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ok, I wish I could get over this but I can't. I need help. SIL oldest (3) had a sevre reaction at age one to PA, and my son (7 months younger) was dx after breaking out in ecezma again (but would never eat the things we found he was allergic to). She treats us like we aren't careful enough. Yesterday at church, we brought my sons breakfast, (I have to make everything homemade due to soy) and it was pancakes, she held all her children while he eate (she will not let them eat or try anything we have, even thought we have the same PA, and almond allergy and my son has about 4 more), then she brings out her kids snacks, full of soy. SHe says oh I am sorry, I just forget, and let them eat it. They also had apples, but they wanted the fish crackers. Now, if the tables had been turned, her son allergic to soy and we did that, they would have flipped on us. Sat, we decide to go to the movies, (our son has never gone, due to PA, and the sound being too loud) I tell her we are bringing our own popcorn, due to many theaters using P oil, and after finding out his one did not, the manager was going to allow me to bring out own, as the butter topping had soy in it, SIL says, well only if you use a fresh stick of butter so there is not contimination. I said, we don't use peanut butter, adn son has his own plate for his butter, so there is not a risk of cross soy contimanitaion. THen she still asks to use a fresh stick (we never went to the movies) MIL, for Xmas, gives my husband, a can of macadema nuts, and never bothered to read the label, cross contamintaion of course) and a box of chocolate (son allergic) covered macademia nuts. No thought to whether we were ok with this. My husband, has a container of nuts he buys and leaves at work, washes his hands, and mouth before coming home, we have chocolate that we eat on occasion, after son ahs gone to bed, but we never buy it in front of him., but still the nut thing really bothered me. I made a cake from scratch (the only way son can eat cake) for a way we celebrate Xmas, I call SIL before going over and offer to bring it, she says, my house is nut free, and I just don;t want to risk it. I am being broken down by this. It is starting to make me sick, stressed, and wanting to say something, but how, let me see, why would youthink I would give my son something he and your son are both allergic to> Whatshould I do? Therese

On Dec 26, 2005

I am sure you will get lots of different answers to this one. I can see where your feelings would be hurt, as she is implying that you are not careful enough, which sounds completely untrue, because it sounds like you are very careful. My dd is almost 11, so I have been dealing with family and other difficult people for a long time. So, if it were me, I would totally ignore it. I would stop offering her food---why bother, her mind is made up, and the important thing is you KNOW you are keeping your child safe, so I would say to myself "who cares what she thinks. I know I am careful." That is what I would do. I would not give my relatives the opportunity to hurt me over and over like that. Having dealt with the food allergies for over 10 years, I really don`t care what the relatives think. I only care about keeping my child safe. And you are already doing that. If you are in a situation where you are feeding your child, and she acts like her child is going to die if he goes near your child, I would act like you didn`t notice. And I would stop offering her food. It just gives her the opportunity to turn it down, and imply you are not careful, which is totally untrue.

I find that with family and food allergies, it works best to ignore it as much as possible, unless my child is in an unsafe situation. It seems like if I ignore it, then they don`t get the satisfaction of getting me upset. However if my child is in an unsafe situation (my father ordered a dessert with peanuts for everyone to share in a restaurant), then we leave.

On Dec 26, 2005

I agree with Carefulmom. If her comfort level is only serving her kids things that she makes herself, I'd let it go. It's time to stop offering since it's pretty clear she doesn't want your food.

As for her giving gifts that aren't safe for your family, just say thank you and toss it. I can't believe that someone who reads labels all of the time can't remember to check for your family's allergens. However, it's not worth the battle.

------------------ Mookie---Mom to Devin (PA, born 2004) and Brendan (PA, TNA, SA; born 1999)

On Dec 26, 2005

I agree. You feed your, she feeds hers. But, it sounds like she is making you feel like you are putting her kids at risk when your kids eat around hers. Am I getting that right? Not even sharing foods, but like your food is a risk to her kids, when you are being very careful about allergies for all the children. Sounds like she is very fearful. I am not sure what advice to give, other than to feed your children as you feel is right. Do not offer or share food. But I think tht is how you do it, and she still feels uneasy around your kids' food.

Am I right? If so, I do not know what to offer. Seems a bit impossible with combined food allergies.

I would feel fine with the way you are being. I have a new friend and her dd is PA, and our girls play sometimes. We are really happy and comfortable because we both get it(and how awesome the kids hit it off). I would feel comforted by your care and caution. becca

On Dec 27, 2005

If you enjoy your SIL's company and getting together with her, I would just continue to provide safe foods for your son and let her do the same for her kids. Don't even offer to share any of your food with her. Everyone's comfort zones are different. I wouldn't worry about how you handle your son's allergy, about being careful or not, because you sound extremely careful. It sounds like she feels that she doesn't trust anyone. Her child is only 3 and maybe as he/she gets older, her comfort zone will change.

