What is The *Real* World Anyway?

Posted on: Sat, 04/12/2003 - 5:19am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I often hear, because my home is peanut/tree nut free and "may contain" free and that I require a "peanut free" classroom for my PA son that I am not teaching him to live in the *real* world.

I believe I understand this statement to a degree. The *real* world is full of peanuts and peanut products and "may contains" and somehow in his life he is going to have to learn how to navigate through life where a bowl of peanuts may be sitting on the bar or someone is sitting beside him eating a pb sandwich (I would like to think in both situations he would simply remove himself).

But really, what is the *real* world? Isn't it different for each of us?

I will be 44 years old this year. Do you know that I have never, in my adult life, bought a jar of peanut butter? It was only after PA entered my life that I even found out what a jar of pb cost and realized that it's not the low income = pb thing that it is claimed to be. Peanut butter is not cheap.
But I have lived my entire adult life, long before PA entered it (PA entered it at the age of 37) without buying a jar of peanut butter. That means that I never ate pb as an adult.

Yes, I did buy other peanut products. Yes, I certainly ate tree nuts and bought them. I certainly ate "may contains".

Yesterday I was in the grocery store and although it's not my habit of looking to see what other people have in their carts, it was a long wait at the check-out counter. The woman in front of me had purchased brown rice, basmati rice, pistachios and an assortment of vegetables. She was quite obviously a vegetarian. I thought about how 20 years ago or more I was going to be *that* woman and then how I didn't come a vegetarian.

When Jesse was in SK, I had a teacher tell me that we lived in our own little "sub-culture" because we had a peanut/tree nut free home.
But wouldn't a vegetarian be living in their own little "sub-culture" as well (and perhaps we do consider vegetarians a sub-culture, I don't know) because they don't have meat products in their home?

Now, of course there is a difference. A vegetarian might get sick to her stomach if she comes into my home and smells meat cooking. She is not going to die however.

But all of us have different lifestyles and those lifestyles do affect what the *real* world is, to us, personally.

Am I teaching Jesse, by having him in a "peanut free" classroom still to navigate through the *real* world. Damn straight I am. We go out into the *real* world every day. We are presented with perhaps different challenges because of his PA, but we still go out in the real world. We do not live in a bubble. We participate in life as fully as we do.

Do I truly believe that people that eat Reese's Peanut Butter cups are the worst litterers on the face of the earth? Yes, I do. That is the majority of litter I find on the street.

For me, the *real* world is some place that you teach your child to live in a caring, compassionate manner.

It's a place where I have one child bonked on the head by another in gym yesterday and another one comes home with a black eye after being pushed into a bench in the school yard.

Everyone's *real* world is different. I think I'm trying to say that even though I have the requirements I do for Jesse, right now, please don't tell me I'm not trying to teach him to navigate through the *real* world.

This week alone he went to the grocery store with me on three different occasions. He went and had his hair cut. PA didn't enter my mind once on any of these excursions.

Yesterday, I decided to take the bus home after grocery shopping. I had eaten some potato wedges as part of the lunch deal I got at the grocery store. I didn't have anything in my purse to clean my hands. I managed to get the oil off of my hands regardless, but it did pop into my head, what if these had been fried in peanut oil and then the person got on the bus? But that was only me yesterday thinking about something I had just done and how I was getting on the bus. Otherwise, I get on the bus with Jesse and don't think about PA.

Can you see what I'm trying to say? We all have different comfort zones, and as evidenced in the comfort zone thread under Living with PA, people have been able to post their comfort zones without fear of reprisal or questions ad nauseum. We have been allowed to post our comfort zones and have them left to stand. We have always here respected one another's comfort zones.

I'm teaching Jesse to live in the *real* world, my *real* world.

Do any of you really feel as though you're not doing your utmost best to do the same? I believe that we all are, we just may do it differently.

