10 days until Christmas - offer me strength to stand up to sil

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2006 - 10:58am
pitterpat's picture
Joined: 02/04/2006 - 09:00

I need words of wisdom and strength to stand up to my sil. I need to do it as a mom caring for her child, not a b**** wishing she weren't married to my brother.

SIL brought the macadamia nut cookies that sent dd to the er on July 4th. Then, she brought a dessert with nuts to Thanksgiving. I asked my mother to remove it (her house, her table). Mom, though VERY cautious about pn/nuts, didn't want to "ruin our family gathering."

So, I see it's all up to me. SIL already can't stand me so I've got nothing to lose as far as a relationship with her, but I don't want to hurt my brother.

Got some good words to offer?

I'm preparing now so I can really be ready to keep ALL nuts away.

My thought is that I will say, "That really looks yummy, but you'll need to take it home to enjoy it so that we don't have any more accidents with the gils. I remember how easily it can happen and we can't take chances at __________________" (Christmas, Thursday, whatever).


mom to
Sara (7/02) allergic to pn, grass, trees
Julia (9/04) asthma and allergic to eggs? & nuts? (no testing, just reactions)

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2006 - 11:41am
gvmom's picture
Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

Is the gathering happening at your home? If it is, well, then there are two options I have imposed. One, tell people not to bring food. Remind them that you have a nut free home. If someone really gets pushy about bringing something, tell them to bring soda, wine, sparkling cider or cranberry sauce in a can (those are my standard things I allow others to bring).
Or, you can also check people's things at the door. One Christmas I had people leave cookies they made, to pass out as gifts, in their cars. Told them to pass them out as they were leaving. Another time I stuck the pie (lemon meringue) that someone brought up on top of the fridge, cut it in half at the end of the night for them so they could take half back home and the other half went to another family member who was leaving. And I was the one that cut it -- handled it, in my kitchen, on something completely disposable, with a plastic knife that got thrown away.
Now, of course, I managed to do this after years of smiling and throwing food away after people left, but it gets old and annoying. And after quite awhile, when you are just plain pi$$ed at the lack of consideration from people that write "love" on their card to you, it makes it a bit easier to just give them a look like they suck when they bring something that could kill your child, then proceed to tell them to go put it back in their car, making sure to wash their hands when they come back in.
If the event is happening at someone elses home, then the problem is different. We have employed 3 solutions. The first is easiest -- not going. Eliminates a whole spectrum of problems. The second, has been going a bit early, having offending items put away, checking ingredients and watching people/what they touch/what they eat/not letting them near the kids. The last, going but leaving before the food part. At Christmas that is difficult, but if dessert is the portion with the worst food, then you could go for the cheese and crackers part, open presents, then leave before things get ugly.
Best of luck! This year I finally am not doing a dang thing with the whole lot of everybody. Tired of the hassle. We are staying home, staying safe, and I don't have 30 people to spend 2 weeks cleaning up after! HALLELUJAH!!!!!

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2006 - 11:54am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I agree with gvmom. If it is not at your house, I would not go. My dd is almost 12. I have been dealing with this much longer. If SIL knew she was not supposed to bring nuts (I am assuming she knew) and she did it anyhow, why give it a second chance to happen when the consequences are so dire? Actions speak louder than words. When they bring something with peanuts/nuts and you stay anyhow, you send the message that the pa/tna isn`t really that serious. So as I see it, if it is not at your house, there are two options: 1)don`t go, or 2)go and if the peanuts/nuts are there, then leave. I don`t want to put dd through that, so we simply avoid the houses where we have had problems in the past. Better to do something fun on our own than to show up and have to leave, or show up, stay, and end up in the ER.

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2006 - 12:03pm
Lori Anne's picture
Joined: 07/13/2005 - 09:00

