This week, we featured a post at Cool Mom Picks about peanut butter alternatives for parents who might have kids in peanut-free classrooms. Little did we know that we were opening Pandora's Box.
Or Pandora's peanut shell.
To me, having to use something other than peanut butter or no nut butters at all is an extremely minor inconvenience compared to the possible result.
A dead kid.
I grew up with a dairy allergy now turned sensitivity and dealt with the similar with Quinlan, but I can't imagine how frightening it must be to have such a severe allergy to a nut. A teeny tiny not really that tasty nut.
But what frightens me more is the anger that people have about having to compromise.
Now I get that there might be a kid that only eats peanut butter and jelly and absolutely nothing else.
And to that I say "Oh well. What a great opportunity to get him to try a bologna sandwich and teach him compassion and empathy."
Heck, you could even leave off the compassion and empathy.
But the anger, the vitriole even, is shocking to me. And I think it speaks to bigger attitudes that some parents have - a sense of entitlement. An "I don't care what anybody thinks" belief system. Even when it comes to a kid possibly dying.
And more pervasive, I think, this idea that food allergies are somehow made up. Or not as bad. That these parents are coddling their children.
Enter the long string of bullshit "We never had so many food allergies when I was a kid" comments that, well, make me break out in hives because really it's judging these parents for being overprotective, overreactive helicopters.
It can't really be true. They can't really die from being in the same room with a peanut. How absurd!
And yeah, I get the annoyance about helicopter parents whose tendencies stem from all sorts of things that I totally understand though can identify less with thanks to four kids who just don't give me as much time or energy to hover.
But to me, comparing helicopter parents to parents of kids with diagnosed food allergies is like comparing apples and oranges.
Or walnuts and cashews.
And then I have to wonder how people could have so much time and energy to care, to be angry even, about a teeny tiny not really that tasty nut.