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


Posted on: Sat, 04/12/2003 - 7:35am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I answer these statements/questions by saying: Drugs are in the real world also, and can be as deadly to everyone as pnuts are to my son, but are you going to allow your little Johnny in a room with people doing drugs? That is my take on pnuts and the real world.
Now I allow my other children to eat alot of snacks/food (not obvious pnut products) in my home that Cam can't eat, its been this way from day one, why? This is my part of showing him that others can eat these foods just b/c he can't. Now alot of parents wouldn't/don't agree with my philosophy and thats fine b/c Cam is my child, I do not care if anyone agrees with the way I choose to raise my children. I did that and allowed other peoples opinion that I was some neurotic mom who was over protecting him and it could've had deadly repercussions b/c I allowed other opinions of PA influence how I handled his allergy.
Now this is not too say that my way of raising a PA child is the right way, but it's my way and I'm satisfied with the compassionate, loving and caring boys that I'm raising.
I don't allow my boys to be around alot of different things that have nothing to do with PA, but this *real* world is full of these things, they are too young (5 & 11) to "handle" this part of the *real* world, therefore I'll continue to protect them from those dangers the same way that I protect my 5 yr old PA son from the deadly dangers of peanuts that other people like and enjoy.
I totally agree that there is no *real* world, everyone has their own comfort zones in every aspect of their everyday life which may or may not include PA.
Thank you Cindy for bringing this topic up, it is a question that every person here has probably encountered dealing with PA.
Lana [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 04/12/2003 - 8:26am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Cam's Mom, darned if in your great response I didn't see another question I just have to raise! LOL! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 04/13/2003 - 5:21am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Guess it might depend on which ICU bed your lying in. (If you want to use that as a point of reference).
In my "real world" there is much (aside from PA) I could let control my life and my family's (or overtake it) if I so [i] let [/i] it. In fact, I could decide that stepping out my front door was not an entirely safe option. Associated Risks and all........ But I don't. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] I can't. It's that simple. It's a [b] "Risk vs. Benefit" [/b] thing.
I'm a nurse, I work in Trauma and Critical Care. I might add my husband is a Paramedic/Fireman. There is not much we can't look at and remember someone or a lesson learned. It doesn't take much effort. I think what has helped us out is the *personal* belief that God won't take us or loved one's until he is ready to. Of course, we balance this with the words: "unto whom much is given, much is required". To us (my husband and I), it is a reference point of [i]Personal Responsibility [/i] and the judicious application of [i]Critical Thinking[/i]in relation to our family and the choices we make. This and frequent prayer.
MommaBear [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
Disclaimer: This is not intended as advice in any manner or form but merely an expression of the personal values of *one* family. Mine.

Posted on: Sun, 04/13/2003 - 6:14am
samirosenjacken's picture
Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

My "real world" is simply trying to teach my pa girls how to handle it themselves. We cannot expect everyone to go peanut free so I must teach them the questions to ask and the steps they need to take to be safe.
We don't take unnecessary risks, but we live as normal a life as anyone with a pa can. They eat out at restaurants, they go to birthday parties, they shop at the grocery stores with me, they have playdates at friends' homes and they go to school and have lunch and snack with friends. They are learning how to live safely.
That's what our world is like. They need to learn how to live with their allergy b/c someday I won't be here to do it for them.

Posted on: Sun, 04/13/2003 - 7:30am
river's picture
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

There is no "real world". Especially given our rate of change technologically, mentally, and emotionally. We are constantly changing to accommodate new ideas and new machines. The world I was born into 41 years ago resembles only slightly the world that I inhabit now, (most of the change I find is for the better.)
I try to teach my children how to embrace learning and pursue personal growth because these are the necessary tools for the future.

Posted on: Sun, 04/13/2003 - 10:06am
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
[b]I will be 44 years old this year. Do you know that I have never, in my adult life, bought a jar of peanut butter? [/b]
Hi Cindy,
Same with me (well, not the '44' part.. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] ).. I have never bought a jar of peanut butter either.
But all of us have different lifestyles and those lifestyles do affect what the *real* world is, to us, personally.[/b]
Good point.
Quote:[b]Do I truly believe that people that eat Reese's Peanut Butter cups are the worst litterers on the face of the earth? Yes, I do. That is the majority of litter I find on the street.[/b]
Same thing here in Toronto. People who eat Coffee Crisp, etc do not seem to litter, compared to those who eat PB cups and Oh Henry bars.
Quote:[b]I'm teaching Jesse to live in the *real* world, my *real* world.[/b]
Yes... your posting makes sense to me [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] All of us have our own real worlds. Although I tend to escape the real world at times when I start to daydream hehe [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 04/13/2003 - 12:00pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

erik, the only difference between you and I and not buying pb is that you're PA and have been for 37 years. I didn't encounter PA until I was 37 years of age! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Yet, I still have never purchased a jar of pb and I'm not PA.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 04/13/2003 - 12:29pm
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

That's true.. sometimes I firget all of you could eat peanut butter if you wanted. Somehow, my mind thinks you are PA too! haha (mayeb an early symptom of senility as I am getting old! haha) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 04/13/2003 - 12:45pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

