A little while ago I saw this ‘someecard’ on Facebook and it made me stop and gasp slightly. My initial reaction was,
‘That’s a bit dramatic’,
closely followed by
‘that’s actually a bit close to the bone for some people’.
But, it made me stop and think – which is what it was designed for (by whoever’s card it is – I have no clue who made it). Now, I’m allergic to shellfish to the extent that I carry an epipen and have to inform people that I really shouldn’t be given anything that might have those nasty little critters in it. I really don’t fancy the whole puffing up like a balloon thing, or the being carted off to hospital not breathing properly/ at all scenario and I definitely (cos I’m a wuss) don’t like the whole idea of a pen full of adrenaline being pumped into me as I don’t react well to synthetic adrenaline at the best of times.
I’m used to dealing with this and for years I’ve got used to reading food/ item labels to ensure that they’re ok for me to eat. Plus, I also have lactose intolerance (which I kind of ignore at times as I love cheese…) so I have to be pretty careful with things that contain cream or milk.
That was all fine. It was easy dealing with it all when it was just me.
But then my little Monkey Clothbum came along and over time we’ve discovered that he’s lactose/cmpi (cow’s milk protein) intolerant and allergic to salmon. He also seems to be very intolerant to tomatoes (which is being checked very soon at our next allergy clinic appointment) and we’re unsure of his reaction to a lot of other fish and have been told to avoid nuts.
It obviously makes cooking/ finding foods that he can eat a little (let’s be honest, quite a LOT) more tricky and I have to pretty much always be on the ball when we’re out and about. My friends and family are all rather brilliant with him and always check before they give him anything. It’s tough when one of their toddlers is wanting to feed him their goodies as he can’t have them. His little face is always a picture of abject misery and I do really feel for him.
However, what I have found increasingly annoying is the attitude that I’ve come across many times from others whilst I’ve been out. What is it about strangers wanting to offer my toddler food? I really don’t get it, but they do. He obviously looks very cute (I know I’m biased, but he’s a little stunner) and they must feel that he deserves a little treat.
Because, invariably, those treats seem to consist of either things he can’t have, or I’m not totally sure what they contain, I’ve found myself very politely and nicely having to sometimes physically move food away from him. I always say a very nice, ‘no thank you’ along with a quick explanation of why he can’t have it.
The majority of people are lovely about it – but then there’s the eye-rollers. They seem to often have another personality trait which manifests itself in a rather loud, rather pointed tutting sound.
Then these people act offended.
I think it’s maybe a generation thing. I’m not too sure. But, I really wish people would stop trying to give him food. He’s quite a sturdy, well-built little boy so he’s definitely not wasting away. My gold top boob milk, along with his love for his food is ensuring that he’s perfectly fine and really doesn’t need any extra treats.
Has any of you have to deal with this? Anyone got any good (and nice, polite) ways of explaining things to people? I know I’m destined to have a fair few years of running around after him, pulling food out of his hands at parties and so on, but it’d be fab to not have that whilst sat in a supermarket cafe!!!