Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Birthdays. Allergies. Panic.

My son recently went to his first (non-family member) birthday party. My dear friend gave me the heads up that there would be birthday cupcakes that were not William-allergy-friendly. No problem. I'll just make a batch of fudge to take along.

The birthday cupcakes looked delicious with their blue frosting and sprinkles. I felt a moment of panic when I saw them, and worried that the fudge we came with as his alternative would not be enough. That my son would pine over not being able to have the cupcake that everyone else was having. That we would end up with a melt down at the table, a tug-a-war of will power and in the end, a crying, unhappy child. I needn't have worried though. He dove into the fudge without any apparent thought to eating the cupcakes. Gigantic sigh of relief.

At two and a half, his preferences and experiences are still being shaped, so he really didn't miss that cupcake nearly as much as I did. Perhaps it will get more challenging as he gets older. Or maybe, it will get easier as his comprehension increases. It's one big learning curve. However, there is one thing I feel sure of: I have to be careful not to let my food hang-ups become his. If I make a big deal about his not being able to have a certain yummy cupcake, then it will certainly become a big deal. Alternatives abound, even if they aren't entirely traditional birthday fare. Traditions can be changed and birthdays can become reasons to eat lots of fudge instead.

And so, I let him eat (almost) as much fudge as he wanted.

Linked to WFMW, Health2Day Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday.


HealBalanceLive said...

I can really relate to this story. My son was 6 when we removed gluten from his diet and I worried about these kinds of situations, a lot.

Turns out he followed my lead and instinctively turned down the foods he shouldn't have and has never really wanted them because it is a way of life for him.

Thanks for sharing,

Shanon Hilton said...

That's so encouraging to hear! Thanks Karen. :)

vintagemom said...

I'm finding my sons are doing the same thing... self-regulating their food when they are out... mostly because they're old enough now to remember how unpleasant they feel when they do accidentally eat something they shouldn't. Luckily they don't have anaphylactic allergies, so I don't have that extra layer of panic that some moms do, but I am so proud of them for taking charge of their health :) Even my second-grader says "no" to birthday cupcakes at school... he knows he has a box of "good" granola bars in his locker, and he goes and gets one when the rest of the class is eating the birthday snack. (sniff!) My baby is growing up :)

Lisa @ Allergy Free Vintage Cookery

Shanon Hilton said...

Lisa, that is so wonderful! It's nice to know that maybe some of my worry is unfounded! Thanks for sharing.

Emily Sunwell said...

You're such a great mommy Shanon. I can relate, it's a journey for sure.

Shanon Hilton said...

Awh, thanks Emily.

Rachel @ day2day joys said...

Great post! Our kids soak up what we're feeling especially if we show them how we're feeling, food related or not. It's great you let him decide & it worked out great!