I guess a small part of me thought that Woo was going to back down, and decide that he wasn’t ready to go to science camp, but there we were, dropping him off yesterday morning. He was more than ready, happy, excited, and just a smidge anxious. I was the one that wasn’t ready. It wasn’t the fact that I thought he couldn’t be away from home for four days, it was that others would be feeding him for four days. People who I have never met, who don’t know his allergy. I know in my head that they are prepared, that they have a nut free menu, but that doesn’t help the ache in my chest because I am terrified about the worst case scenario.

It’s just one of the worries that occcupy my mind these days. I’m scared that Willy’s surgery won’t help, that Woo’s camp experience isn’t going to go well, that Goose isn’t going to be able to focus for her upcoming belt test, that I am going to get sick. Things always seem to snowball, and we are rolling downhill at high speed. The past couple of weeks have been pretty eventful and disruptive for us, meaning that a lot more is falling on me. With more on my plate, I am dropping the ball on things, which causes anxieties to build, and my sleep to fade away, and then my fears build some more.

So we muddle along, and I try to make it all come together. I’m grateful that most people are understanding and accommodating when I forget things, or am late. Except Goose’s school. They were neither when I dropped her twelve minutes late yesterday. They looked at me blankly as I explained our situation, told me that is not an excused absence, and handed her a truant tardy slip. I’ll be glad when this is all behind us.

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He called it

As the parent of a child with allergies, one of the hardest things that we do is let our child eat food that has been prepared by someone other than me, somewhere outside of our control.  We do, because there are restaurants, parties, meals with family and friends where the risk can be managed, and we know that great lengths are taken to ensure that the food is nut free.  For those times when a nut free option is not available, I provide snacks or treats for Woo, and I make sure that he has them at school and parties.

Tonight was the lils’ hockey banquet, and I made sure that had I let the organizers know of Woo’s allergy in advance.  When we arrived, they assured me that all of the items on the buffet were safe, but that the desserts were not, so a fruit plate was being prepared as an alternative.  I knew that Woo would not be overly pleased with the fruit, but figured that he would be accepting.

Goose is generally sympathetic of Woo’s plight, and if there is a treat that he is unable to eat, she refuses to eat her serving of the same.  Woo wasn’t present when desserts were served tonight, but I explained that Woo would have a perfectly safe and tasty treat, so she should feel comfortable having the unsafe treat.  She devoured it, then very carefully washed all traces from her hands and face to ensure that she didn’t accidentally get some on Woo.

When Woo arrived back to the table, he realized what she had eaten and began to negotiate for a better treat at home.  I said no, as I have been trying to teach him that it is important to be gracious and accepting when his hosts ensure that there is a safe alternative for him.  He switched tactics, and pointed out that fruit was not a dessert, it was just a part of the meal, something that I have said to him on a few occasions. Conceding that he had a point, I suggested that he eat the fruit that had been prepared for him and agreed that he could have a small treat from home.

In the car on the way home, Woo started to ask when he could have his treat.  I explained that it was too late to have any sweets before bed, but that I would make sure that he got his Caramel (his current favourite) in the morning.  “BUT.  They got chocolate cake!!”, he complained.  Thinking that he had taken issue with the timing of his treat, I pointed out that the dessert was served over an hour prior, and he had been given his fruit plate at the same time.

“That’s highway robbery!”, he exclaimed, “They got a big piece of cake, and all I got was some fruit and a little caramel?!  It’s high-way robb-er-y!” We laughed a little because it was true, the desserts that they had at the banquet were delicious, worth much more than a caramel and some fruit in a trade, but also because this was a new phrase for Woo.  I have no idea where he picked it up, but it perfectly described what happened tonight. It didn’t gain him any additional treats, but it did earn some respect for his ability to so accurately describe what had occurred.  Highway robbery.