Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm Up.

So it's 4:30 am as I write this and I am up. Can't sleep.

Why?

Bella starts at her new school (preschool) this morning and I am doing the peanut free parent dance in my head, thinking of the teachers I need to corner in just a few hours, the notes and fine points they need to remember in my absence to make sure Bella is reaction-free. Of course they know Bella has a peanut allergy. Of course they already have measures in place regarding foods brought in to the school, snacks they serve, and designated tables for food allergy sufferers.

But nonetheless I will still give them 'the talk' in a few hours. They will say they know how to handle her allergy, but I will tell them again what she can and cannot have. I can't tell them too many times to be careful. Not paranoid, but careful.

So I am up, going through the dialog in my head. Bella is sleeping peacefully in her room. And I am up.

Mainly I am up because my baby girl is growing up. Each of these milestones marks her advancement into her own independence. I love it and hate it at the same time.

7 comments:

Patty said...

Hang in there. This is a big step and you are doing everything right.

You would not sleep at night if you didn't take these steps.....wait, it is 4am, you are already not sleeping ;o)

Anyway, I remember feeling this way when my daughter left daycare and went to "big school". I was in rough shape for a week.

I will tell you that, as every day (weeek, month, year) passes, you will gain more confidence that she will come home to you every day.

You will also build a relationship with the teachers so that you will get a sense that they "get it". They will call about foods, events, etc. and you will know that she is in good hands.

Also, the kids are good at protecting each other. Frankly, school friends are better than adults at keeping kids safe! They love their friends and don't want them to get hurt.

I lend teachers my "peanut" story books so she can read them to the class. It really helps the little friends understand.

Breathe deeply, treat yourself for making it through the day, and remember that sometimes, only time will help ease this kind of anxiety.

Jennifer B said...

I'll be interested to hear how the talk went. Please tell us about it! I'll be following in your footsteps in a few months when school starts in the fall.

School is so scary when it comes to food allergies. My 7 year old does not have food allergies and I just got back from chaperoning his class trip to the zoo. The teacher was careful to keep the peanut butter- eating children away from the nut-allergic kids. Good start. BUT, she cleaned the peanut butter eating children's hands with Purell. Despite the training from the school nurse, this teacher did not know that Purell is for germs and bacteria, NOT food allergens. Scary!

Pez said...

I hope everything went ok and that Bella was safe (and happy!) at her new preschool!

Allergy Mom said...

The first day of preK I bawled. Just cried myself silly after dropping off my son. I still get twinges, and we're doing a voluntary summer preK program right now with new teachers, so again with the angst.

Every single one of us mommies is trusting the teacher with our child's life, but for the allergic kids, there's just no room for error. Good luck, Libby

Collegegirl said...

Ok-how did it go??? I am so curious!
~Elyse~

Balancingmama said...

Hi there, my daughter is allergic to nuts as well and I did not move her from her nut free daycare to a preschool this month because they could not guarantee me no nuts (they provide lunch and snacks). I was very disappointed but what can you do? I am freaked out everywhere we go.
Check out my venting blog!

Jenny said...

I feel for you. I've had the same feelings but found that with communication and careful preparation, things have gone fine for my daughter at preschool (once we switched her to a nut-free school.) Also, I'm sure you did your homework and found a great school.

Just wait till you see her little preschool friends looking out for her and her food allergy -- it will warm your heart.

Try not to worry--preschool will be great for your daughter. She'll grow and gain in confidence.