How parents in your kid\'s classes REALLY feel about being peanut free ...

Posted on: Wed, 10/16/2002 - 2:01pm
teacher's picture
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Joined: 11/02/2000 - 09:00

I ran into a neighbor in the grocery store tonight. Despite the fact that we live one door apart, I haven't seen or spoken to her in probably 18 months.

We were getting caught up about the kids in front of the cake mix aisle. During the course of our conversation, she picked up a box of Snackin' Cake and said, "Does this have peanuts? I can't send ANYTHING with peanuts in Emily's lunch." (Read: "What a fricken annoyance this is!!") I'm SURE she forgot about Andy's allergies, and she was trying to garner some sympathy from another mom with kids in schools. She seemed SO annoyed by the whole thing.

I replied calmly, "Oh do you have a peanut allergic kid in Emily's class?"

She said, "Yes, it's SUCH a pain!"

Still keeping my cool, I said, "What would you like to know about it? I can tell you which ones here are safe and which are not. I've made them all at one time or another for Andy -- you know, with his allergy and all."

She suddenly became VERY sympathetic, stumbling over herself and saying, "Oh, I'm pretty used to it now. We've been doing this for three years now. It, uh, actually makes things EASIER with lunches. It's just one less thing to worry about."

Okay, pardon my French, but WTF is EASIER about this?? Someone edumicate me, cuz I'm lost ......

Anyway, NOW I remember why I haven't spoken to her for 18 months! LOL!

[This message has been edited by teacher (edited October 17, 2002).]

Posted on: Wed, 10/16/2002 - 2:08pm
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Yup. I think I got a neighbor like that too. First time I found out about the allergy, and mentioned it and my shock and concern at how serious I was learning it was... She jumps all over me asking if I would ban peanut products in a class or school?!? Thanks for the sympathy. Goes on to explain how unreasonable it is that some people do that, thinking I would be one of the ones who totally understands and would not ask that accomodation. Huh, exactly. And what part about life-threatening versus a little, okay even alot, inconvenient do they not understand. At least your neighbor was trying to redeem herself, even if she put her foot in her mouth.
When I talk to the preschool director to get a feel for any balking(I know, what a glutton for punishment), she redirects the conversation, saying how much more creative and healthy all the lunches have been. It is probably true. We all know how we have to do it! becca

Posted on: Thu, 10/17/2002 - 12:02am
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Teacher, good for you for keeping your cool! My blood probably would have started boiling so fast that I would have only reinforced her negative feelings, probably, by being nasty! I had the horrible experience, when my daughter was in kindergarten, of knowing that parents AND THE TEACHER were gossiping about me and saying that I was over reacting to Leah's pa. It was quite devastating for me. (It didn't help that I was also having post partum depression at the time, after the birth of my second child.) I've never heard anyone actually complain about the "no nut" policy, but I'm sure they do. It must have been really hard for you to hear this woman, but I really commend you for keeping a clear head. She probably feels like a total jerk now, which she should! Miriam

Posted on: Thu, 10/17/2002 - 3:38pm
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Joined: 09/21/2002 - 09:00

My son had a peanut free kindergarten. He's not PA. I didn't have a problem with it at all, but I did have some frustrations. It was never clear if may contains were okay, and we weren't given a safe list. If I had been given accurate and consistant information, it would've made things MUCH easier. At first may contains were okay, and then they weren't, and then other nut products were okay, and then they weren't, and so on. It's great that most of you do that! I had no problem with PA kids in my son's classroom AT ALL. Please try not to lump all the non-PA parents in with the rude ones, we're not all bad.