Sometimes when the Moms at school send in treats for the kids like cupcakes or cookies, I still won't let my DD eat them even tho they have told me they use Betty Crocker or all safe ingredients. I'm always skeptical about how they prepared them and x-contam issues.

On Dec 27, 2005

Something that struck me, your sil is teaching her young child "don't take any food from anyone but mommy and daddy". That's not a bad lesson to teach. She may have decided that she is willing to risk family and friends being angry at her - but this lesson will be taught all the time.

We all know that different people have different comfort zones. If hers doesn't allow food from anyone else, it's not an insult to you - it's her safety area. Even if there are a few people she feels *safe* taking food from - it still shouldn't be taken offensively. We need that safety area, and we need others to respect it.

*********

Regarding the gifts of nuts, I'm a bit confused. Is this coming from the same person? If so - I'd politely tell her it's not appreciated due to your child's allergies. If it's coming from someone else (which I think it is in this case), then it's up to you. Personally, I just say thank you - and then give it to someone that will enjoy it (and won't eat it in my home).

On Dec 27, 2005

I agree with everyone else. Although it would rather bother me that she's so *different* about her child(ren)'s FA's and then allows them to eat stuff that your child is allergic to.

I mean, holding her child (or children) on her lap while your child ate and then letting her kids eat whatever, and your child is allergic, that would kinda creep me out. I just wouldn't be comfortable.

I do understand that different people have different comfort zones - that's a given. It does sound like she is extremely fearful right now, but only when it comes to her children (I don't know if that is a *normal* thing or not).

I can't really give advice because we don't have anyone else in the family with FA's so it's not like my SIL has to worry about anything when we visit her home or if she came to mine. It's me that has to worry because of my son's PA and that's okay.

But again, I would feel rather uncomfortable just by her behaviour.

I would just keep doing what you're doing - providing safe food for your child and if your SIL wants to hold her children clutched in her lap while your child eats, well, I don't know. I would feel extremely uncomfortable about that especially knowing that she's going to turn around and feed her child(ren) something your child is allergic to and you're not going to respond in the same way.

It would make me feel weird. I'm sorry.

How important is the relationship to you?

See, I would think that because the woman is already dealing with FA's, she would be more respectful of your child's FA's as well.

Now, there have probably been times in my life (yes, in fact I remember one clearly) where I did clutch my PA son in my lap (at the circus) and I know that even to-day if I walked into a home that had peanuts in it I would be extremely uncomfortable and you know what? I don't know what I would do. I don't mean one that has peanuts in it (because we do visit all homes with peanuts in them) - I mean one where peanuts are out. When that's presented to me, and my son is 10, then I'll be able to tell you how I would act - if I leave, ask for them to be put away or what. I am just not sure because it has never happened.

Now it was one of the Mother's that bought the macadamia nuts, wasn't it? Funny, I just had a conversation with someone recently about macadamia nuts and was telling the person that I had never tried them because just when they seemed to be "the" thing to try, we got the PA diagnosis and I've just never tried them. I figure I can live my life without ever having tried them. I'm good.

As far as the gift - I wouldn't be angry. The first year that my son was diagnosed, my one BIL actually gave us a bag of peanuts as part of our Christmas present. We, the parents of the PA child, did not know that it was NOT okay for them to be in the house or NOT okay for us to eat them. We just figured we wouldn't let our son eat them.

Then, of course, we learned (within the year) and peanuts and tree nuts (he's not TNA) were banned from the house. I would feel rather hurt I think if someone I knew well gave me a gift with nuts in it now, but then I'd also kinda factor in how much I figure they know about the allergy and if they know how serious a faux pas it is.

Honestly, even a lot of really well intentioned people do have difficulty wrapping their brains around FA's, for whatever reason(s).

I would just put the nuts up high and make some kind of plan to get them out of the house - your DH takes them to work, whatever. But as far as being upset with the person who gave them to you, again, it would really depend, for me, on how well I know the person knows about my son's PA.

For example, if *my* MIL gave me a tree nut (again even though my guy is not TNA), I would freak out. Because it has been explained to her ad nauseum for 9 years almost. Because she knows my home is peanut/tree nut free. For her to give me a tree nut product would be the sign of some other thing going on - some passive aggressive behaviour where she's purposely trying to pi** me off.

But if it was someone like my BIL many years ago, no, I wouldn't be upset. Even if the same BIL did that to-day, I wouldn't be upset because he doesn't really know my son and that means he doesn't really know his PA either.

I do respect (and feel the need to say that) that your SIL deals with FA's in her own way, which she has the right to, no doubt, but again, I just find her behaviour a bit odd and I'm just not sure that I, personally, could deal with her being so protective of her child(ren) and then not your's.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ "That was Polanski. Nicholson got his nose cut."

