We\'re not going!!

Posted on: Sun, 12/31/2006 - 5:29am
Shuleran's picture
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Joined: 07/25/2004 - 09:00

Hey all,

Just looking for some validation for our choice not to attend the family New Year's Eve party. Our extended family has a series of parties this time of year to celebrate Christmas, 2 December birthdays, New Years, ect... Every year someone "forgets" and brings peanut containing snacks and sets out bowls of mixed nuts. We usually attend and I stay "on ready" the entire party and don't usually enjoy myself. I can understand the "forgetting" the first time we get together. It usually has been a year since we've gotten together and most people don't understand or remember her allergy. My PA DD is 8 years old and very good about not eating anything unless she checks with me first. I also don't let her out of my sight.
We did Christmas last weekend and had the usually challenges. Most people were apologetic and expressed sorrow for making an unacceptable item. Well, yesterday we attended a baby shower and the same issues came up. I even had one attendee tell me that the brownies were OK because she is allergic to nuts too. I have known this cousin for 38 years and she is NOT allergic to nuts. Many of the aunts and others were offended when I asked to read the cracker packages and asked the ingredients of the homemade items. One aunt became upset when I would not let my daughter have some of the bakery made cake. We just don't allow baked goods from places other than my kitchen. I even fed my daughter before we attended, but I allowed her some ritz crackers and potato chips. I did not feel that I was imposing my beliefs on others, just keeping her safe.
Tonite is the annual New Year's Eve BBQ and holiday wind down party. My husband and I have decided not to attend for the first time. I just don't feel like standing guard and explaining myself all night. My kids will be disappointed because they won't see these cousins for another year, but I just can't do it again tonite.
Did we make the right choice or should I look at this as another opportunity for education? Frankly, I am just tired of it all.

Posted on: Sun, 12/31/2006 - 6:32am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Give them another chance next year... since you've made your point by not attending.
I hear you about the family that 'gets it' (not) because they know all about 'allergies.' (I have a seriously hypochondriac aunt who has pretty much self-diagnosed allergy and back problems all my life.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) I just get sick of them putting their self-diagnosed "wheat allergy" on par with my daughter's [i]very real[/i] allergies that can kill her. Nothing says "I don't really get it" in neon like that, eh?
I think that if your family chooses to ignore your thrown gauntlet, then you will need to decide what to do then. Personally, no family gathering is worth the kind of wear and tear you've described (and I've experienced [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ).... [i]Thanks so much for the kind invitation..... I'm sure you'll understand if we are just not comfortable attending with DD/DS's allergies presenting such a problem....[/i]
And then make other plans. REALLY. Don't mope, and let your kids know (if they are old enough, and it sounds like your daughter is) why you are changing tradition. It isn't because of her allergies-- it is because no amount of "fun" is worth that kind of danger when family, um, 'Can't remember'. Which sounds much nicer than 'Can't be bothered, in their selfishness and ignorance....'
Anyway-- Have a happy, fun, and SAFE New Year's Eve. Play board games and get noisemakers for everyone! It's what we do, too. A little sparkling cider and kicking my hiney at Clue takes the sting out of a lot. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 12/31/2006 - 6:47am
LisaM's picture
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Joined: 11/04/2005 - 09:00

I don't think there is any 'right' choice here. I can certainly understand not wanting to go. I'd suggest being clear about the reason you didn't attend. That way maybe your family will make more of an effort to remember about the nut allergies next year.
I find that with some people it just doesn't work to say that I have life-threatening allergies. . . I really have to sit down and explain in detail the precautions that I must take. Sometimes I explain one particularly bad anaphylactic reaction I had in the past. The key is to get friends and family to understand that I could have a fatal reaction with trace amounts. I find that most people generally remember at least one or two of my allergies after that conversation and they also have some degree of understanding of the cross contamination issue.
I also found it really aggravating when people act like it is over the top to ask to read the labels (a past issue for me as now that the corn allergy is official and I have celiac disease, I can't eat anything with a list of ingredients anyways). It is just rude to make people feel obligated to eat something.
In these situations, I'd make it clear that you're dealing with a life and death issue --and, again, that trace amounts could cause a fatal reaction. The mention of death tends to catch peoples' attention [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 12/31/2006 - 4:32pm
gw_mom3's picture
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Joined: 02/14/2000 - 09:00

I think you made the right decision. We have quit going to all family functions at my inlaws. They just refuse to make it safe or even to take it seriously. Even after skipping out the last several years they would still rather have all the nut stuff there than have us there so that tells me a lot. Sadly it probably tells my kids a lot too. We go on Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas to open gifts. I would be fine with just one of those but dh really likes to go visit his brother on Christmas Eve (he lives out of state). So what I'm saying is we have dealt with this for 10 yrs now and we are no closer to them understanding than we ever were.
------------------
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[b]~Gale~[/b]

