FYI for all parents with kids, Nutella — has NUTS. You’d think I’d have realized this, but my mind heard chocolate. Thankfully, no one in Emilia’s preschool class went into anaphylactic shock, but I’m beyond embarrassed. This, on the heels of sending her in on the wrong day. I’m killing it for week one.
The worst part is that I’d sent it in as a clever alternative for peanut butter. So now, instead of scheduling a long overdue doctor’s appointment to confirm that I don’t have the beginnings of Cervical Cancer, I’m researching peanut butter alternatives to send to school in my toddler’s bento box. In my online peanut butter research travels, I came across this article, which suggests that the extensive pesticides used on peanuts may be responsible for the incredible growth of allergies in kids today.
In a study led by Dr. A. Lindsay Frazier of Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, it was discovered that early allergen exposure increases the likelihood of tolerance and thereby lowered the risk of childhood food allergy.*
This hits especially close to home because for over a month, I’ve been battling some sort of rash or eczema or hives or SOMETHING plaguing first my kids.. then me… and finally, Brian. Is it a food allergy? Stress? Mites? Poison Ivy? Bed bugs? Fleas? Contact dermatitis is just not an answer for me and hearing “eczema” as a diagnosis makes me what to scream and hit things. Eczema is a symptom of something being wrong — so if I’m at a doctor’s office hearing that, I want to some guidance figuring out what that something might be! Duh!!
As if my stress levels are not high enough — now I need to worry about organic peanut butter? Is there any conventionally grown food that is “safe” to eat? I don’t have time to grow all my own food myself. This is absurd!! And just for clarity, the girls both respond beautifully to antibiotics, as anyone would expect, but again — I think it’s a complete disservice to my children to not make a great effort to figure out what the trigger/problem is than keep treating the symptoms.
In these situations, being a parent can feel maddening. Pesticides in peanut butter. It makes me want to tear my hair out because for all the advances we’ve made and all the conveniences we enjoy, I often feel like I need a PhD-level education simply to be certain I’m doing my best for my kids because of ALL THIS STUFF. A PhD in parenting, basically. More of this is another post though — I’ve been sitting on some thoughts about what my course load should have been in preparation for having kids but need more time to pull the post together thoughtfully. (Not that Early Renaissance Art and History of Cinema haven’t been totally useful in raising my children.)
Here’s hoping Week 2 is without incident.
Brody, Jane E. “As Peanut Allergies Rise, Trying to Determine a Cause.” February 3, 2014. New York Times. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/03/as-peanut-allergies-rise-trying-to-determine-a-cause/ Accessed: September 14, 2018.