Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Parenting Milestone

I had a kid over for dinner who has a lethal peanut allergy, and I didn't kill him!

Am I (neighborhood) mother of the year, or what?

Some of my nephews have really bad allergies, so they are not a foreign concept to me (the allergies, I mean; not the nephews).  The boys have eaten at my house plenty of times, and I didn't kill them either.  But, their mother -- my sister -- is usually around, and I'm able to ask her, "Hey -- Fleischmann's margarine doesn't have peanuts in it, right?"

I guess what I'm trying to say is that my former peanut-free hosting duties were a little...  Lazy.  Lazy is what they were.  Sure, I'd read food labels for the obvious stuff, but I'd still thrust the package at her to make sure I didn't miss something.  I had back-up.  She'd tell me if that chicken bouillon is no good, or if that sauce is a problem.

In a play date situation, though, the other parent hands you an epi-pen and waves buh-bye.  His Dad does not stick around to serve as a safety inspector.  You have to make sure that the hamburger buns aren't manufactured in a facility that also handles nuts, and that you scrub the table where your daughter ate a deadly, deadly peanut butter sandwich a mere eight hours earlier, and then you have to give your husband the stink eye because he made her that sandwich when he KNEW a kid with a peanut allergy was coming over later (and sometimes kids drop food on tables then pick up that food and put it in their mouths), and you have to buy special desserts like these because you can't be sure that any of the other desserts you already have in the pantry are OK because you threw out the packaging during your weekend organizational/purge frenzy, and (deep breath) you have to stare at the kid's mouth like a felon to watch for any hive breakouts.

It is only when the kid finishes his meal, eating mostly the gobs of fruit you heaped upon it, and disappears into the basement to play, that you can breathe.


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