I guess I am naive, but I never realized that Bella sat at an 'allergy table' at her school.
I had always been under the impression that she just never sat next to kids that had nutty foods in their lunch, and that all the kids washed their hands after eating so they didn't spread the nuttiness to Bella.
So, they do wash their hands after eating, which is great. But I noticed that Bella always told me that she sat next to her friend "P" at lunch each day. I found this a little odd and asked her why she didn't sit next to her cousin (he is in the same class as her). She just shrugged and told me she couldn't, because he might have peanuts in his lunch.
I didn't think much of it, but then I started to worry that it was already starting. That she was already 'peanut girl' and that she was already being ostracized for her allergy. Visions of her sitting alone each day, with no friends, filled my mind. I was envisioning how I would handle homeschooling her to help her overcome the psychological damage done to her by the bullies with their taunts and threats and....
Uh, I got off on a little tangent there, didn't I? Ahem....
So I had a chat with the folks at her daycare. And yes, indeed, Bella sits at the 'allergy table'. Which is FINE with me, don't get me wrong. And any of her pals can sit with her as long as they don't have peanuts in their lunch that day. Whew.
Here's where I am puzzled. The other kids at the table, well, they don't ALL have peanut allergies. Some of them have shellfish allergies, some have milk allergies, some are allergic to tree nuts, and some to eggs.
The thing is. I send all of those in Bella's lunch in any given week (except of course for the tree nuts). Now I feel terrible, that I could have inadvertently exposed a kid to an allergen! Yikes!
I've emailed the director of the school already about it (I asked her to call me-I didn't say about what). They should, at the very least, send a note home to the allergic kids so we are aware of the other allergies at 'the table'. Of any parents, we'd be the most likely to understand, empathize, and comply.
Or should they? Does this seem bizarre to you guys?
BTW, I am really happy with the school Bella goes to. I don't want her living in a bubble or anything, so I am ok with it not being a peanut free school. They always provide nut free snacks (for everyone, not just Bella). And if there is ever a question with special snacks, treats, food projects, etc., (sometimes they'll have a weekly theme that incorporates food - they tasted sweet, sour, salty, etc, today in fact) they are always making sure that we find something Bella can have. They really are great. They may just need a leeeeeetle guidance on this one.
What should I say? Or should I? Maybe I should just play dumb and ask her to confirm their policies and practices? I'm not very good at playing dumb though :)