How do I respond to MIL who sent us peanut brittle?

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 4:15am
Francine7's picture
Joined: 12/30/2002 - 09:00

I can't imagine what my MIL was thinking! We just received a package in the mail from her for Mother's day & DH's bday, and included was a large zip loc bag full of peanut brittle - homemade, I'm guessing. Do I say anything to her? Last Thanksgiving the whole family went to my BIL's house & my MIL brought a snack mix she made w/ pns. I told her at that time not to put it out while we were there and she apologized. I was so angry when I got this package. Am I overreacting? Should I just ignore it?

I just had to vent! Thanks!

Fran ds Jack 23 mos (pn, soy, legume allergic)

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 4:27am
MeCash's picture
Joined: 04/18/2001 - 09:00

I'm sorry, Fran. I know how frustrating [i] (and infuriating)[/i] that can be. It's even harder when it's one of your child's grandparents. I had a pretty hard time with my parents on the PA issue, too, for quite a while after the dx. Sometimes, they still slip up, but rarely.
I don't know how long you've had the PA dx or how long your MIL has had for it to sink in. Obviously, it's not something she understands very well.
If it were me, and of course, this depends on the nature of your relationship with your MIL, but I would call her and gently remind her that ALL peanuts are no-no's. All products containing peanuts could KILL her grandchild. And let her know you're going to mail her some stuff which could give her a better idea of what it is you and your child are facing with this allergy.
And that might not help either. That being a distinct possibility, just always be sure to open packages from her yourself, give her gentle and kind reminders before your child's birthday that there can be 'no peanut products,' and keep at it with the reminders.
Some people just won't 'get it' until they see their own child or grandchild in full anaphylactic shock in front of their very own eyes. I certainly hope your MIL is NOT one of those types of people.
Good luck, Fran. Oy, I'd be mad... which is why I'd wait a few days before contacting my MIL if she pulled that one on us, or I would just be nasty.

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 4:41am
Sarahfran's picture
Joined: 06/08/2000 - 09:00

I always give people the benefit of the doubt. If your MIL isn't around every day dealing with a person with PA, of course it's going to slip her mind that, duh, peanut brittle isn't something that is welcomed in a family dealing with PA. *Especially* if peanut brittle is just what she always makes as a treat to put in packages (not that I know she does, but some people have "signature" gift items--like my sister used to always include a bag of Jelly Bellys with ANY gift or care package she sent anyone.). Even people who DO deal daily with PA sometimes forget--like my DH who once seriously suggested that we get DD a peanut butter and banana sandwich at a restaurant. It was just a couple of months after her PA was diagnosed and he wasn't thinking--he just knew she liked bananas. It wasn't until I said "that's not even funny" (assuming he was making a bad joke) that he realized his mistake. So I'd just call and thank her for the gift, point out that it was nice of her to make peanut brittle but that unfortunately, it wasn't safe to keep it around or eat it so you gave it away, and move on. Stick with gentle reminders and assume that your MIL isn't out to assassinate your loved ones.
Good luck!

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 5:42am
cynde's picture
Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

Francine, I know exactly how you feel. If it were me, and my MIL did that I would have to get DH to make the phone call with the gentle reminder. I can sometimes lose my cool with MIL, so it's better for everyone if he deals with her. I think she also would pay more attention to him, because I'm just a neurotic, over protective mom.

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 7:00am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

On the fantasy side of this.... wouldn't you just love to treat those "repeat offenders" in your family to a taste of their own medicine somehow?
I'm thinking my own "Signature item" in gift bags to anyone who refuses to get it from now on ought to be a packet of D-Con. (Mmmmm.. crunchy.) [img][/img]
Or some of that yellowjacket pheromone bait to daub on themselves - the perfect picnic accompaniment! [img][/img]
Just kidding- hope I made you all laugh, though. [img][/img]
You have definitely got my sympathies for this problem...

