Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dear Universe: I'm an Idiot

Are we having fun yet?

Sometimes (who am i kidding - many times) as a food allergy mom, you slip up, and you think to yourself "I am SUCH an idiot - how could I have missed this?!".  You beat yourself up, because SURELY noone else makes mistakes when it comes to keeping your PA (or FA) child safe.



Well, if you are feeling that way in the future, just bookmark this page so you can refer back to it and not feel so alone....

So last Sunday there was a fun run at B's school.  It really was more of a slow jog because, well, most kids don't run.  They start running, then they get distracted, then they see a water station 20 feet after you start and then over the entire course this keeps happening and you really haven't run at all, now have you?

Anyways, after the run, they gave us a goodie bag and a medal (i use that term loosely) and then handed each child a piece of chocolate.

I know what you're thinking already - "you didn't let B eat that did you?"

Of course I didn't.  Well, I didn't right then and there.  Actually, i said she could have it then and there but she decided she wanted to eat it later. 

Why did I approve it? Well, because a Peanut Free Mom I know organized the event and the chocolates and specifically requested hershey's miniatures plain chocolates for the event.  (Note: foreshadowing).

So, we went on our merry way - she went on a bunch of bouncy slide thingies, played carnival games and had a ball in the extreme heat we had (90's in September - yikes!).

So we get home, and she's looking at her swag bag and comes upon the chocolate.  I tell her, sure, you can have it now. 

So she goes to open it, unwraps the fancy paper with our school logo.  And what is it?


She didn't freak out - she didn't eat it - she just handed it to me with a super mad look on her face, like, 'what's the big idea?? - i thought this was supposed to be safe?!?".  My jaw hit the floor and I panicked a bit. She hadn't opened it to the chocolate, but what if it was all peanut dusty??  Crud!

I threw it away immediately and made B wash her hands before she could touch anything else or get her hands near her mouth.  Crisis averted right?  For the most part, yes.  But....

But it got me thinking - what if she HAD just randomly popped it in her mouth at the event? I DID tell her that her PA friends mom ordered the chocolates and they were SUPPOSED to be safe, so it was a real possibility that she would have.*

What the heck would I have done???

Because you know what the cherry on top is? 

I didn't have an epi-pen or benadryl with me (where was I gonna put that in my spandex pants??). 


And that's the story of why I'm an idiot.

It took that one little candy bar to realize what a fool I am, that I can't let my guard down.  I needed that little yellow wrapped reminder to tell me that I need to stay prepared ALL THE TIME (if you haven't seen this segment from The Balancing Act, you'll see all the more reason for keeping an epi on you at all times).


*my fellow PA mom was MORTIFIED about the chocolates - she got in touch with me right away once she discovered the issue herself. i don't blame her a bit - they were donated chocolates and the woman did tell her that they would only be miniature hershey's milk chocolates.


ChupieandJ'smama said...

CRAP! We've all been there done that and we thank the powers that be that they picked up and watched over our kiddos where we messed up. Consolation? NO. But it happens. We're human. Thank God, B didn't eat it and had no reaction. You know the drill. You just had a brain fart because you looked so cute in your spandex (you go girl) that you forgot the most important accessory. I bet it doesn't happen again... for a while anyway.
Don't beat yourself up. Chalk it up to a learning lesson and be glad that B has learned what you taught her. She's listening and didn't eat it. I can't say I'd feel that comfortable with the Little Man NOT eating it. He might... just to show what a bad mommy I am ;)

Elizabeth Goldenberg said...

Oh my! Your post made me finally watch the balancing act episode. Thank you for sharing that. This is a sobering reminder for all food allergy parents never to be without at least one EpiPen.

Mistakes do happen with food (I've made a few, and my son reminds me of them from time to time). I think your daughter did a great job being her own safety net, and all our children need to pay attention like she did, even when we're making our best efforts too.

Nicole said...

I'm so glad it all worked out okay. I've done stuff like that too. But look at how well your daughter is managing her allergy. She looked at it and new it wasn't safe. You are raising her well!!

Liz said...

It happens. For my PA son's birthday, he wanted everything Spider-man. I bought blue and red icing coloring, and didn't think a thing about it. Later, while getting ready to make the frosting, I glanced at the containers and noticed they were manufactured in facilities that use all the big 8 allergens. I was shocked and felt so stupid.
Sometimes we need these little oopsies to remind us that we have to be on top of our game at all times. We are just lucky that they haven't ended negatively.

Kate said...

definitely don't beat yourself up! okay, the epi and benadryl you should always have on you of course, and this incident was a good reminder, but the fact is that even the most vigilant will make mistakes from time to time. as to the candy itself? an unfortunate incident, but again, these things happen. we all have to just try our best as parents all the while remembering that perfection on the allergy front is probably not an achievable outcome, much as we wish it were.

Deb {Confessions of an Ugly Mom} said...

I've been doing the Allergy Mom thing for nearly 5 years and I had TWO "Can't believe I did that!" moments this summer. And seriously, I COULDN'T believe I did them! Sometimes it seems like we've gotten so efficient at being careful that it's easy to let your guard down after a couple of years of epi-free success.

I felt horrible watching my son's face turn to fear when he realized he just ate something that I told him was OK but then in a panic realized might not be. It turned out it was OK, but he trusts me to make decisions and it broke my heart to see him see me be unsure.

But like the other moms said, we do the best we can and give our kiddos the knowledge they need to keep themselves safe when we mess up.

Thanks for the info you share on your blog!

Susan Weissman said...

I love this post for your complete honesty. We all have more moments like yours than we choose to admit. But the admission allows all of us to forgive ourselves.