On Dec 27, 2005

Thanks for the replies. I think I will stop offering food. Her son, has been taught, not to take food from people other than us, grandma, and them. So we are "safe", but he is good,and still askf before he takes a bite if it is safe. We have told my son, no food from anyone outside of our house, and grandmas house. I have decided that I will talk to SIL and ask her in the future, if our children are going to be at some even together, (like the same pew in church) to not bring soy or other allergy snacks or we will leave. I know my sons soy is in everything, most things that children can snack on, but hey, i am protecting my son. It was my MIL who gave the nuts, and she was the one that made the family Xmas a week ago a safe place for our children to be (minue the shrimp sauce that someone broguht that had soy protein), so I am surprised, on some level. Therese

On Dec 27, 2005

momtotwokidz, how long have you been dealing with FA's?

As far as your stance re your SIL and asking her not to bring things that your son is allergic to, I agree with you, especially because she is SO different with her children when your son is eating something (i.e., the clutching of them in her lap). I can understand fear. I can understand the clutching. But I can't understand that when it comes to YOUR son and his FA's she is so totally different. That seems so weird and actually quite unthoughtful (is that a word? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) to me.

It's like she pulls a freak (which she does have the right to) with her children and then does the totally opposite with your child and you're just supposed to sit there and do what? If you're not a fearful person or the type to clutch your child to you for fear of the food, then if you started doing it now, it would be downright weird.

Does that make sense to you?

I mean, it's a two way street. Both families are dealing with FA's and I think she has to be respectful of both sides, not just her side. Whereas, it does seem as though you have been respectful of her comfort zone and try to understand where she's coming from and then she does something that well, isn't quite right when it comes to your child.

I don't expect my SIL to behave a certain way with regard to my son (well, I do have some expectations of her - like if they are eating peanuts like they were on Christmas just before we came over, and it did irk me to find that out, at least have them put away before we get there, which she did), but she's not dealing with FA's herself. Totally different story than your SIL. Kinda a what's good for the goose is good for the gander kinda thing.

As far as your MIL - I think that's the main reason I'm asking how long you've been dealing with FA's. You mentioned an extremely positive allergen free (except for one thing) Christmas dinner that she prepared. That's pretty awesome. Then she bugs up and buys the macadamia nuts. So, it's kinda like it hasn't connected in her head yet that the WHOLE family doesn't want them around in the house.

9 years into this almost, I will still get people that will ask me why I don't eat peanuts (which I will never eat again) or why I seem so reluctant to eat tree nuts (my son is not TNA). I did eat a piece of cake with walnuts on it last night at a friend's house, who is really aware of my son's PA, but you know what? I, personally, didn't feel comfortable with eating them. I don't fault her for having them in her home while we were there because she does understand that he's PA only and she is a fairly new friend and really trying to grasp the intricacies of why we live the way we do. I appreciate that.

With my MIL, who is someone that I do consider really "gets it" (finally) after all these years, there will be just some times that I will get "the questions" about why I don't eat different things anymore. The most reason barrage of questioning (and it was a barrage, believe me, coming from her), had to do with why I don't allow "may contains" in my home for my non-PA daughter to eat.

I went into my sphiel about how my home will always be peanut/tree nut free (including "may contains") and how I feel that it's really important for my son to know that he will always have a safe haven in my home. I never have to worry about a mistake. I know my guy will always be safe in my home and I think that's a really important thing for him to know - I'm not clear why. Maybe because I do see that he is nervous at eating at other people's homes, etc. and I just really need him to know that no matter what, he can always come into his Mom's house and not have to worry.

So, it's a "comfort zone" that has worked for us for years. Why would I change it now to allow my daughter to eat "may contains" inside our home? I do allow her to eat "may contains" when she is outside of the home and most recently, even when she is around her brother. That has been a big struggle for me and I don't even know if I could verbalize it to anyone but someone here. But as far as having anything in the house that isn't safe for my guy, no.

So, even though MIL really "gets it", I still get questions and you know what? I probably always will. It's part of her (and other people) really trying to understand why we live the way we do and if I have to answer say the same question for the zillionth time, just a year later, I will.

That's what I'm thinking about your MIL. That's she's just starting on her learning curve - and not really starting because she did super with Christmas, I think. But she still has some stuff to figure out for herself, KWIM? So, I wouldn't be ticked off with her.

If you wanted to you could thank her for the gift but mention that it was something that you could not have in your peanut/tree nut free home and explain why (depending on her temperment and how she would take it).

Two people upstairs from me that have actually taken my children out for the day and who I do think "get it" made a mistake with their Christmas presents - the included candies that were "may contain". I just gave the candies away and I didn't think any less of the people and I didn't think any less of them that I would re-consider letting my children spend a day out with them again.

I think especially in the absolute frenzy that some people allow themselves to get in at Christmas (the holiday season), there are a LOT of mistakes that are made or could be made. Definitely a time for all of us to be a lot more vigilant.

Out of the two situations you posted about (the SIL, the MIL), I would be more concerned about how I was going to deal with the SIL because I did find that all a bit odd.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ "That was Polanski. Nicholson got his nose cut."

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