The Summer I Worried

k year 367Starting Kindergarten is a milestone for any mom.  We chose the preschools our kids attended; we admired the teachers and loved the open play areas.  We picked schools that were very nurturing and matched our faith beliefs.  For dear son, we were lucky enough to find peanut free preschools and wonderful accommodating staff members.

But Kindergarten was at the public school.  It was all day long.  The bus was full of big kids.  The whole school was full of big kids.  All these big kids seemed to be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

Continue reading The Summer I Worried

Growing up

Nationals game peanut allergy freeThis was a week of food allergy milestones for our family.  I wish I could say dear son grew out of one of his allergies!  No, not that kind of milestone.  We took steps forward to live with our son as a growing preteen who needs more independence.

Dear husband and I have been married 20 years and we went away overnight, leaving our kids with a wonderful young college student in charge.  What a wonderful getaway!  We had a super time in a nearby city.  We had a delicious dinner at a place without a kids’ menu.  We came back to happy kids who had played lots of video games and eaten lots of sweets for breakfast.  Here’s what made the weekend work:

  • College student is a family friend who stayed at our peanut free house
  • She also works with disabled kids through the county and is trained to handle emergencies
  • We provided the food, sweets and all
  • We reinforced Epipen training before we left
  • We were always reachable by cell phone
  • Daughter and son are both very responsible kdis

Later that week, dear son went on a field trip without me.  This was a nearby plantation ( we live in VA) and the staff and I talked over the possible allergens ahead of time.  If son had dairy or wheat allergies, I would have needed to attend.  Son’s teacher confirmed they were not eating snacks or lunch on the trip.  Aside from a crazy thunderstorm, he had a super time.  Here’s what made the field trip work:

  • Teacher’s willingness to handle the Epipen if needed
  • Plantation staff knowledge of their food activities
  • Son’s maturity – he did not eat anything baked there
  • Trip was close to home

The trickiest outing was to an MLB game without having peanut free seats.  The key was getting seats at the top of a section through a wonderful lady at the box office.  There was no danger of peanut shells coming into our area from above.  We had friends sitting right in front of us.  We were lucky and had a group of older gentlemen in our row who were not planning on peanut snacks.  The game was fun and son got out with no hives or other reactions.  Here’s what made this work:

  • Seats that allowed him to be somewhat isolated
  • Wipes to clean his armrests
  • Friends sitting around him, eating non peanut snacks
  • All of son’s food brought in with us, with no problems

I hadn’t realized the 4 seats later in our row could only exit by walking past our group.  It worked out fine through the generosity of the older fans.  Next time, I would try to bring a bigger group of people for a larger buffer zone.

Of the weekend away, the field trip and the baseball game, our son was most anxious at the game – we were way out of his comfort zone. He was always such a good listener at the “don’t go near that peanut” preschool age, I think it will take some time to show him how to navigate comfortably in this preteen world.  Let us know what has worked for you and your preteens and teens –