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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
My sister-in-law called the other morning and invited us to her daughters 3rd birthday party. I said we would go, and now I am freaked! I had a birthday party for my son yesterday, and we had safe cake and food, but other people ate store bought cake. My son is just 2 but he seemed to notice everyone else had different things to eat. My husband just explains to him that it was his special day, he was the only one to get presents, and he also got special food too that no one else gets. But I am freaked about this up coming party. There is going to be a lot of people there. Some don't know about his allergies and mine, some don't "believe in allergies." I know they will be all, "Here, have a piece of cake!" and I will feel terrible saying he can't in front of him and everyone else. People will probably try to feed him, and I will be pulling my hair out.
Not to mention my allergies are anaphelectic and I react to airborn food. Ir I am around cheesy things I stop breathing.
Would it be rude for us to go before food time and leave when people eat?

_________________
2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
shai wrote:
Would it be rude for us to go before food time and leave when people eat?


I don't think so. Two years old is pretty young to be dealing with all that, and it could be hard for you to negotiate all the food and strangers at the same time. And if you are worried about your own health, well, maybe it's best to beat it before the food starts flying.

I would explain ahead of time, though, so that the people who count (the ones who invited you) understand why you are leaving early. Maybe just explain that you really want to participate in this special day, but you'll feel more comfortable if your child (and you) aren't around food that much.

And you know what? If it's really really freaking you out, you do have the option of not going at all. I'm a pretty strong believer (now) in the "life's too short" philosophy. There'll be lots of other birthdays when your son is older and easier to protect, and able to self-protect as well.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.

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: Sun Jun 11, 2006 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I agree---I think explaining the situation and leaving before the food was served would be a good option. Or if it is less stressful for you and your family, I think not going (and trying not to feel guilty about it) would be fine.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Yeah, birthday parties are pretty stressful. We also have requested that food be served at the end of the party, and we have left before the food. We also have "please do not feed me I have food allergies " buttons which help when the child is too young to speak for themselves...however other young kids can not read it and a girl tried to stick her milk containing sucker in my kids mouth anyways.

Parties are a lot easier with my peanut/nut allergic daughter than my milk/egg/chicken allergic daughter...birthday parties are a lot of milky'eggy cake and icecream, and kids slopping everywhere.

Anyways, it gets better as they get older...there is always hope they will outgrow their allergies...and if they don't they will eventually learn not to put anything in their mouths that is not safe.

As far as birthdays and holidays in my home are concerned, I make food that my children can eat and serve it to everyone. At least in their own home, and at THEIR party they can feel included.

Next Friday, our block is having a potluck BBQ. We have always attended in the past with our oldest after our youngest is in bed. However, this year she is 3 and old enough to be aware that she is being left out. Therefore, we are not attending...the block understands...and we are going camping instead.

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Hi shai,

I think there are two important issues here: your allergies and your son's. You say this is your sister-in-law... generally, do her and the rest of her family understand the severity of your allergies? I mean, before you both had kids, how was it to go and visit there? Was she mindful of not serving the foods you are allergic to? Does your son have multiple food allergies as well... or does he have one or two specific ones? What are they? The more allergies he has, the harder it will be to deal with the food situation.

If there is any reason that you are not comfortable going to the party (due to past experience with your sister-in-law and family... such as their not understanding your allergies), then it is likely that you have lost "trust" in them and will not want to go to the party. However, if you decide to attend, I wouldn't feel bad about telling people not to feed him... just say "no thank you" and don't expand on it unless they press the matter. I know how exhausting and unpleasant it is when the topic of conversation turns to you and allergies... and the questions and comments start flying and you feel as though you have to defend yourself. Perhaps your sister-in-law (if she is supportive) can organize a "play area" that is food-free and not focus the fun on the food. There could be a specific place and time to eat. Kids just want to play anyway, they really don't want to be stuffing their mouths will food, unless it is there right in front of them. Basically, it should just be lunch and then cake. It's the hosts who feel as though they have to lay out tons of snacks for the other parents. Bring your own piece of cake for your son and serve it to him discreetly, while the other children are being served their piece.

On the other hand, it is your sister-in-law's party and she can do things the way she wants.. If you feel as though she doesn't understand and is not supportive and you feel her house is unsafe (for example, if she insists on serving "cheesy" food that can make you sick when you smell it or you know that the other parents will bring all kinds of food), then skip the party. Since the children are cousins, you can perhaps suggest that you visit on a different day to give the birthday gift and have the kids play together. This way, there won't be so many people around and you will feel like you can better control and be aware of the environment. Arrange a time that is not close to lunch or dinnertime. Or you can arrange to have them over at your place for a pre- or post-birthday party visit.

As for your last question... no it wouldn't be rude to leave. Tell your sister-in-law the reason why you will leaving early (hopefully she will understand and not be offended). As for what the others may think, don't worry about it. If they ask why you are leaving, just be vague in your answer.... no need to go into specifics, especially if these are people you don't know very well.