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 7:20am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

You know she would never do anything on purpose that would harm her grandchild. I think everyone is entitled to a few slip-ups, but if it becomes a regular thing you might need to have your husband address this with her in a very gentle manner. I have a few friends that innocently forget that Carson is allergic to peanuts and they will slip up and put stuff in his goody bag at parties. I've just learned to check it before he gets a hold of it and I just throw them away. I never mention it because I just appreciate the thought they put into making goody bags for their kids party and they had really good intentions. There is usually some really neat stuff in those bags and Carson loves getting them!
Take Care,

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 8:55am
nancy023's picture
Joined: 12/12/2002 - 09:00

I think I would send it back with a polite note, something to the effect that she must have forgotten you cannot even have peanut in the house and you did not want it to go to waste. A visual reminder might be a little harder to forget than a conversation. Better yet, have your husband write the note. As someone suggested, it might go over better that way.

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 9:36am
cathlina's picture
Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

My mother has given us boxed peanut brittle before for Christmas. It goes right in the trash....yes, I've told her no peanuts.
She doesn't get it.

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 11:11am
Ms.Belinda's picture
Joined: 05/11/2003 - 09:00

I can completely sympathize! At times like this I'm secretly glad my DH is currently "cut off" from his parents. It definately makes things a lot easier!
My MIL used to feed our pa/ds raisins out of an old peanut-butter jar! We wondered why he always had diarhea (sp??) after he went to her house! Then another time she constipated him by giving him (a nine month-old) old-fashioned whole oatmeal, despite us supplying her with his baby food, and she's the one who helpfully brought on his first real anaphylaxis by giving him a cookie with nuts in it. I asked her before she gave it to him if there were any nuts in it (we didn't know it was just peanuts back then - we just had a strict no-nut policy), and she said there weren't, she made them herself, blah blah blah. To this day, she won't admit there were nuts of any kind in the cookie. But I saw them afterward! There were walnuts (and goodness knows what else) in the cookie! It was a complete lie that she wouldn't admit, I guess to save face. So we forgave her and moved on.
But then, not long after that, she gave him a granola bar with almonds in it without checking the pack or asking me! It was from a variety box with PEANUT BUTTER granola bars in it!
She always seemed to be undermining our attempts to keep our son safe. I think she couldn't accept that her son could be a good father, because he was so young (23 when we had him), so she thought she'd "help" us through our overanxiousness. Ironically, she did more damage than we ever have! And she's so stubborn and holier-than-thou - impossible to educate! We decided that we just couldn't trust her with him anymore about May last year, and although it's awkward, and I publicly blame my husband, since they have a notoriously bad relationship, the truth is, I don't want her, or anyone else in my life, who I can't trust with my child!
One of the deciding factors in our move to New Zealand from Canada (for dh's graduate school) was getting away from her (and her husband - other issues there). I'm SOOOOO glad to be a whole ocean away from all that!
So to summarize, sometimes you have to make drastic decisions to keep your children safe. If people truly care about your children and want to support your parenting, they will be thoughtful. They will believe you when you tell them, not try to "test" the allergy!

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 1:14pm
AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis's picture
Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

I would tell my DH that he better call his mom up and have a little fireside chat with her to put her on track with the PA and that you don't want her to send any food to your house or bring any food to your house because she doesn't get it.
With some people, you have to make rules that are all or nothing so that they don't have to try to make decisions themselves that they are not capable of making.
may be harsh, but i don't have time for people who don't get it, family or not. no chances.

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 11:55pm
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

i like nancy's suggestion....if it was an accidental slip-up, the mil will take it nicely that you didn't want her homemade brittle "wasted." if it was deliberate (because she doesn't believe you or thinks you over-react), she will get the message when she has the brittle back in her hands. either way, she is more likely to remember that peanut products won't be coming into your home from anyone in the future. it is such a difficult situation to be in. if you keep completely quiet about it, you will end up like me and have family that fails to take you seriously ever (i let my extended in law family slip up for a couple of years because i was too passive to say anything, then it was doubly hard to get them to cooperate). also, if you jump down her through too aggressively right away, you won't get good results either. for some people, and especially mil's, that's just extra fuel for the fire it seems. good luck finding that balance....

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