There aren't enough other things that make kids feel worried and bad about themselves. When I was in 3rd grade, Adam G. teased me every day on the bus about my hairy arms and told me I looked like a gorilla. Hi ... nearly 30 years later and I still feel a teeny-tiny bit self-conscious about my arms. (Note: they are hairy, but they are blonde hairs and not too unusual.)

I digress. I KNOW it is a good thing to protect the kids. I KNOW there are kids out there who have severe food allergies. But evidently, I'm not alone in this fear. Check out this "Allergy Nation" article, especially the section on School Rules. I found it on Check My Tag. Thanks, Ria.

We have the kindergarten parent's night on April 30, so I'm sure I'll learn more there. Big Guy can, luckily, tolerate a lot more of the food that used to make him sick. He now eats regular yogurt and cheese. He knows not to eat peanuts and other nuts. And he is fine being near peanut products. For example, I eat a peanut butter sandwich right next to him while he eats the Sunbutter sandwich.

So, I don't really think he needs to be at a seperate table. Espescially because kindergarten is only 2 1/2 hours long, so the whole issue of eating in the cafeteria won't come up until first grade.

I'm sure there will be LOTS more to blog about on this subject.

Anyone else have experience with starting your allergy kid at regular "big kid" school??

6 comments:

nowheymama said...

Katherine's kindergarten registration is Wednesday. I'll let you know how it goes!

Anonymous said...

Hi Gorilla arms long time no speak! Wow now you're breeding kids that mine can beat up on the play ground...Deja Vu ;O) BTW, the only reason I picked on you was because I was in love with you. Better get the big guy a mask to wear because those kindergartners don't cover their mouths when they sneeze out their peanut-butter sandwiches...

Love, Adam G.

nowheymama said...

Hey! I posted about kindergarten today, finally. :)

Check My Tag said...

Wasn't Pamela Kruger's article amazing?! It was so encouraging to see such a comprehensive piece on food allergies in a general parenting magazine.

You and No Whey Mama are going to be blazing the trail before me... my little guy doesn't start Kindergarten for three more years. We've been really lucky with preschool so far, with really understanding and accommodating teachers and administrators. I can only hope and pray for the same when we move into the elementary school years.

Ria

Karen said...

HI - I enjoy your blog! It is so nice to run into other moms that face some of the same issues I do!
My peanut and egg allergic son just started kindergarten...it hasn't been too rough of a transition so far. His teacher has been excellent! She is mindful of his needs and never hesitates to call me with questions. And the principal actually brought in the county nurse to train ALL the kindergarten teachers on how to use the epi-pen (YAY!). For the first half of school my son and the other 2 allergy guys in kindergarten sat at their own table for lunches...but I agree with you that it was too much of a social stigma so they now sit with their peers. The other children are so sweet and considerate with my son - they help look out for him!

Some problem exist with his kindergarten after-school program....the staff are mainly (very sweet but) very young college gals who just don't pay alot of attention to the kids.

Not sure that I will keep him there but for now it is my only option.

Keep up the good blogging!

Angel said...

My son starts kindergarten this fall too. But he did attend preK 2 mornings a week and his teachers were *awesome* about his allergies.

However he will eat in the cafeteria this year and I'm going to talk to the school (private) how they handle allergies. I want him to eat at a separate table (he's not the only kid with peanut allergies) and want them to have an epipen in the cafeteria.

Personally, he's used to his allergies and I'd rather have him sit at a different table than accidentally get peanut butter on his hand. The bad thing about allergies (esp. peanut) is they can be unpredictable : /