Thursday, September 22, 2011

All in a Day's Work

A few weeks back the babe and I were attending her classmate's birthday party.

As with all birthday parties we attend, I had brought her a special treat to make up for the fact she couldn't have the birthday cake the other kids were bound to be eating in her front of her.  Usually this plan has worked.  Sadly, it didn't work at this party.  When it came time for snacks and cake, the babe came to me crying.  She couldn't eat the sandwiches the other kids were eating and didn't get to indulge in the brownie cake that followed.

I felt so terribly bad for her.  I have always been impressed with her ability to deal with eating different food than the people around her.  I thought that since we've been aware of her allergies since she was 5 months old, that she was used to eating different food.  What I am now realizing is that almost 5 year old girls don't like to be different.  What they want is to eat the same cake as everybody else. 

As you may recall, the babe has outgrown some of her allergies and can now have eggs, sesame and baked milk.  While this opens up many doors, parents are never able to tell me the ingredients of what they are providing at birthday parties.  They don't know if the party food may contain trace amounts of peanuts.  They don't know if there is butter in the icing.  They don't know if the food was manufactured on equipment which is used to produce tree nut products.  And I don't want to take any chances.

Anyway, yesterday I spent an hour going through the list of snacks that are provided at the babe's school.  For over 2 years, I have sent her snacks in with her and she has eaten different food than the other kids at snack time.  I decided it was time to reevaluate this system and go through all the items that are served and read all the labels I could get my hands on.  I came up with a solid list of the foods she can have at snack time, and a list of those which she is not to be served.

I have put some faith in her teachers and in her by doing this.  I have lost some control.  But for the first time the babe was able to share in snack time with her class yesterday.  She was thrilled she got to eat what everyone else ate.  And I got to feel like I had done my job as her Mama.  It certainly feels good to make some progress.  It also feels good to know that my daughter is one step closer to culinary independence.

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