erik, you're not in the 40+ Club quite yet so you can't claim any reason for forgetfulness.
You might as well consider me PA even though I'm not. I have hated pb since I was four years old. I can remember the night. I was eating chunky pb. I lost my tooth in it. It was gross, trying to wade through the chunky pb to find my lost tooth.
My Father would try to get me to eat pb as a kid by putting sugar on it. He salted his pb (yuck). But no, I've always hated it.
Now, peanut products, well it depended on the peanut product. Because Reese's Pieces are just like pb covered in chocolate, I have NEVER had one. I also couldn't stand ice cream at Dairy Queen - The Peanut Buster Parfait that was coated in peanuts (my ex-DH like both of these things and perhaps that's why I don't have children with him, I don't know).
But, give me a jar of honey roasted peanuts and I could eat those all in one sitting, no problem. And chocolate bars with peanuts, yes, they were okay, but never my favourite.
Coffee Crisp has always been my favourite chocolate bar.
Jesse's first reaction though was to an Eatmore bar. Would you like to know why I purchased an Eatmore bar to eat that day? I was pregnant with Ember and we were stuck in Mississauga waiting for a tow truck for my FIL. I hadn't eaten in quite some time and there was the little store thing at the gas station. I chose a chocolate bar with peanuts because I thought perhaps I would get some protein out of the bloody thing. (I don't even know if it's possible to get protein out of peanuts once they're put in a chocolate bar but that's what I was thinking that fateful day). And I gave Jesse a bite of the Eatmore bar because I didn't know peanuts were different than tree nuts and he had already tried walnuts, almonds and cashews and was okay.
And how did it even click, but in my gut, that he was having a reaction or that something was *wrong* after he had the bite of the chocolate bar?
So, yes, you could pretty well consider me PA as well. I do have to admit that I miss tree nuts at times, but not enough to go out and buy any (and Jesse is not TNA). But peanuts, no I don't miss them. And because I know they could kill my beautiful son, I just can't eat them (I know that's the part where I get kinda weird [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img] )
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 04/13/2003 - 1:09pm
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
[b]And because I know they could kill my beautiful son, I just can't eat them (I know that's the part where I get kinda weird [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img] )
It is not weird.. you just associate peanuts with "poison".. I do the same.
Do you know I never ate Miss Vickie's potato chips. They used to be made with peanut oil. For many years they have been safe now, but in my mind I still associate the brand with "poison" (peanut oil) so I nebver bought them yet.
So you are normal to feel this way.
I am glad I am not TNA. Then I would have more to worry about than I do.... PA is enough...

Posted on: Mon, 04/14/2003 - 12:15am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

erik, do you eat tree nuts?
Thank-you for thinking I'm not a total nut bar (pun intended [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] ). There are a lot of PA parents here that do eat pb and peanut products and that's why I kinda feel like a weirdo in that I will never eat one again in my life. But then, as I explained, I've never been the biggest peanut fan on the face of the earth anyway. Tree nuts, yes, but not peanuts.
In the summer when I was working at the antique/retro warehouse, my friend had gone to a garage sale where there were baked goods for sale as well and he brought something in a butterscotch square thing with walnuts in it. Well, it was polite for me to have some, especially since he thought it was wonderful that he had picked them up before coming to work. Well, I had one square and you know what? I didn't care for the walnuts, the taste of the texture. Walnuts have never been on the top of my list of favourite tree nuts anyway. But I had the one square, refused to have another, and washed up really well before I went home.
I do miss cashews and almonds which I used in different recipes and also sunflower seeds which I made an excellent vegetarian casserole with. But right now, I just don't feel okay about buying even the sunflower seeds (the kids probably wouldn't like the casserole anyway).
My Mom, who lives 500 miles away from me now, used to be a 20 minute drive away and although we never went to her home (she would come and visit us), she kept her home peanut free as well. It was the same thing in her mind - peanuts could kill her grandson and she didn't want them around, even though he wasn't going into her house.
I remember shopping with her one day and she was looking longingly at a jar of cashews. I said, it's okay Mom, they're a tree nut, they're not peanuts. After quite a bit of prodding, she did put the jar of cashews into her cart. After she went down the aisle, I checked the label and of course it said "may contain trace peanuts" but I thought, oh just leave her be. She's going to enjoy the cashews and it's not like Jesse is going to be there. But no, she's the same way I am about peanuts and she doesn't even live close anymore. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 04/14/2003 - 1:05am
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
[b]erik, do you eat tree nuts?
Hi Cindy,
I actually did eat tree nuts all of my life, as I am only allergic to peanuts. However, since I started reading the postings at PA.COM I have stopped eating tree nuts on a regular basis as I have learned about the risk of cross-contamination. So I am not saying that I never eat tree nuts, but I rarely eat them now.
The reason that I find life easier not having to cope with a TNA is due to the following. I only have to worry about 'may contains' when it involves peanuts. For example, if I was allergic to tree nuts, I would have to worry about a product that said 'may contain walnuts'. Right now, I can buy cakes from a bakery that is peanut-free that uses tree nuts, but if I had a tree nut allergy I could not do this. I can eat Govida chocolate that may contain tree nuts, since they do not use peanuts. Although I do not eat the Godiva chocolates that actually contain the tree nuts - just the ones without nuts. If I had a treenut allergy, I would not be able to eat any of them to keep safe.
So that's why I am glad I am not TNA, although I have stopped eating tree nuts 99% of the time these days just to be safe.

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