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Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2006 - 12:03pm
Lori Anne's picture
Joined: 07/13/2005 - 09:00

My mother has made her home peanut/tree nut free so my dd will be safe visiting her (which she does often).
We went to Mom's house for a get together with some of her cousins. Her cousin knew that dd has an allergy, but didn't understand much about it. He brought a dessert with nuts sprinkled on top.
My mother didn't even want the thing in her house. I found that she just needed help with words--to keep everything polite. So I told her what to say. She did and everything went fine. She just was flustered and needed some help.
I told her to thank her cousin for bringing dessert and to tell him it was so thoughtful. I told her to tell him that she and my stepfather would love to have some, but due to the nature of dd's allergy, they'll wait to have it on a night when my dd wasn't there. She offered to give him some to take home with him too. He declined and said he understood once she explained how dd is contact sensitive. She served other safe desserts. She thanked him again once he left and sent him an email to catch up on things with him another day and was sure to mention how delicious it was.
The truth--Mom gave the dessert to the people at the nursing home where my stepgrandmother is. She really could have had it when my dd wasn't there and I would have been fine with it, but she just doesn't even like having nuts in her house now.
Maybe your mother would be O.K. with saying something if she had a very polite way to say it.
I wouldn't even bring up the other times. I think I would just say, "How nice of you to bring something. Let me just put it away so my mother can enjoy it on a day when dd isn't here. I know Mom will love it."
It is, after all, a gift brought to the hostess--right?
If she says that she'd like some, then offer to send some home with her at the end of the night.
Kill her with kindness. It works. I have a friend who is so good at that. I wish I had her style and grace. She can tell people things they don't want to hear and they still love her and think she's great. Her advice was always, "kill them with kindness"
Good luck!
edited to add: you might want to check with your mother first to see if she'd go along with doing things this way. If not, then you have to decide if it will be safe. If it's not, then you have to decide if you should look into making other plans. I hope things work out.
[This message has been edited by Lori Anne (edited December 14, 2006).]

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2006 - 12:59pm
PA-Mom's picture
Joined: 09/18/2006 - 09:00

I would call her in advance and remind her not to bring anything that has nuts in it so your child can attend.
If she tells you she insists on bringing nuts, give her some information to read about the severity of the allergy.
When I'm in a similar situation (at someone's house), I offer to leave if they want to serve nut products. No one has chosen to eat the nuts (luckily for us).
Good luck and I hope you have a happy and safe holiday.

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2006 - 10:03pm
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by PA-Mom:
When I'm in a similar situation (at someone's house), I offer to leave if they want to serve nut products. No one has chosen to eat the nuts (luckily for us).
And if you make this offer (er, um warning), be prepared to [i] act on it [/i] immediately BY LEAVING if the nut items are still going to be served by SIL. Otherwise, you will lose all credibility forever with them as to your food safety stance.

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2006 - 11:04pm
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I agree, you should speak with your brother. Also, you need your mom to also put her foot down to SIL and say I want my home to be safe for everyone, it's not safe to have nuts while DDs are here.
Again, people who behave like this are just trying to exhibit control, in my opinion.
If you get to the gathering and the "nuts" win, be prepared to leave.
So sad to think that family gatherings and relationships can be so strained because of FOOD. When you really look at it, it is just crazy, especially when we have so many choices!
Good luck and happy holidays.

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2006 - 11:50pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

That was my thought too--talk to your brother. If it your relationship with him that you are worried about, I'm sure he must be more caring and understanding than his wife. And by talking to him, you are showing him respect (assuming you speak respectfully, of course). You can tell him you are very worried about DD, that as he may recall, she had a reaction in the past. Let him know just how serious a reaction can be. And let him know that you love him, and want to see him, but cannot risk your child's life by being around nuts.

