Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I will never understand people

I lurk on a few message boards generally to get information from the posters on subjects I’m interested in, or things about my kids. There is one board that has recently been having a debate regarding peanut allergies in school. A mom came on asking about certain precautions put in place to protect a child with a life threatening peanut allergy and all of a sudden it turned into this giant debate! One mother is even suggesting that putting restrictions on what she can send to school with her child, or having the parent of the child with the LIFE THREATENING allergy provide all snacks interferes with her child’s education. I can’t for the life of me follow that logic. At all. To me, it seems selfish and self-serving. It actually made me a little sick. I was going to post and let them know how disgusted I was with the replies, but have decided to avoid the board altogether from now on. I lost a LOT of respect for some posters and that makes their information less valuable to me.

I can’t imagine, as a mother, not being accommodating to ANY request made of my children, or me to protect the LIFE of a classmate. No pb&j at school? No problem. The other mother will provide all snacks? Great! One less thing for me to do! She might not provide the things I would, maybe it’ll be things my kids don’t like or contain ingredients I wouldn’t normally feed them – but they won’t DIE from it.

Another argument was about birthday celebrations. Apparently bringing in treats for a birthday is a big deal to some people. I wouldn’t know – I had a summer birthday, Jaben has a summer birthday, and Kyan isn’t in school yet. Are a few kids going to be sad that they can’t bring tootsie rolls or cupcakes for their buddies? Sure. Will it kill them to miss one year? Absolutely not. What it will do is teach them a lesson about sensitivity and empathy. I just don’t think an in-school birthday celebration is worth risking a child’s life.

I can’t imagine I’m in the minority with this. I’m actually amazed at how many people seem to have issues with accommodating life-threatening allergies, even going so far as to suggest the child be home schooled. Can you believe that??

Obviously, I’ve made my feelings on the matter quite clear, and this is definitely a vent. I am appalled at the “reasons” offered on this message board, so if you have one that might make more sense, please share. I am ALWAYS open to other points of view. I had no idea I would feel so strongly about this, but the very idea that protecting a child’s life wouldn’t be the priority of a mother simply made me sick. Shame on her.


Who She She said...

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for your reasonable attitude. My son has life threatening allergies to peanuts & tree nuts. I get a "google alert" every time peanut allergy is mentioned on the internet (that's how I found your blog). And sometimes those alerts lead me to the message boards you talk about. Some posters make me sick, too. I read their insane comments and think, "My god, they're talking about my kid." And then I have to avoid the google alerts for a few weeks until my stomach settles back down. You know the funny thing about the posters? Their kids would probably make accomodations in a heartbeat. The kids have always been so great about Owen's allergies, always looking out for him. It's the parents with the attitude problems.

Anyway. Thanks again for your caring words. Your kids have a good role model to learn from in you.


Anonymous said...

I agree Rebecca, you are obviously someone who has their priorities straight and having a peanut allergic child, I appreciate your sensitivity.

Tracy said...

Hi Rebecca - I'm another PA mom who surfed in via google alerts. I think that at the heart of some of people's resistance to accomodations is disbelief. Some people just can't believe food allergies can be THAT bad.

So while most people would be willing to change their behavior to save a child's life, they wouldn't if they thought that the parent was crazy or exaggerating.

I just wish I was exaggerating! If anything, I sometimes softpedal my son's allergy so that he can have a normal life.

Anyway, that's how I live with some of the more hurtful comments. But I really appreciate your post - it's nice to be reminded that most parents out there are compassionate.

Rebecca said...

Hey you guys. Thanks for visiting and thanks for the comments!

I’m really sorry you all have to deal with not only the allergy, but with ignorance and stupidity regarding it. It’s amazing to me that people would think you’re exaggerating or wouldn’t take it seriously.

Judging by the major increase in page views here, I think I inadverently hit on a hot topic. Which surprises me... I never would’ve thought there’d be any reason for peanut allergies to become a debate. But I guess I’m lucky in my ignorance.