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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Food Allergies: Quit Your Whining

Before anyone gets huffy, let me clarify the title. This is not a post directed at people who have food allergies or who love someone who does. No, this is in defense of you. This is directed at those who I see whining constantly about having to accommodate for those with food allergies as if doing so crumbles their very soul and the foundation on which childhood rests. Now that we got that out of the way, let's carry on.

It seems I cannot go a week without seeing some rant such as this from one of my Facebook friends:

"Why should we have to bend over backwards, let our own kids down, make their childhoods less special for ONE kid who MIGHT have a food allergy (which I'm not even convinced actually exist)? What happened to the days of cupcakes, cookies, and big cakes with candles for a kid's birthday? Have we really become so politically correct that now we're impacting our kids so detrimentally? My daughter now has to miss out on all the wonders of childhood because of one kid. Just pack your own snack that day, people! Can't we all stop tippy-toeing around every little problem that every little person has? Loosen up, idiots, they're kids not Faberge eggs."


In no particular order:

a) You're a dick.
b) You're modeling being a dick to your kids.
c) Food allergies can be deadly. Deadly. Kids. Dead. Gone. No longer. Kids. Ya, that's a big deal.
d) Nobody is asking anyone to do anything extra, simply not do something, which is pretty damn easy. You're not being put out.
e) If the only thing that makes your child's life good is a birthday party with only certain food, you might want to rethink the childhood you're giving them.
f) Did I mention the dead thing? It's worth mentioning more than once.
g) Even if they don't die, they could be hurt. Bad. Sometimes permanently. You're telling me a frosted paper full o' sugar is more important than the safety of a child? You need to get your priorities in order.
h) Tell a kid "This will hurt or make sick your friend, so we can't have it when she's with us" and they'll say something along the lines of "Oh, ok" and move on. They care about their friends. Maybe you could follow suit, huh?
i) Do I really need to continue to tell you to settle your tantrum and act like the grown-up you claim to be, modeling empathy and responsibility for your kids?

Out of the mouth (er, typing fingers) of a parent:
"I once asked if a local mom’s group could switch their weekly lunch dates to someplace safe for [my son] and you would have thought that I asked them each for a blood sacrifice and their first born. The same week, I was invited to a potluck by the same group and when I told them that I couldn’t go because FOUR people were making things with nuts, I was kicked out of the group! According to a friend, I offended them by not wanting to expose [my son] to DEATH, I mean their baked goods. That stuff actually happens. It’s a really odd feeling. A single peanut could KILL my child! It cannot be said often or loud enough!" ~Kimberly Barnwell

Out of the mouths of babes:

My son is on a soccer team with a girl who has severe allergies to several things. I'm the team parent, so, among other things, I set up the snack schedule. As I knew they would, this girl's parents offered to bring their own snacks for her. No. I won't allow it. I won't allow that little girl, part of her very first team sport at the tender age of 4, to be left out, even if it is in a seemingly small way. It requires so little of the rest of us to bring snacks that everyone can enjoy, as opposed to only 6 out of the 7 kids. That's not what being part of a team is all about. No, we'll accommodate, we'll put in the minimal effort to remain cognizant, we'll care more about the good of the team than about the fleeting desires we foist upon our kids. That is what being part of a team or a class or a group of friends is all about, so that's what we'll do.

For more about food allergies:

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