So as parents prepare to send their children back to school, the dreaded list of allergic children and what allergies are present in your kid’s classroom will be sent home.
Here is one thing I want you to know, I GET WHY YOU HATE MY KID’S ALLERGIES! I Really, Really do! As a teacher I remember having to keep track of all the kids in my class and make sure there wasn’t any cross contamination, because I certainly didn’t want to have to use an epi-Pen on anyone (I have had to on many students in the past) it is a terrible and scary situation, especially in a class of 30+ kids. As a teacher I worried non-stop, and shook for the rest of the day, after having administered one, this was prior to having children with allergies myself, so maybe, it was a little easier for me to accept, when not one, but both of my children with diagnosed with severe allergies, requiring me to carry an Epi-Pen at all times.
I have suffered with allergies all my life, I’m allergic to the standard seasonal crap, but I also have food allergies. My food allergies have been with me forever! They aren’t something I developed, but my parents didn’t know I had allergies and instead labeled me as a picky eater, who was a hypochondriac. It was really hard to deal with that as a child, no one believing you, when you said you didn’t like a food because it made your tummy hurt. The thing is, people are still just as ignorant today. When I have to explain to people, that my child cannot eat their kid’s birthday cake or ask too many questions about what is in the food that they are offering me or worse if I feed my kids before we go somewhere, I get my favourite ignorant response: “Well back in my day we didn’t have all this allergy stuff, people are just so sensitive.” These are usually the same people who say things like “Oh well we didn’t have carseats back when I was small and I survived.” Not everyone is this ridiculous, I’ve been around so many really cool and understanding family and friends and I cannot tell you how much relief I feel because of this. To you I say thank you with all my heart.
Here is some information I would like to pass on to you, if you are one of these judgemental or super annoyed parent, when it comes to my child’s allergies:
1. PLEASE don’t shove food in my child’s face and say have a bite.
My older son is 5 and he knows now not to eat food unless he asks me first, mostly because he’s had quite a few reactions and he has seen the Epi-Pen is a needle and doesn’t want it. My younger son, is a foodie, and he will not say no to your food, if you shove it in his face, but when he Projectile Vomit’s on top of you and everyone else at your party, I will be sure to say, I told you so!
2. Please don’t say, well what am I supposed to make my child for lunch?!
This is a call of the selfish, and lazy parent. So you want to send your child to school with an allergen such as peanut butter, at the expense of the LIFE of another child, because you a) don’t want to buy a nut butter alternative, and b) too lazy to make a lunch that simply doesn’t require a spread? Wow, you my friend as the worst kind of person. As a parent of a kid with an allergy, why not go on pintrest, or google nut free or egg free school lunches? The possibilities are TRULY ENDLESS! My child’s favourite lunch sandwich is cream cheese and jelly, they are still spreadable, and easy, and taste like a freaking danish for lunch if you choose the right bread! There are also Vietnamese rice paper wraps that you can literally shove any leftover food into and it tastes divine. If you want Protien, make burritos, bean spread or whole, with sauce, cheese and sour cream or greek yogurt to dip. I mean it isn’t that hard. It isn’t Hard, but it is VERY considerate that you are taking some stress off of me, because I don’t have to worry that I’m going to get that call at home that my child is in hospital because someone’s kid shared their lunch with my kid, or didn’t wash their hands and sat at his desk…he could literally DIE because of your child’s lunch…would it be worth it to you?
3. Please don’t say we didn’t have all this stuff back in my day.
Just because you didn’t see it, it didn’t mean that it wasn’t there. I’m over 30, and I’ve had allergies all my life, so it was there back in your day, you sound like an ignorant troglodyte when you say crap like that. I mean how conscious were you anyway when you were say, 7-17 years old? my guess is, not so much! Also did you never watch the Movie My Girl, where Macaulay Culkin dies from a bee sting trying to save Vada? It Very much was around during your day!
The other reason that people don’t seem to realize is that there are so many more preservatives, pollution, chemicals, and pesticides in food now than there were back in your day. Most of my allergies come from tree sap, due to pesticides being absorbed more into the fruit and nuts that trees produce.
4. Do you give your kids take out?
I do give my kids take out, but from very few places, and sparingly so. I’ve had to learn the hard way, that everything that says Nut-Free etc., isn’t actually nut free. I will give you an example, my son used to get the McFlurry, when they used to be made with Smarties, because they are the Canadian version of m&ms which aren’t nut free. When mcdonald’s recently switched, I also had to switch, and I started letting them only have an ice cream plain in a cup, because the cones don’t guarantee being nut-free, and i know that the soft serve machine doesn’t actually come into contact with any allergens. These are all things I had to go in and check and ask the employees about, as that annoying customer. So imagine, how ever much you hate my kid’s allergies, I probably hate them more, because I am the one who has to do all this stuff, instead of just being that carefree parent who says, “ya kid, go have some of that junk food, enjoy yourself, you only live once.” Nope, not me, I’m the parent who says “hold on let me check and ask first what is in it.” Sometimes they get happily surprised and sometimes they don’t. Even my 2 year old now seems to understand that there are certain foods he cannot eat, and to me that is sad.
5. Shaking your head and calling me too overprotective.
This simply makes me want to punch you. THEY ARE MY CHILDREN, THAT I CARRIED FOR 9 MONTHS A PIECE, I WILL ALWAYS BE THEIR PROTECTOR AND CHAMPION, ESPECIALLY IN THE FACE OF IGNORANCE!
I’ve changed my whole way of life in order to protect them at home, they feel safe to eat that anything that I give them, to know that I will Never ignore the cry of their tummy hurting due to something not agreeing with them, is my job.
When I was pregnant people used to tell me to eat a lot of this allergen or that, so that my child got used to it in the womb, I ate as much as I could and it didn’t work.
My job is to get them to adulthood, with the tools that they need to survive and that goes for their allergies too, along with morals and values. I always am very clear when ordering food, in restaurants etc. I am even attempting to get my children used to small quantities of the things that they are allergic too, slowly, so that they are safer in the case of accidental ingestion. But it is my Choice to do it in a CONTROLLED environment, when I am prepared to take them to hospital if the need arises. It shouldn’t be because someone just wasn’t careful, it shouldn’t be his teacher’s job to give him an Epi-Pen shot because you as a parent gave Zero Fucks about the life of a child, so that your life could be easier.
Have you been faced with Allergy Intolerance (as I like to call it) ?