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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
So... the Easter Bunny came to our house (well, to my parents' house) this year. And he made a real effort to make sure that Xavier, my 5-year-old (ana to dairy, eggs, and peanut) got some safe chocolate, because Xavier mentioned TWICE -- once at his daycare and once to my mother -- about how he always gets chocolate at Easter. (I'm not actually sure if this is true, but obviously it's true in his mind.)

But let's back up a bit first.... The original plans were not to include dairy-free chocolate because it's a pain in the hiney to acquire and/or make (sorry, I'm lazy these days), but when he mentioned it for the second time on Saturday morning to his grandmother, my husband and I just looked at each other with big eyes and silently agreed that somehow we'd be making sure that EB delivered some chocolate on Sunday morning.

We spent the next few hours shopping, with me debating back and forth with myself on whether to "go the extra mile" and buy some PC Decadent chocolate chips and make some little chocolate kisses or not. (I get like that when I'm tired - waffley.) Finally my husband said, "We're getting the chocolate chips and you can make up your mind later." (He's often like that - not waffley.) (Lucky for me.)

So later that night while the kids are playing in my parents' basement, I melt the chocolate chips and spoon the mixture into a baggie and cut a little hole in the corner (this is is my mother's kitchen with none of my baking or candy-making supplies) and squeeze it out to make some little round kisses. Well, actually, they were little round puddles. Really, I think I was just making larger chocolate chips. But they looked enough like "chocolates" that I was happy. (Another maxim of my husband's: when in doubt, lower your expectations. He is so wise.)

We had little plastic eggs to put candy in, so we left for our hotel shortly after that with instructions for Grandma to wait until the chocolate puddles had hardened, at which point she was to stuff as many as possible into one plastic egg. And then make sure the Easter baskets were ready for the next morning.

Come next morning, my husband and I and our two boys arrive (rather bright and early I must say) to discover that Yes! the Easter Bunny did realize that we were at Grandma and Grandpa's this year, and Yes! he did leave a basket for each child.

Xavier was digging in to various plastic eggs and finding different kinds of candy. When he got to the one with the chocolate (duly filled by Grandma early Sunday morning since it took the puddles that long to harden), he opened it and looked... excited ... and then worried and tearful. For one short second, I know that he thought that it was chocolate with milk in it. It kind of broke my heart, that one second. I leaned over to him and whispered, "Don't worry, the Easter Bunny made sure there is no milk in your chocolate. We had a little chat about it." Thankfully, he seemed happy with that pronouncement, and duly filled his face. It's about the only candy he ate.

Later at breakfast, he announced, "It's a good thing the Easter Bunny brought me chocolate, because if he hadn't, I would have been a sad little bunny."

Boy, was I glad I'd made those chocolates! And boy, did I remember the look on his face when he wasn't sure if they were safe or not. And I thought, geez, even in his own house (or close to it), he doesn't stop being careful. And he's only 5 years old. I was proud and sad at the same time.

So what did I learn from all this? Next year, Xavier and I will write a little letter to the Easter Bunny ahead of time explaining that Xavier is really allergic to milk (etc.), and can he please make sure that the chocolate is dairy free. And hopefully I can find a way for EB to write back to say "Sure, no problem!" So that Xavier can have one short moment when he doesn't have to stop and check and make sure that his chocolate is safe.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 4:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Great story, Karen! It brought tears to my eyes.

It reminds me of Halloween when my son was 3. We went trick or treating door-to-door and someone offered a basket of goodies and told him to choose whatever he wanted. He pointed to one of the treats and asked with big, hopeful eyes, "but does it have nuts and peanuts in it?" I was so proud of him. He knew that we would be going through all the treats afterwards and giving away the unsafe ones but he wanted to be responsible with his choice. But there was a part of me wishing that for just one short moment, he wouldn't have to stop and check...


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:54 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:17 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
What a wonderful story Karen. I laughed about the waffley bits. My husband and I have had similar experiences. I know the Easter Bunny will write you back. He's been leaving notes for my kids for years. He would always tell my son the chocolate was peanut-free (which in the old days used to be in the shape of an Aero bar - we hadn't discovered Easter-themed chocolate back then and I wasn't brave enough to mold any). :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Karen, your story was at once funny and touching. I loved it! Your little guy is lucky to have a mom like you, who goes through the trouble of making chocolates for him even though she's tired! It's worth it just to see the look on his face, though :D


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
Karen, thanks for sharing your story; I think it captures the essence of what it means to be a food allergic parent..... the waffling, the going the extra mile late at night when you'd rather be sleeping, and especially the sad but proud moments.

I also saw that same moment of hesitation that you described, in my 3-year old son's face. He came downstairs, where there were 3 big boxes of Easter-shaped chocolates waiting for him. But he didn't jump for joy like I had anticipated. He kind of meandered around them, looking, but not getting too excited. So I picked up one of the boxes, and showed him the label, and said "Wow look at this, the label says peanut-free. Well, of course the easter bunny knows to bring peanut free chocolate!". Then he was so excited.
It seems he didn't give himself permission to get excited until Mommy showed him it was peanut free. Silly me, I didn't realize he would hesitate, but of course he would. Why would I think he would forget everything we've been teaching him, just because it's Easter!
Next year I think we'll write to the Bunny too, it only makes sense.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Thanks for sharing your story, Catherine.

If someone had told me that being a parent would make me feel all these emotions all at the same time, I never would have believed them.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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