First of all, thanks to all my blogging buddies for your support and kind words on the last post about my meeting with Big Guy’s kindergarten teacher. The meeting went VERY well.
The nurse, teacher – Mrs. C. – and I met and talked about Big Guy’s allergies. We agreed that Big Guy will eat the regular snack (presuming, of course, that it is peanut-free) and that we’d keep a “snack box” in the room for birthday parties and in case a parent brings in a snack that looks suspicious. Big Guy, Little Guy and my mom were there for the meeting, so he got to see the class, teacher and hear our plans.
Another benefit of allergies came out in the meeting … the nurse said that we (me, my husband or my mom) would get first chance to go on field trips and work school parties. I presume this is so that a knowledgeable adult is there to watch for any food hazards for Big Guy. In fact, she HOPES one of us can attend these things. I assume this could get to be too much, but right now it sounds like fun.
Also in the meeting, my mom took the kids out of the room and we took a good look at the epi-pen. I brought an old lemon and so Mrs. C. gave the lemon the epi-pen so she could get a feel for how it works and the whole procedure – e.g., you must call the paramedics after administering the epi-pen and he’ll be taken to the ER.
I was glad that she got to see how to use it. Actually, it was good for me too. Thankfully, I have never had to use it either. And I was SURE to tell her that. I wanted her to understand when to use it. I certainly want her to use it if the situation calls for it, but I also DON’T want her to use it because he complains about some hives or tells her that his mouth itches and hurts. I know that those symptoms call for Benadryl, if that.
I suppose root of all this is based on the same issue that all parents face when sending their child to kindergarten -- “handing over your child to someone else.” For many moms and dads, up until kindergarten their baby has been mostly in their care (less and less with daycare, but still) and now in kindergarten they are taking that first step out into the world and being more independent. I have trust someone else to watch out for him and make these kinds of decisions for him.
And he has to be more aware of it and say no to anything he is not sure of. Because he is so aware of what he can eat and does ask me a lot, it is easy to consider this part of the equation a “slam dunk.” But I have to remember that when I am there, he is going to be more apt to think about food issues. Whereas when he is in class with a bunch of new kids and is excited or wants to fit in, he might take that cookie that his new friend is offering him. It could be hard to remember to say no. Karen takes an interesting approach to this dilemma with her son.
Lots to think about and talk to him about. He is definitely nervous about a new school and teacher. He says he is excited, but after seeing the class he told me “actually, I’m not so excited any more. The class room is small.” It’s not. It’s very nice. But it is new and for a five-year old picking on the size is a scapegoat for nerves.
More to come, the official “Meet the Teacher” day is Wednesday.