Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Just say no

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.


ChupieandJ'smama said...

We have to have the "talk". It's hard for other people to fully understand our kids food allergies. My MIL still asks me if my son can have organic peanut butter. Like "organic" means it's safe. Hello? He's allergic to PEANUTS, not how things are grown or cultivated. If family doesn't get it, I certainly can't trust others to get it. Our kids need to be the best advocates for themselves. Good job, mom! I hope things continue to go smoothly!!

allergicmom said...

Thanks for talking about that. I've had different versions of that talk with my 4-year-old, and he's really good about asking if he can eat something. His preschool is great, and he'll be there for another year -- then we'll be dealing with kindergarten issues.

Angel said...

I think it is so empowering to teach my son about his allergies. He feels very confident about telling people about his allergies or asking them if the food contains allergens.

He does know that his allergies could make him sick, or even kill him. I know some parents aren't comfortable with telling their kids that--I totally respect that.

I'm so glad your son's had a great time at Kindergarten! My son doesn't ever want to leave school LOL

nowheymama said...

I'm glad to hear that everything is going well.

I tagged you for a meme. :)

Mommy off the Record said...

It must be so scary to have to deal with these allergies, but it sounds like you are doing a great job making sure Big Guy knows how to tell adults when he shouldn't be eating something.

Congrats on the first day of school going well...and thanks for visiting over at my blog the other day.

Sarena Shasteen said...

Wow, I can not even imagine trying to have that conversation with my kids! It is hard enough getting them to do things that aren't life threatening. I feel for you and the allergies your "Big Guy" has. I am lactose intolerant and that is hard enough as an adult. I always look at my kids and wondering what it would be like for them to be allergic to something like that...something so simple as everyday food! They are so aware of my problems and what will happen if I eat something with lactose in it. Thank you for sharing your experience with this. It is nice to know that there is a place where people can talk about how to live dairy free!