Saturday, September 4, 2010

Kindergarten starts next week!

Alexa starts Kindergarten next week. We have the usual excitement and anxieties that all families have when their oldest child starts their first year of school, but we (or perhaps I should say "I") also have the dread that comes with sending our food allergic child to a school which is NOT nut "sensitive". At lunch, children in her class could be sitting next to her eating peanut butter, nuts, eggs, sesame, soy, chick peas and other things she is allergic to. While my husband does not seem the least bit phased by this (just my opinion) I waiver between excited, confident, trusting of the school and utter fear that no one will be looking out for my baby girl. I find this very frustrating since I've gained such confidence in the past couple of years- I have allowed her on play dates without my supervision, let her eat at a restaurant for the first time since she was 2 and added multiple new foods to her diet. But putting all my trust in a group of people I don't really know is terrifying. I am taking precautions. For example, I've educating Alexa on how to stay safe (we made a special place mat she will take with her to eat on and had many conversations about sharing food, drinks, etc.), I've communicated with her teachers, the parent liaison, the school nurse, and other parents, but I don't think I will ever feel 100% confident. I'd be satisfied with 90% confident. On the other hand, the current prevalence of food allergies in young children means other parents of food allergic children have paved the way for us- and for that I am extremely grateful. It means I do not need to educate the school or her teachers about the seriousness food allergies. I'll keep you updated on our journey and how she does. I will also post photos of the homemade placemat she will take to school with her. Feel free to use the idea and enjoy the last days of summer!!

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