If you have ever met me in person it’s a pretty safe bet you’d agree that I’m crazy. Though a little reserved at first, once I come out of my shell I’m a complete idiot. I don’t take life too seriously, I don’t get bothered over things I can’t change, and I can most often be seen doing the “church lady” dance while pushing a red cart through Target. Up until 4 years ago I was a “go-with-the-flow” kind of girl. Then food allergies happened, and I had to put a serious guard up. Now I’m crazy for a number of other reasons:
1. Leaving the house takes some extra prep. Forget the keys, wallet, and cellphone. Remember the epi-pens, Benadryl, medical alert bracelet, and a life time supply of wet wipes for anything your child may touch. Forget the hand sanitizer too, it doesn’t remove peanut protein anyway.
2. The second I get to Target, I’ll wipe down a cart til it’s sterile. Yeah, I know there’s a line of people behind me waiting to embark on their magical journey through mom heaven wanting a cart to put all their treasures, but my kid might want to ride in here. Or not. I’d turn around to tell them my kid has food allergies and she’s contact allergic, but I’ll just let them give me dirty looks and think I’m a germ-a-phobe. Judge me.
3. Speaking of Target: Dollaaahh Spot! GOTTA BUY ALL THE PEANUT FREE SPRINKLES! All of them. You need something to liven up all those nut free cupcakes.
4. I have to try to maintain my composure when I find nut/egg/gluten/gmo free cookies in the grocery section.
5. The dreaded comment section of any social media page on anything that says anything about food allergies: I can’t read them unless I want elevated blood pressure. People are stupid, and you can’t fix that.
6. The anguish that is getting a birthday party/wedding/bridal shower/pot luck/cookout/baby shower invitation. The poor host has not experienced anything like the crazy train that is about to question them about everything they know about food they’re serving. Or life.
7. I take our own personal picnic everywhere, even to parties. My kid can’t have the cupcakes you’re serving, but that’s perfectly fine since I’ve brought my own. Cue the more crazy looks when I pull food out of my purse.
8. Those cupcakes I just whipped out of my purse…..Yea, I was up late last night making those so my kid could feel included in this shindig even though she just eats the frosting.
9. I don’t care what the label says, I’m calling the manufacturer. The FDA won’t make them tell me if their ice cream is made on the same equipment as nuts, but I will.
10. Trying to explain cross-contamination is a simple concept, but too many people just don’t get it. It’s not as easy as not eating a peanut.
11. Finding a dependable babysitter that understands food allergies is like finding a needle in a haystack. Needless to say, I don’t get out much.
12. The people that do get it, they become your best friends.
13. Eating out is risky business. Home cooked meals are the norm. That’s enough to drive anyone crazy.
14. Grocery bills get crazy expensive with all that specialty food.
15. Vacations scare the crap out of me. I’m petrified of a reaction happening from eating a meal in a unfamiliar place. Unless it’s Disney. Then I’m like “EAT ALL THE THINGS!”
16. I’m also petrified of ever having to use the sacred epi-pen and our action plan. :::Knock on wood:::
17. Holidays. Especially Easter and Halloween. Nut free chocolate bunnies aren’t easy to find, and no way I’m letting my trick or treater stick her bare hand down in a bowl of Snickers and Reese’s.
18. Strict avoidance of the allergen is all we can do to prevent a possibly deadly reaction. It doesn’t take much to cause one.
19. We live by the phrase “When in doubt, go without”. Doesn’t have a label? Nope, not eating it!
20. We’re crazy because we’re crazy about our kids.