Posted on: Thu, 10/17/2002 - 4:26pm
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Joined: 11/02/2000 - 09:00

Hi Karen,
Nope, the "non" PA parents are definitely not all bad! I had one mom phone me tonight because she wanted to send some crackers to school with her daughter. She said she spent an hour in the grocery store today, reading labels. I was SO touched that a busy mom would give up an hour of her day to keep MY son safe! She was SO empathetic with me during the conversation, saying things like, "It must take you FOREVER to shop now!" and "The labelling is so confusing!" And she told me a story about when her daughter was in preschool and someone brought in something home-made that got the children sick! She said she was SO upset about that, but she knew that a day with stomach cramps is a far cry from what our PA kids would have to go through if someone weren't careful.
Just wanted you to hear a POSITIVE story about non-PA parents! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I love the parents who believe "it takes a village ..." [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 10/18/2002 - 1:53am
KeithsMom's picture
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Joined: 10/12/2002 - 09:00

Teacher way to go keeping your cool. You will find keeping it positive will help you deal with the back stabbing going on.(You know it is right) Many people will tell you what you want to hear, but keep in mind they are not as educated in the matter as we are, and will probably never will be because it does't involve them directly. But all in all the few that will put themselves there will be your best supporters! I have found myself in the same situation, come to find out my FRIEND (OR NOT), was the one running their mouth, so I know where the line is drawn now and I will not forget......This is the place to let it all hang-out we all are in the same boat so let it fly, it will make you feel better without incident....Take care

Posted on: Fri, 10/18/2002 - 9:07am
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Joined: 08/03/2000 - 09:00

Patricia is not schoolaged yet, and I am going to homeschool her anyway. But when I first mentioned to the local MOMS club board that we should consider making all events peanut-free (since there are at least 4-5 kids with PA), the first reaction was mixed. One mom thought it was unrealistic to ask other moms to NOT bring pb&j for their kids because "some kids won't eat anything else." I am sure that was the response from a lot of moms (these are moms of infants and toddlers, by the way).
But then I wrote an article about PA for the MOMS club newsletter. People read it and started to "get it." All the events at our MOMS club are peanut-free now. And I have even had some moms come up to me and ask me if specific things (that had no indication of peanuts on the label) that their children were eating were okay. This was food for their kids, not mine, but they wanted to make sure. So hopefully, this is a good primer for them for when their children start school.
Amy

Posted on: Sat, 10/19/2002 - 2:47pm
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Joined: 09/21/2002 - 09:00

I personally think it's really too bad when people aren't willing to make small changes in their life to keep kids safe. The old "but my kids won't eat anything else" argument totally doesn't fly with me. I have a cousin who's child didn't eat anything else but junk food, until we visited and had something healthy and fun to eat...and then he wanted to eat what we had! I think the parents really just don't want to be inconvinienced, and blame it on the kids. Kudos to all of you who educate these parents [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] You are truly amazing moms!

Posted on: Sun, 10/20/2002 - 12:19am
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Just to add a little different take on the situation...
That mom is right: it IS "such a pain" sometimes. Of course it's no one's fault, but it is very frustrating. And the label reading is an issue that's especially frustrating, IMO. It's an inconvenience for EVERYONE-- us, our kids, their classmates, their teachers, etc. etc. Of course it affects us the most, and thank goodness we have a place like this to vent. But everyone, even that inconvenienced mom, needs a little venting too.
Hope I didn't offend anyone. And I hate the "but it could be worse" arguement, but it's true. It really is an inconvenience for "the village". I like how you handled it, and clearly she realized that her inconvenience didn't compare. And our family friend who is now a quadrapledgic probably feels the same way you did at the store when I complain about PA. It's all about one's perspective, right?
Just IMHO,
Gail
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited October 20, 2002).]

Posted on: Sun, 10/20/2002 - 1:23am
smack's picture
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Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

teacher,
You really handled the situation with calm and grace and believe me that deserves a pat on the back!
I have to totally agree with Gail W.

Posted on: Tue, 10/22/2002 - 2:34pm
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Anonymous (not verified)

teacher, I HAVE to go to bed now, so I just read your original post and none of the responses you got but I'll be back tomorrow to respond. However, I just had to say this, nothing to do with what happened at all - I just LOVED the WTF and I'm just sitting here with the greatest laugh going, something that is always much needed. I love that! WTF. And no one else is allowed to ask what it means if they don't know [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Hilarious.
I have a couple of negative stories to tell (you probably read them here already because one was an experience I had this year that I had never had before) and I do have a very positive story to tell as well. But later.
Right now, I'm getting my laughing bum off to bed before I can't see any longer. WTF. I LOVE it! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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