Posted on: Sun, 12/31/2006 - 10:59pm
saknjmom's picture
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Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Sometimes we have to use our gut and make these types of decisions. Sometimes I think about how crazy it is that FOOD is a determining factor in our decisions. It's crazy. It's not xx can't get along with xx or anything that is really difficult to fix, it's FOOD.
Anyway, I have avoided certain situations where I know it will just be stressful dealing with people and their FOOD....
In fact, yesterday was xmas "party" for DH's siblings. AT MY HOUSE. I have said that I don't like them or want them bringing food to my house. One SIL calls and wants to bring ice cream cake, I say no we have ice cream, she wants to bring it and pushes a little. I say no.
Other sil brings cookies, tells DS that they are okay. I ask about the chocolate she used and she says IT"S FINE. I READ THE LABEL. I ended up telling her that I made those decisions, Not her and that no the chocolate was not okay.
It is so hard when you're dealing with so many personalities and people who put THEIR wants and needs and agendas ahead of our allergic kids.

Posted on: Mon, 01/01/2007 - 9:31am
McCobbre's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

Saknj--this wouldn't happen to be the one who ate the VNF pretzels, now would it???
These people take the cake! But at least they didn't bring it.

Posted on: Mon, 01/01/2007 - 12:38pm
gw_mom3's picture
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Joined: 02/14/2000 - 09:00

I was talking to one of my sisters about this today and I guess she's a nonbeliever. She thinks it is farfetched that someone could have a reaction just by smelling or being around peanut/nut. She wouldn't believe me no matter what-she said "you better get her checked again because that doesn't sound right". ARGH. I guess I'll have to keep a very close eye on my kids when we visit next summer.
------------------
==============
[b]~Gale~[/b]

Posted on: Tue, 01/02/2007 - 12:59am
Lori Jo's picture
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Joined: 09/17/2003 - 09:00

I'm with Corvalis Mom. Cheerfully change your plans. The more you moan and groan over it, the more you dd will pick up on how her allergies have bad social consequences. I would try something on the order of "Oh gee, too bad we can't go, but now this gives us the time/opportunity to ..." No, it is not easy, but keeping our children safe trumps family ignorance/unwillingness any day in my book. Maybe easier said for me since my family is on the whole pretty accepting, or very willing to NOT cook. MIL wouldn't know the inside of kitchen if it bit her. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Good luck!

Posted on: Tue, 01/02/2007 - 11:40am
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

As always go with your GUT and that seems to be telling you NO to stay at home. Your kids will be learning a lesson as well. It is how to stick up for yourselves as you get older.
I will always teach my kids how to stick up for Chris and each other and by not going to the party your children are learning when to say no. It is a good thing not a bad. My other kids would never get mad if I made a call to keep their brother safe. He is 20 and they still think of Chris and food 24/7 and that is because we as parents are teachers to them about this allergy.
If you go against your gut things could be dangerous. Make your own family fun and show the what a great time you can all have.
We have done that and you will be surprised at the things they will enjoy. Good luck claire

Posted on: Tue, 01/02/2007 - 9:27pm
Shuleran's picture
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Joined: 07/25/2004 - 09:00

Hello all,
Thanks for the great responses and the support. We did not go and that was fine with us. We did not remind the kids that it was New Year's Eve, so they did not even realize that they missed anything. The ironic thing is that when I checked with my Mom the next day there were no nut foods sereved at all. We could have gone! Oh well, you pick your battles and I was to tired to fight if that was going to be a possibility. Once again, thank you all.

Posted on: Tue, 01/02/2007 - 9:53pm
saknjmom's picture
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Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by McCobbre:
[b]Saknj--this wouldn't happen to be the one who ate the VNF pretzels, now would it???
These people take the cake! But at least they didn't bring it. [/b]
The one who brought the chocolate chip cookies.....
I didn't even write about that.....I've been confused and uncertain about toll house chips. I ask her what chips she used after she told DS the coookies were fine. She says, THEY"RE FINE. As if she's some expert at handling food allergies. I say WHICH ONES????? (In my best authoritative, but somewhat condescending tone.)
Then I say, I prefer that he doesn't eat them, because I am not comfortable with Toll house right now. Then my other sil chimes in that it is a LAW that they label. (In her best condescending tone.) I say yes, but not for x-contamination.
Then, I proceed to ask her if she has made anything with nuts in her mixer lately. Of course she has. She has a stand mixer that I know she rarely cleans the underneath and she's more of a quick rinser in the kitchen.
I explain that her kitchen could pose some xcontamination problems as well.
UGH. MY blood was boiling for two days after they were here.

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