Friday, February 22, 2008

Pizza Friday and Chuck E Cheese

We had decided to let Max go to the Chuck E Cheese birthday party even before his testing but in light of his RAST number I think it is definitely safe for him to attend but of course he won't be eating the food there.

I called the manager at the Chuck E Cheese to make sure it was not a problem for me to bring Max's food in. To my surprise it was. "No, outside food." She really would barely let me talk with all her explanations as to why. It seems to be Chuck E Cheese's feeling that if one person brings in food than everyone will want to. (I hear the pizza really isn't that good) She did say I could bring in ice cream? (I'm sorry did you not just hear me say he is allergic to milk?) She said, "He could have french fries or a hot dog." I have to say I wasn't prepared for this conversation and was a little off my game. I asked if I could bring in a cupcake as I was sure they would be having cake and she said yes that was fine. I then explained that our substitute for pizza was an English muffin with carrots and olives on it. And this is what I would be bringing. She sort of acquiesced, saying that if we brought in something small and she didn't see it (wink, wink) it wouldn't be a problem.

Now I feel like I am sneaking food into Chuck E Cheese. I called the birthday boy's mom to see what the set-up was. Were we in a separate room so we would be less likely to be detected? She said no, tables were out in the open. She also thought it was ridiculous that I wouldn't be able to bring in food.

I guess we'll see how things go tomorrow. Perhaps it is leftover anxiety from childhood but I have a real fear of rule breaking. I don't want Max to get caught with contraband food and feel shamed. Maybe we won't bring anything and just leave before people eat or just continue to play. Any suggestions?


allergicmom said...

I'd bring the food and feel no guilt at all. There's so much total chaos at a kid's birthday party that there's no way that anyone will notice.

lizardcat said...

Maybe it's just me, but I think these incidents--which I read of every day--are violations of our children's civil rights. And further proof that just because their "disability" isn't visible (until they have a reaction, of course!), people feel entitled to dismiss it.

I bring food everywhere we go, and I don't ask if my child can eat it. (Though I'm extra-scrupulous in making sure the waitstaff doesn't have to clean up one crumb of his mess.) Of course, my allergic kid is just 2--maybe the management won't be accommodating when he's older. But there are four other people in our family, so if a restaurant wants to lose that volume of business, that will be their problem.

Getting off my soapbox, I agree that no one will likely notice a thing. I'm sorry you had the stress of that call, though.

Red Dog said...

I concur - take the food with you. I draw the line at asking the restaurant to do anything with the food (like microwave or refrigerate it), but I have no problem explaining I have a 2-year old with food allergies and need to bring her own safe foods. If they have a problem with it - so far none have - I also have no problem leaving! Granted, the birthday party is a special situation... Maybe the right thing to do is ask Max. He knows the general situation; why not ask ahead of time if he'd rather try bringing in his own food, skipping food altogether, or some other choice? It may not make it any less sucky, but it might make him both more prepared and more invested in his own care. In any case, good luck!

Alabaster Weathergirl said...

Coming out of the delurking world here, I have to say something.

My almost 3 year old is severely allergic to all things dairy, eggs, peanuts, fish, shellfish to name a few of the more common things. We bring in outide food to most places - only a few who will accomodate our requests to alter dishes from the menu. He wears a bright orange severe allergy bracelet everywhere we go ( and sometimes a food allergy awareness shirt, and no one has ever given us problems, instead some people ask nicely about the bracelet and what all he is allergic to. I see this as an opportunity to educate people on food allergy awareness.
That manager at Chuck E Cheese was totally clueless and terribly rude for not listening. I hope you contacted the corporate office regarding this problem. I totally agree with Lizardcat - that is a violation - and I totally understand your fears and frustrations.

rebel1916 said...

It would have been better if they just said for you and him to stay home.

Nianya said...

Thought you might be interested in our CEC food allergy experience. Corporate also told me I could bring in cake, cupcakes or icecream, but not my son's GFCF foods.