Saturday, July 31, 2010


One of the things that concerns and confounds me about the world is the seeming lack of compassion people seem to have for one another. Not just in the world of food allergies but in the world at large. It seems as if someone senses their own wants are at all compromised by the needs of others they act with outright animosity and anger. Whether its sharing the road, the grocery store aisle, or space in the world in general. I don't know if it is the area I live in but I have begun to be very worried about the human race due to the animosity I feel around me everyday.

It's the lady at the pool that practically pushes my child aside to go up the steps. No excuse me or even eye contact even though we are the only other people in the pool. Its the woman at the grocery store berating the lady waiting in her car for her grocery delivery because she has been parked there too long and the other woman wants her to move. No, please could you move up or can I get in here. Just a barrage of verbal abuse.

It's also the lack of compassion from others when dealing with those with food allergies. Its the parents of another child in my son's class. As the teacher is explaining that there is one child in the class with severe food allergies the parent spews out "So everyone else has to suffer because of one child." If he had let the teacher finish he would have realized that her comments would have ended in "You can still bring what you want and the parent of the food allergic child will provide a separate snack."

It's the same teacher a month later refusing to change her plans to make cookies using both milk and eggs in the classroom, even though I have offered to make cookie dough for the whole class, because "We do not deprive the other children because of one child." They had made no other plan for my child, he was just not going to be allowed to participate in the cookie making.

It's a woman in one of my former playgroups that would continuously bring unsafe snacks not just to our playgroups but to my house. An eggy milk, based dip one time. A snickers cheesecake to another. That time the playgroup wasn't at my house it was at another members house who had just found out her son had a severe peanut allergy. I could never understand if she just didn't get it or just didn't care.

It is the Washington Post printing an editorial response (in very large print) to an article about peanut free sections at baseball games. "I'll give up my peanut butter and jelly sandwich when you pry it from my cold, dead hands."

I realize that all these incidents may seem very minor. But I have dozens more. They one by one add up and make me wary of people's reactions to me, to my children and to their food allergies. I honestly didn't make up their problems or cause them or want to even burden YOU with them. But we all live in this world together and we all, in one way of the other, too often look the other way and say "That is not my problem." We lack compassion for another person's burdens and instead focus on how their problem encroaches upon my rights.

I am not asking you to change the way you live. But if you are my neighbor, I think it is kind if you look me in the eye and say hello. If you are my son's teacher, I expect you to make him feel included and keep him out of dangers way. If you are parents of other kids at my children's' school I wish you could see us as part of your community and not as "the child who deprives others."

Just walk a day in my shoes. I am striving to walk a day in yours.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ace of Cakes Take Two

I always post Max's birthday cake. I think I outdid myself this year. I started working with fondant for Owen's birthday last January and made him a Mighty Mac cake.

Not bad for my first attempt.

Well, leave it to Max to up the anti. He immediately started talking cakes and would watch any cake show I put on with rapt attention. (He also likes design shows like Trading Spaces Boys and Girls). Problem was the cakes he wanted me to make sounded impossible. In the end we found a picture of a dragon in one of his books and settled on that.

I need to work on taste though. When I add a lot of food coloring to the marshmellow fondant it changes the taste and not in a good way. Also I have been using my basic chocolate cake recipe that I don't think tastes as good without my chocoloate frosting recipe. I'd like to make really tasty good looking cakes. Not that this one was bad but I'm always striving for perfection.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Working FAM

Like I said, I went back to work this past year. I knew it would be hard. But I didn't know it would be as hard as it was. There were points in time this past year where I really thought I couldn't do it. That I was going to crack. That I really was in over my head.

I also might have over scheduled myself. Beside being enrolled in an American Montessori Society training program and working full time I was the treasurer for our HOA (thankless job) and taught my son's 1st grade catechism class (good Lord do first graders like to chat).

I found it particularly hard on the food allergy aspects of our life. We don't eat out so food prep sometimes seemed insurmountable. Both Max and Owen were in school which is full of "fun" food laden events many of which I was informed about the day beforehand. This was troublesome to me on a few fronts. 1). I work at the same place they go to school. It would not be impossible to give me a heads up more than 12 hours before the event. 2). I spent many blurry eyed evenings making baked goods. I began to feel resentful and angry but with food allergies it is hard to know where to direct that resentment and anger. 3). Conflicts particularly with Owen's teachers over food allergy issues led to a stressful working environment for me as they tended to see me not as a parent but as a co-worker.

We are halfway through the summer. Halfway to going back to school (for the kids, I completed my training) and work for me. And I'm not looking forward to it. I LOVE Montessori. I am a really good teacher. But it was a lot this year. I don't know if I can do it again.

It can only get better right?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Where Have I Been?

It's been almost a year since I last posted. In the past year I went back to school and back to work. It's been a complicated busy year and I mainly didn't post because I had no brainpower left to write cohesive sentences that didn't have to do with the many papers on Montessori Education which I HAD to write this year.

I hope to post some stories this summer, partly because I have missed my therapy. That is what this blog is for, my own personal therapy to deal with my kids issues. And issues have multiplied in the past year. Upcoming posts may have titles like Adventures in Asthma or Adventures in Sensory Perception Disorder or, a favorite for all, Adventures in Dealing with your child's' teachers.

Thanks to the many people who have posted comments in the last year during my absence. I have now published them.