The Doughnuts with Dad was a no-go. That had been my big thought. It was soon replaced when I saw a tube of my good lipgloss sticking out of Dorothy’s pocket. Did she ask to use it? No. Was she trying to hide it? Yes. Does this qualify as stealing? You betcha. Did she read the label? Was it safe?
I’ll start by saying that I don’t keep anything in the house that is unsafe for Dorothy. Not Tresemme shampoo, not Hershey Kisses (recently contain shea, not Puff’s Plus tissues, not Burt’s Bees diaper cream, Tom’s anti-sting stick, not a can of nuts, nothing. Dorothy cannot take that for granted though. She has GOT to read labels, because sometimes ingredients change or different sizes contain different things, like Reeses Peanut Butter cups and Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs. And, our house isn’t the only place she goes, especially now as she gets a little older she will be spending more time at friends’ homes, and every day she gets older is another step towards her eventual independence. She’s going to have to learn to manage her own allergies effectively, educate others, and keep safe, I won’t be able to do it forever.
Well, no, Dorothy did not read the label on my lipgloss, nor had it occured to her to do so. I talked to her about how borrowing things without asking is the same as stealing. She is unplugged for 48 hours to ponder the stealing. Punishment for diregarding her personal safety is another issue though. I made her watch “When Food Kills”. If you haven’t seen it, there is a link on the right hand side of my blog. I also had her give me all of her lipglosses, lipsticks, chapsticks and makeup. I don’t know when I’ll return them. I just don’t know how to impress upon her that dead is forever and that while we have EpiPen’s that they aren’t a guarantee if a reaction is strong enough.
Here I am struggling to keep her innocent and a child as long as possible, but she has to carry the burden of a very adult issue. I am the only person in our family who has seen Dorothy in the midst of a full on anaphylactic reaction. The memory is as fresh in my mind as it was the day it happened. Within seconds of consuming 1/4 of a cashew she began coughing, then facial swelling, hives, vomiting, diarhea and then she became limp. When I carried her into the ER, I was carrying a very swollen, unresponsive 22 month old. She has had 2 contact reactions since that time, but I don’t know that she remembers those. I know she trusts me and that she knows that the reaction to tree nuts can be bad, but she doesn’t KNOW. She hasn’t seen it. She was just a baby then. I don’t want to ever see my little girl like that again, so I am vigilant about education for myself, her and anyone who has contact with her, but what if that’s not enough? She didn’t even think to read the label on a lipgloss….