_________________
16-year-old son: peanuts, nuts, raw egg whites, asthmatic
Self: allergic rhinitis, fragrance/chemical sensitivities, oral allergy syndrome


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
Wow, lots of great ideas. I could make aspecial cake for him, but againthereis the issue of the other food all around. He is allergic to milk, like me, and wheat and soy and corn. He is also still on an elimination diet. The doctors (his ENT and GI doc) want him to eat the more hypoallergenic foods and stay away from the other top 8 for a few more years. Since I am allergic to all those things too, and then some, we keep that stuff out of the house.
I think my SIL will understand because she works in a doctors office, and I also showed her the actual results of my tests once, so she got to see on paper how bad my allergies really are. She's also witnessed bad reactions in my husband. The ones who do not understand are people like my step-mother-in-law, and the rest of the family. My husbands step mother will do things like feed infants bites of her pecan pie and think it's no big deal. She is extremely uneducated when it comes to food allergies, and unwilling to learn as well.
Most of the people mean well but just don't know a lot. They will tell us we can eat macoroni and cheese because "that doesn't contain milk, right?" I feel like most people are very ignorant when it comes to what is in their food. I think that is one bonus about our allergies, at least it forces us to educated ourselves on what we are putting into our bodies.

_________________
2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:40 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Shai, have you ever tried printing out some documentation for your step mother-in law? Perhaps stories with real life cases of anaphylactic victims like Sabrina, to explain the severity of allergies? Sorry to say, but people like that almost need to be banged on the head with a shovel. Perhaps it would also be more useful to say you have a dairy product allergy instead of just a milk allergy, this way people don't just limit themselves to milk from a quart, but all the dairies. It's like when I tell people my daughter had a reaction to peanut butter, some of them think she's only allergic to peanut butter...

Personnally, I wouldn't feel bad or guilty about missing a 3 year old's birthday party. The birthday child and your son are so young they won't even notice. And then just have your own celebration another day with perhaps some homemade cupcakes or other safe treat he can have, to share with his cousin.

When he's older and he understands more, it will be a different story but for now, why risk it?

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
Nicole, with a understanding person printing out literature for them would work, but my MIL is not one of those people. She would be offended by it. She was offended when she mailed cigarette coupons to us and I sent them back with a note that said, "No one in this house smokes. Thanks anyway." She's alittle crazy. I do think your idea would work great for my family. Or else they would just think I am being paranoid again. It's frustrating.
My husband likes the idea of leaving before food is served. He hates his sisters cooking.

_________________
2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Cigarette coupons??? Shai, you must be from outside canada...right?

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
Yeah, I'm from Northern Pennsylvania. I used to smoke years ago. I quit, and this woman knows it. But she is this weirdo who thinks that smoking is good for you, quitting will kill you. Eating bacon is good for you. She's nuts. She trys to encourage me to start smoking again. She thinks it will improve my asthma. :roll:
She's a few french fries short of a happy meal. She sent me coupons for my old brand. It just seemed rude, but I sent them back with a polite note. She freaked on my husband and boohood about it. I don't really have much to do with those people.

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2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:22 pm
Posts: 154
Location: Georgia
shai wrote:
She's a few french fries short of a happy meal.


HA HA HA :lol: That's a good one! Can I use it?

Yep, I am allergic to shellfish myself, even by inhaling. I imagine milk would be even worse. Completely understand the problem. Very difficult to always be on the alert, even w/ family. When others don't have to deal with food allergies, it can be sooo hard to explain that not only can you not eat something, you can't even be around it.

As for the party, when I go somewhere I may be uncomfortable I usually try to have a convenient excuse. Something like, "I'm not feeling well," "Didn't sleep last night," or "We have to run an errand on the way home." Much easier to just say this, than to try to explain my allergies to strangers (or crazy family). My close friends "get it" and understand. And people usually don't argue with an explanation like "I didn't get much sleep last night." With a 2 year old, this also may be completely true! :)
It's great your sister-in-law is including your son! Just let her know you might have to leave early, so she won't wonder what happened if you suddenly disappear. Then, play it by ear. Perhaps you will be pleasantly surprised!
Daisy


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
Yes, I think it's great that she called and invited us because her and my husband are not on the best of terms. They fight a lot about really trivial stuff. She's very hormonal because she recently had to have an emergency hysterectomy, so I keep telling him to take it easy on her. It's a hard thing she's going through. I want to go to try and mend fences and make everything go more smoothly. Perhaps I will call her before hand. She knows about the extent of my allergies, and that our son has problems. I think she will understand if we leave early or show up later.

_________________
2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6492
Location: Ottawa
If you are realy worried about your safety or that of your son's, you can always say he got a cold and you can't attend. Kids that age are always deveoping colds at inconvenient times. :P
I wonder how much have you told your son about his allergies and the need to not eat anything unless Mommy or Daddy say it's alright? Our daughter was an early talker so at 2 we were having simple conversations. Have you started to introduce the concept?

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Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
No, I haven't but I am thinking of talking to him about it. He understands a lot more then what I think he does at times, so I think you are right that discussing the topic with him would be a good idea at this time. He can learn how to not eat anything without our approval and stuff.

_________________
2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
shai wrote:
He understands a lot more then what I think he does at times, ...


Shai - I think you are so right about this. I remember realizing (fairly early on, thank goodness) with my youngest, that just because he didn't say much as a toddler, didn't mean he didn't understand much! Right away, I started talking to him like he was the most intelligent little creature in the world, and it was amazing to see. He really did understand most of what I was saying, and I'm sure he appreciated being spoken to like a "big kid". :)

Of course, we have to remember to keep stuff age-appropriate (and I sometimes forget to do that), but I totally agree with you. Tiny kids do understand more than we give them credit for, a lot of the time.

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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