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 12:53am
Greenlady's picture
Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

One additional piece of advice - when dealing with your SIL, be extra extra sweet and nice. Not because it puts you on the high road (although it does) but because [b][i]it will drive her absolutely crazy [/b][/i]
She wants attention and wants to get your goat - the best revenge is not letting her know she has. :-)

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 3:36am
SallyL's picture
Joined: 02/20/2006 - 09:00

I'm pretty non-confrontational but I would be LIVID! She brought nuts that sent your DD to the hospital and then did it AGAIN? I get that people don't understand the allergy, but she certainly knows.
I agree with the other posters...it may help to bring your brother into this, as well as whoever is hosting the party. I know your mom doesn't want to upset anyone, but if she wants a nut-free house, SIL needs to abide by that.
It breaks my hearts hearing about the families that have to skip the get togethers. We've had to skip some with the extended family but as far as our immediate families they are TRYING. So thankful. Still not safe, but they are starting to get it.
Good luck!

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 3:49am
smudgesgarden's picture
Joined: 02/26/2006 - 09:00

we have a similar problem with my sister in laws mother. she made a big deal about how she didnt use any nust on the cheese cake she made, the only problem is our son is also allergic to dairy! we just avoid food situations with the lady it just makes life easier.

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 3:51am
JacksonsMom's picture
Joined: 07/21/2002 - 09:00

My advice is pretty much the same as the others. Speak with your brother before hand. If SIL still insists on bringing nuts, don't go.
I tend to be more of a bit** when dealing with these types of things. I just don't have much tolerance for others ignorance when something so serious has been explained over and over. Obviously she's playing games with you. She knows the nuts can make the girls sick, and she still wants to bring them? Sorry , then they certainly should't be anyone you need to spend your holiday with. plain and simple.
So sorry you are having to deal with family members like this. It just makes holidays so stressful.
Good luck to you, let us know how things go [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 6:53am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

I think your brother is too weak to stand up to his wife on this issue and you have to handle this on your own.
I think your mom is also acting in a weak manner not wanting to "ruin" a gathering.A DEAD grandchild will ruin the gathering too.
I can understand this. We all can because before PA we never wanted to make waves, especially within family.
Has the SIL been informed to bring NO food with the specific allergens? You know for a fact that your Mother asked her to eliminate all foods your child is allergic to?
Why is she bringing food in the first place?
Maybe you can have the celebration in your home and avoid all this mess. No one brings food into your home period. I know grandma's house is warmer and the one we all usually gather in but in this case it is not working out is it?
Does the SIL have children? Why is she acting in such a jealous and dangerous manner?
My problem with the whole thing is I AM AN IN-LAW. I have been treated in an ugly manner ever since I married my husband. By his parents and his cousin, his only relatives. And I am a nice good person but they had other designs on me. I took their prince and I was no Diana. KWIM?
I think some in laws get a bad break, especially those who marry your son or brother. So do me a favor and really look into why she is acting this way? And maybe try to come to some sort of understanding with her.
Can you be really outright and honest and tell her in an email (easiest) or in person before the event that she is making unsafe choices to bring to a family gathering?
Can you tell her this without emotion or judgment? I know it is not easy but give it a try.
Does she understand your child can react to airborne allergens? Maybe she does not.
And then if I am wrong and I very well might be.... (ask my MIL and others, I am WRONG all the time...) Give up and stay the heck home. Make a Holiday celebration with your mother at another time.
Explain to your mother AND your SIL that if they cannot respect what you need to KEEP YOUR CHILD ALIVE then you cannot and WILL NOT attend.
I say all of this because after 26 years my MIL still does not have ONE nice thing to say to me or about me. And my husband's cousin too. She has the same problem with me.
You'd think after so many years they would just get over themselves and see that I am a nice good person. MIL actually thinks it is her responsibility to point out what she thinks my failings are. She even does that to her son, STILL after all these years. My husband is a good guy but too weak to stand up to his mother and tell her GIVE IT UP!
Don't let that happen to you. You have TONS of years with this SIL ahead of you.


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