Monday, September 16, 2013

Allergy Mom

I'm a mother of a child with severe food allergies.  LO was diagnosed with a laundry list of them when she was 1.5 years old after we gave her peanut butter for the first time and instead of delight on her face, she started screaming and breaking out into hives after just touching it to her tongue.  I think since then, I've been in a bit of denial about the seriousness of all of this while secretly holding my breath every time she tries a new food, eats at a restaurant or even goes to school.  Yes, we have EpiPens in every corner of the house and a set goes with her everywhere.  We've never had to use it but I fear the day that we do.

So we're only an hour into week 2 of preschool and I get the call.  It's her new teacher who very calmly  said LO had ingested a few soybeans at snack time.  It was 10 minutes ago and she seems ok, but she wanted me to know.  10 minutes?!  That's an eternity so I ask politely if next time they can take action immediately.  I tell her the allergist's advice, which is to administer Zantac and Zyrtec and keep a close eye on her.  Soybeans are a 4 out of 5 on the scale for LO and not anaphylactic, but I worry about the doctor's statement that each exposure can bring more severe reactions.

When I was a kid you worried about strangers, now it's everyday foods that can get you, for some kids that is.  The biggest challenge for me so far in this journey of being an allergy mom is keeping my child safe while avoiding being too overprotective.  I'm always the one going early to brief caretakers, teachers, etc. and sizing up anyone who doesn't seem trustworthy, as in unable to deal with LO's needs or handle an emergency properly.  I adore LO's school and her teachers and they do a great job, so I know she's in good hands.  The school is nut free and even though I had a long conversation with the teachers and parent who supplies snacks, I can't be there to read every label or keep quick toddler hands from grabbing food that has been set out.  Today's call was just a reminder that I must always be on my toes.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Nanny Wishes and Caviar Dreams

I think the best way to describe LO is as a "force of nature."  She's extremely outgoing to the point of stopping complete strangers in public places to tell them about her bug collection.  When we go out to eat, she ends up sitting with families nearby just chatting and having a grand time showing them her coloring books or whatever toys we've brought.  On our last flight, she made friends with the girl sitting by the window.  Cute, except the girl was 25.  And yet, she had so much fun she wanted to take a picture with LO when we landed.

Force of Nature is officially 3.5 years old now.  We reached a major milestone this week that I never saw coming.  We were riding in the car and she was looking out the window pensively.

ME: What are you thinking about?
LO: I'm thinking I wish I had a nanny.
ME (remaining calm): What makes you say that?
LO: Nannies pick you up from school, they give you snacks...
ME: But Mommy does that.
LO: I wish I had one Mommy, one Daddy and one Nanny.

And there you have it.  Sure, she's just responding to seeing her friends with their nannies.  (Hell, I wish I had a nanny).  But there's a part of me that's wondering if I'm TOO accessible.  I will remind her of this one day when I'm back to work full-time and she misses all of the baking projects, museums, play dates, afternoon swims, infinite hugs, etc.  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Haves and Have Nots

There are two kinds of people in this world: the Haves and Have Nots.  What do the Haves have that others don't?  KIDS.  I was reminded of this recently since LO is refusing to take naps.  Not just simple defiance but full-on screaming, flailing tantrums like a demon possessed.  Some days I can overcome and get her down; others I give in and we run errands or hit the playground.  A part of me is distraught at losing my hour and a half of solace in the middle of each day.  But I'm starting to see the light.  Literally.

We ran errands the other day and it occurred to me that the afternoon daylight is quite nice.  There's a whole world out there between 2-4pm!  People who are not on kid schedules are out and about while there's a whole subset of the population that's rushing to get back home by 1pm to make the nap.  The upside of not napping is that LO will go down earlier and we can actually have an evening.  So far this is going down very well with us adults, who just the other night fulfilled our dream of making it through an entire movie without falling asleep.