Adventures of a Free-From Clothbum Mum!

Cloth nappies, dairy-free living, reviews and parental ramblings!

The rolling of the eyes: Allergies, smallergies…

on February 8, 2013

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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.

Marvellous…

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.

ARGH.

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.

Grrrrr!

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!!!

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6 responses to “The rolling of the eyes: Allergies, smallergies…

  1. StephK-W says:

    I have had a dairy allergy since birth (proteins and lactose) and my poor parents were in almost the same boat as it sounds like you are in. People would try to give me food, my parents would take it away and most people would be offended, even after an explanation. Granted, this was 24-27 years ago, so food allergies were not as prevelant as they are now. It’s a wonder that my mother did not make a shirt for me that said “Danger: Allergies, Do Not Feed the Baby” and that probably wouldn’t have stopped some people.

    • Ooh thank you for posting! Your blog looks very interesting! It’s so awkward sometimes because some people (older ladies/gentlemen) do act offended, which is very odd and quite tough to deal with. However, as you must know from personal experience, the effects that he can encounter just aren’t worth it. Most people are great, though!!!

  2. Amanda says:

    I haven’t had to go through this as a parent, but my parents did when I was a child. I grew up with life-threatening food allergies to peanuts and pine nuts and it was usually just “I’m sorry, she can’t eat that; she’s allergic.” There didn’t seem to be a problem but I think with the relatively sudden prevalence of food allergies, people take it LESS seriously for some reason. It makes no sense to me! And it must be even more frustrating as a parent. I’m sorry and I hope you get some good advice on how to handle people like this.

    • Goodness me. I’ve had a look at your blog and you have so many allergies. That must be really tricky for you at times, especially when it comes to eating out. I know what you mean about people taking it less seriously – that does annoy me at times. I had people messing around and dancing prawns in front of me when they know full well that I have an anaphylactic reaction to them. Not exactly amusing… We’re hoping that our little man grows out of his intolerances and we can just deal with the allergies, but we started an inclusion diet today and not had a particularly great reaction to a teeny tiny little bit of cheese.

      Take care and thank you so so much for the comment! xx

      • Amanda says:

        Wow, that isn’t amusing at all! People can really be so awful. I hope your kiddo grows out of the intolerances (and allergies too!)

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