I have a confession. I have judged (silently and not-so-silently) other moms. And one group that I am particularly ashamed to say I have judged are the allergy moms. You know these moms: their kids are allergic to normal stuff. (Sometimes it is scary, like peanuts. I don't judge those moms -- that peanut allergy thing is terrifying). But the "my kid is allergic to wheat" mom, or the "my kid is gluten-free" mom, or the "my kid is allergic to raspberries" mom... I have often found myself wondering if you were a bit hyper about your kid and maybe he's really fine? Until now.
Because karma has come along and given me a big ol' bite on the booty. My adorably fat, dimple-faced 1-year old is allergic... to lots of stuff. He has broken out in terrifying hives, his face has blown up, and his eyes have swollen shut in reaction to: wiping his face with a paper towel, feeding him foods with cow's milk, feeding him raspberries, blackberries, pasta sauce, Goldfish crackers... the list goes on. And he is allergic to grass. If he plays in the grass, he breaks out in horrible welts and spikes a fever. And all of these reactions usually spawn eczema patches that he scratches relentlessly. So now I am "that" mom, asking what ingredients are in foods, putting my kid in pants when it is 102 degrees outside, having Benadryl in my car at all times.
I never thought I would be an allergy mom. We try to eat healthy, but I'll be honest. A year ago, I was NOT on the non-processed food bandwagon. I have eaten either Cheezits or Doritos or one of their first cousins every single day of my life as far as I know. I love my coffee creamer. My kids eat (gasp!) fruit snacks. (And not organic ones. They eat the Ninja Turtle and Hello Kitty ones.) But we do eat lots of fruits and veggies and healthy proteins, I promise. I don't totally suck at feeding my kids good stuff. I make my own mac-and-cheese and my own chicken nuggets (to which my kids adoringly respond by saying, "Did you make the yummy kind out of the box or that other kind? And I respond, "No, I did not make the kind out of the box that takes 5 minutes. I made the homemade kind that takes 45 minutes of Mommy's time. But thanks for the love, kids.")
But now I am an allergy mom. And I am coming at you, fellow allergy moms, with my tail between my legs, and I am saying that I am so sorry. I had no idea. I had no idea how sick your kids could get if they ate stuff they aren't supposed to. I also had no idea how much extra work you put in to keeping them healthy.
So, I am asking you, non-allergy moms, who may be inclined to judge unfairly (as I did), to think first. Think about how easy it would be for that mom to give her kid the pasta or sandwich or orange or pizza or whatever normal food it is that he can't have. And guess what else? She probably has other kids who CAN have that stuff. So she has to either say no to all of her kids or, as is the case in my house (since my son cannot tolerate dairy), he has to watch while the other kids have something he can't. And he's 1. So he's totally rational and understanding and easy to communicate with. Or the big kids have to eat in another room or at another time. Or Mommy breaks and lets him have the thing he isn't supposed to have because he is soooo upset, and then we all deal with the effects: hives, eczema flare-ups, and/or vomit.
Fellow allergy moms, I'm so sorry. Can I still get in your circle? I'll bring some dairy-free dip and homemade oatmeal bars.
And hey, 3rd kid! You're supposed to be the low-maintenance one. WTF?