Today is Day 5 for Big Guy attending kindergarten and all is going GREAT. He tells me he is "excited" to go to school. And anyone who knew me when he was going to daycare knows how HUGE that is for us. Anyway, he has been eating the snacks and all is well. BUT, I do realize that the snacks up until now have been provided by the school (the parent sign up thing hasn't happened yet) so I'm not exactly out of the woods.
This weekend the subject of food allergies came up with Big Guy ... actually it was during an episode of Micky Mouse Clubhouse when Daisy Duck was making a cake (sexist Disney show!) and she put in eggs and milk. Big Guy immediately piped up "we would use Egg Replacer, right mommy?" And "we would use soy milk, right?"
I talked to him about allergies and school and how he can't eat food that was even NEAR a peanut. I told him about Chex Mix, what was in it, and explained how there could be peanut "dust" on food and you might not even see it. I told him that a grown-up might take the peanuts out of the mix and think it is okay for him to eat the remaining Chex and pretzels. And how he should say "no thank you, my mommy said I can't eat that?" I told him some grown-ups don't understand food allergies and he can always tell them no.
Now, I have NO idea if this could ever happen at school. I do know that if he WASN'T in the class then on Chex snack day, the parent assigned to that day COULD bring Chex Mix. And so I assume that some dumbass parent might forget about poor Big Guy and still bring that in. And some other ignoramus might tell him to go ahead and eat it because they picked out the peanuts. I think this is a stretch, but I don't want my son to suffer because someone is ignorant and because I had too much faith in mankind to warn him.
So, we had the conversation. We talked about using the snack box at school. We talked about how HE has to take care of himself. I told him the grown-ups and his teacher are there to watch out for him, but in the end HE has to watch what he eats.
It wasn't a scary talk. But it was one that had to happen. And will happen again in another form many more times.