Saturday, March 15, 2008

Close Call at Whole Foods

So I guess there is someone up there (or out in the universe, depending upon how you look at it) that likes to make sure that I never let my guard down regarding Bella's peanut allergy. And it just so happens they decided to keep me on my toes in a fancy pants grocery store.

I took Bella out of school early yesterday. Before Nap! Am I crazy? Yes!

But back to the story.

So we had a date night last night and one of Bella's teachers (who has a shellfish allergy, so she just 'gets it') needed dinner, as did Bella. So I stopped in to the local Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) for a chicken Caesar salad and some cupcake mix for them to make as their evening activity.

Bella was an absolute doll in the store. She sat in the cart (moms out there will appreciate that she didn't! want! to walk! yay!) and was just as good as gold. I gave her a snack to chew on while we were in the store and she was having a grand ole time, telling me everything she wanted.

So we grab a salad and one of those vitamin water drinks for the babysitter, and then I realize I need half and half for our morning coffee (hey, if you're gonna have cream in your coffee, you might as well do it right. am i right or am i right?). So we head to the back of the store to the dairy section. And that's where it happened.

I know what you're saying. In the dairy section you had a close call with Peanuts? YES.

So I turn to reach for the half and half. I am on this kind of annoying kick where I am trying to buy local. So there I am examining all the flipping labels to see where the closest organic half and half came from, not really paying attention to Bella. I choose one, and I turn around and I swear in slow motion, Bella says to me...

"momma, i think we need some of this".

This is when you cue the mission impossible soundtrack.

It's a tub of the store ground peanut butter. there's a big pile of them on the endcap.

and of all the things in the store, this is what she grabbed.

so I freaked out a little, i'm ashamed to say. first I put it back and say (without trying to sound like a high pitched squirrel), "that's peanut butter honey, and even though it's in a tub, you shouldn't touch that!"

So then i try to assess the situation. What should I do? I take her snack from her.

She starts to freak out, because she thinks she's in trouble (from me I mean). Crying commences. Great!

So I inspect her hand. No visible residue.

So then I smell it (typing that sounds so weird).

I swear to God it smells like she hand cranked those peanuts into her hand.

Now I am almost crying, but I am trying to hide it so she doesn't know I am terrified that she might have a contact reaction.

So I say, "sweetie, you didn't do anything wrong. there shouldn't be peanut butter near the milk, so you had no idea, but we need to wash your hands again" (we had just gone to the potty). And she flips out even more. She's 3 - need I say more?

So I find my way to the diaper section and tear open the closest pack of wipes I could find. I swear I practically gave her a silkwood shower with those babies right in the aisle. There were other folks there and they must have thought I was insane, so I kept saying to her "Bella I need to wash your hand because you touched something that you are allergic to."

Ugh. It was so stressful.

Needless to say, I bought her a toy in the store. I felt so guilty for letting her get into that situation.

Then we hightailed it out of there (via the checkout of course). I watched her like a hawk for the next 3 hours.

She's ok. I'm ok.

But it goes to show that those darn peanuts can show up anywhere, any time, when you least expect them.

I need a glass of wine after typing this. The stress!

Have you had a close call lately?


allergicmom said...

Yikes, that's a scary story. Our closest call recently was at a friend's place -- he'd left a bowl of nuts out on a high shelf. I had him put it away just because I didn't want anyone eating them with my kids around.

April said...

I have had too many close calls. Mostly with adults that don't "get it".

My worst was at my sister's house. Her kids had been snacking on trailmix before we came and she just wasn't thinking. Of course she thought they were just in one place, but before I knew it, I kept finding them everywhere. I was so freaked out I wanted to cry and then cry some more. I finally vacuumed her whole house while Will was strapped safely in his highchair. Needless to say I didn't spend much time there for awhile becuase I was too freaked out.

I hate that I can't just go anywhere without fear and trepedation as I look around for every little crumb, etc.

Anyway, I have been reading your blog for a few months now and always find encouragement. It always feels good to know that the thoughts I have and the things I do are normal to a parent with a child that has a food allergy. I am not alone and for that I thank you for being visible out here.

laurie said...

My 2 year old ate some jelly belly's about an hour ago. I am really scared. She hasn't ever had any close calls, this is her first. I gave her benadryl, but I am really worried. I won't sleep much tonight... :)

Pez said...

Wow - that was stressful reading! I cannot imagine living it! Thankfully you kept your wits (pretty much) about you and found the wipes section to scrub Bella down.

tam said...

Only a parent of a kid with a peanut allergy can understand that nightmare. God Bless You for not ripping apart the store manager. Something I probably would of done. Darn it don't they know how many people are allergic to this stuff? No well I guess they don't because I sure didn't. Thanks for sharing.

ChupieandJ'smama said...

UGH! So sorry! Our close call was last Thurs. at preschool. I went in the office to talk to the director and the Little Man came with me and as I was talking to her he walked over to inspect these really cool brightly colored things laying on paper towels on the table. She said "Oh don't touch those honey, the kids just painted those for Easter". And she looked at me and said "It's macaroni and the paint isn't dry yet, I just don't want his hands to get paint on them". So in high pitched voice, I say "Come over here sweetie, It's WHEAT (comes out sounding more like hand granades, but you know). Then I say "Bye" and drag him out to wash his hands. And he gets a silkwood shower in the ladies room of the preschool. Allergens are EVERYWHERE.
I'm glad that Bella's ok and nothing happened. It's just so scary!!

Collegegirl said...

I am oh so glad that your sweet baby is okay. Close call! I would suggest that they move the PB to another location not at the level of a child! So glad you kept your cool!
Elyse (No soy, wheat, gluten, nuts/tree nuts (all), and fish/shellfish for me)

Hippy Goodwife said...

eek! I heard that same soundtrack the time I took a wrong turn at a new store and found myself in an aisle with open bins of peanuts and pistachios at cart level, with my boy reaching for them. I swear that shopping cart felw frome the store that day!

jenny said...

ahhhaaaa, (sorry about the laugh, it's the joy from B being okay, and the fact that it seems like I am reading a post I would have written it myself!) Left you another message earlier, so far, really enjoy your posts. Our kids are similar in age, and your state of mind, similar to mind....