Monday, January 11, 2010

Peanut Allergy Fear #2,986: Drop Off Birthday Parties

In the last 24 hours, B has gotten not one, but TWO birthday party invitations.

Great, huh?

The only bummer is that they are both drop off optional. One of them is in San Francisco at the Exploratorium - there's no way she's going to that alone for a variety of reasons.

Not sure about the other one that's local. It's at an arcade.

My gut is telling me to insist that I come or she can't attend. But I also know that eventually I need to let go.

But B is only 5! A baby I tell you!

Do I drive her there and sit outside the venue, just in case? Will I have 'crazy' written all over me??

What should I do??? What do you guys do???


ark said...

I'm sure the PA makes it MUCH worse. Does she mind you being there? if not, then go and enjoy watching her have fun! We went to Santa Cruz Gymnastics for a party and even the grownups were allowed to play in the foam pit, it was so awesome.

Anonymous said...

I would tell the parent of the birthday kid that you need to stay. If you drop her off you are gonna spend the whole time worrying yourself sick. Im sure once you explain why you want to stay they will be fine with it. Let your child go ahead and do the group things, and hang back..but you are there if your child needs you..My son is PA and that is what I would do.

Anonymous said...

I think at 5 a child with a PA is too young to be left.

I would stay.

Nicole said...

Yeah, at age 5 I always stayed with.

Kathleen said...

My guys with PA are 3 and 1 so I will have this ahead of me. I think I would stay at age 5. Good Luck! I think with any child as they age it will depend not just on PA, but the child as well. Feel free to follow along my blog at:

ChupieandJ'smama said...

He's 5 so I stay. I usually RSVP saying "J is really excited to come to XYZ child's party. And I hope it's OK, but because of all of his allergies, I'll be staying". No one here ever says "staying is optional". It's mostly drop off and I'm just not comfortable dropping him off yet. And I'm fairly sure that none of them would be comfortable if I handed them the epi pen, safe food and bailed.

Anonymous said...


I also have a 5 year old PA child. We just went to a birthday party the other weekend & we ended up staying (another Dad did, too)& I am so glad that we did. The children were barely supervised (other people's kids were coming to us for help w/ treats, etc.) in a public location. Actually, once during the party, they didn't even know where their own daughter went off to!! So, I feel that PA or not, 5 is too young to be left alone (especially with some parents). Now, if you know the parents & feel comfortable with their parenting style and their knowledge of B's PA, that would be a different story.

Have fun & good luck!

Following HIM said...

Honestly I would stay for the entire party(s)! I too believe 5 is too young for her to have to manage her FA by herself! Even w/o the FA...I think 5 is a little young for a drop off anyways!

Cheryl said...

God I hate the parties! I feel so curmudgeonly but they stress me out SO MUCH. I think you need to stay. There are plenty of parties in her future that you will drop her at - but for now, it still feels scary so stay. I always stay. I might even go on his honeymoon with him. What? I'll get a separate room! :)

Lisa said...

My PA son is about to turn 8. We have never left him at a party. I feel it's too big a responsibility for the child and of the parents hosting the party. I come prepared with our own peanut free treats and let him have a good time! :)

Anonymous said...

If it says Drop off optional, then I interperet that as you have the option to stay. This is a big fear of mine as my daughter gets older. So far, parties have been drop off optional, there was one drop off only but we were able to stay.

I have a 6 yr old girl with peanut and tree nut allergies and this is just one reason I do not like drop off parties. I also, feel that it's a social time for the parents also, and it's important to get to know the parents of the children you child knows.

There are some venues that say parties should be dropoff, I'm assuming it's a space issue.

I feel that if I said to someone, you have to hold my daughter's medicine for the party and make sure the food is safe, I think it would suddenly be okay for me to stay.

But if I couldn't for some reason, I would definitley wait right outside the place.


Anonymous said...

To me and the parties I've had, the idea of drop off optional was if your kid is good with it and you have things to do, you can leave. But I always appreciate the parents who stay and help. I would stay.

Michelle said...

I was faced with this very same issue just a couple of weeks ago. My 5 year-old PA daughter had her first 'drop off' only pajama party at a friend's house...get this... decorating cupcakes!!! Oh the horror!

At first, I was very hesitant, but the hostess is our Kindergarten class room mom and she is VERY much aware and alert. I offered to send her own cupcake, but the hostess was very careful to get only peanut-free ingredients and actually had me read all the labels myself just to be sure.

As a precaution, I dropped her off with Epi-pen, Benadryl and list of phone numbers in a ziploc bag...just in case...but all in all it went well.

My daughter is also very careful and aware and even her friends look out for her too. Not that I expect 5 year olds to protect themselves, but it helps a great deal that she is vigilant - she ALWAYS asks if a food is peanut free and never takes food from anyone, so that helps put my mind at ease.

I wouldn't do it if the hostess wasn't extremely cautious, though. 5 is young...even without PA, but in this case, it was fine. Just trust your gut...