My mother has made her home peanut/tree nut free so my dd will be safe visiting her (which she does often).
We went to Mom's house for a get together with some of her cousins. Her cousin knew that dd has an allergy, but didn't understand much about it. He brought a dessert with nuts sprinkled on top.
My mother didn't even want the thing in her house. I found that she just needed help with words--to keep everything polite. So I told her what to say. She did and everything went fine. She just was flustered and needed some help.
I told her to thank her cousin for bringing dessert and to tell him it was so thoughtful. I told her to tell him that she and my stepfather would love to have some, but due to the nature of dd's allergy, they'll wait to have it on a night when my dd wasn't there. She offered to give him some to take home with him too. He declined and said he understood once she explained how dd is contact sensitive. She served other safe desserts. She thanked him again once he left and sent him an email to catch up on things with him another day and was sure to mention how delicious it was.
The truth--Mom gave the dessert to the people at the nursing home where my stepgrandmother is. She really could have had it when my dd wasn't there and I would have been fine with it, but she just doesn't even like having nuts in her house now.
Maybe your mother would be O.K. with saying something if she had a very polite way to say it.
I wouldn't even bring up the other times. I think I would just say, "How nice of you to bring something. Let me just put it away so my mother can enjoy it on a day when dd isn't here. I know Mom will love it."
It is, after all, a gift brought to the hostess--right?
If she says that she'd like some, then offer to send some home with her at the end of the night.
Kill her with kindness. It works. I have a friend who is so good at that. I wish I had her style and grace. She can tell people things they don't want to hear and they still love her and think she's great. Her advice was always, "kill them with kindness"
Good luck!
edited to add: you might want to check with your mother first to see if she'd go along with doing things this way. If not, then you have to decide if it will be safe. If it's not, then you have to decide if you should look into making other plans. I hope things work out.
[This message has been edited by Lori Anne (edited December 14, 2006).]

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2006 - 12:59pm
PA-Mom's picture
Joined: 09/18/2006 - 09:00

I would call her in advance and remind her not to bring anything that has nuts in it so your child can attend.
If she tells you she insists on bringing nuts, give her some information to read about the severity of the allergy.
When I'm in a similar situation (at someone's house), I offer to leave if they want to serve nut products. No one has chosen to eat the nuts (luckily for us).
Good luck and I hope you have a happy and safe holiday.

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2006 - 10:03pm
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by PA-Mom:
When I'm in a similar situation (at someone's house), I offer to leave if they want to serve nut products. No one has chosen to eat the nuts (luckily for us).
And if you make this offer (er, um warning), be prepared to [i] act on it [/i] immediately BY LEAVING if the nut items are still going to be served by SIL. Otherwise, you will lose all credibility forever with them as to your food safety stance.

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2006 - 11:04pm
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I agree, you should speak with your brother. Also, you need your mom to also put her foot down to SIL and say I want my home to be safe for everyone, it's not safe to have nuts while DDs are here.
Again, people who behave like this are just trying to exhibit control, in my opinion.
If you get to the gathering and the "nuts" win, be prepared to leave.
So sad to think that family gatherings and relationships can be so strained because of FOOD. When you really look at it, it is just crazy, especially when we have so many choices!
Good luck and happy holidays.

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2006 - 11:50pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

That was my thought too--talk to your brother. If it your relationship with him that you are worried about, I'm sure he must be more caring and understanding than his wife. And by talking to him, you are showing him respect (assuming you speak respectfully, of course). You can tell him you are very worried about DD, that as he may recall, she had a reaction in the past. Let him know just how serious a reaction can be. And let him know that you love him, and want to see him, but cannot risk your child's life by being around nuts.

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 12:53am
Greenlady's picture
Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

One additional piece of advice - when dealing with your SIL, be extra extra sweet and nice. Not because it puts you on the high road (although it does) but because [b][i]it will drive her absolutely crazy [/b][/i]
She wants attention and wants to get your goat - the best revenge is not letting her know she has. :-)

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 3:36am
SallyL's picture
Joined: 02/20/2006 - 09:00

I'm pretty non-confrontational but I would be LIVID! She brought nuts that sent your DD to the hospital and then did it AGAIN? I get that people don't understand the allergy, but she certainly knows.
I agree with the other posters...it may help to bring your brother into this, as well as whoever is hosting the party. I know your mom doesn't want to upset anyone, but if she wants a nut-free house, SIL needs to abide by that.
It breaks my hearts hearing about the families that have to skip the get togethers. We've had to skip some with the extended family but as far as our immediate families they are TRYING. So thankful. Still not safe, but they are starting to get it.
Good luck!

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 3:49am
smudgesgarden's picture
Joined: 02/26/2006 - 09:00

we have a similar problem with my sister in laws mother. she made a big deal about how she didnt use any nust on the cheese cake she made, the only problem is our son is also allergic to dairy! we just avoid food situations with the lady it just makes life easier.


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