"Sorry, son, you're allergic"
At an event the other evening, there was pomp and circumstance to celebrate a very worthy mama-owned eco-conscious baby & kid store. There were treats contributed by local purveyors, including some basil & tomato cheese pizza and chocolate-coated ice cream cones (think: drumsticks). YUM, right?
Not for all.
A little boy, maybe 4 years old, sat at the toddler table looking longingly at the other kids devouring their snacks (of the cold variety), my son included (though he was wearing more of the ice cream on his face and shirt than he had in the cone). The boy said to his dad: "I want one of those."
His dad, with a sad and almost upset voice said curtly, "Sorry, son, you can't have that. You actually can't have anything here. You're allergic." He took out a box of rice milk and handed it to the boy. Droopy-eyed, the boy sipped, still eyeing the treats all around.
It broke my heart. I know I was adding insult to injury with my own boy licking dairy deliciousness right in front of the boy, who I presume was allergic to dairy. Still, I do know the pain and I have felt that edge in my voice before. My boy, allergic to egg-whites and peanuts, has gone to many birthday celebrations where he can't have the cake, cookies or cupcakes. Even at his school, I have been told in the afternoon: we had a birthday celebration at school today with cupcakes, but we didn't give your boy any. Once, invited to join friends' for take-out for a quick weekday dinner, I had that curt voice and said, "we can't eat anything here", looking at the smorgasbord of chow mein, egg-foo-young, and stir fry with bits of fried egg.
There are many allergies and there are things that are more common allergies than others (peanuts). Is is possible to be able to accomodate all allergies all the time? How do you handle it when your child cannot partake in fun food treats because he is allergic?