Lessons learned…

When Dorothy started the day lolly-gagging along, I should have just decided to forego the Muffin’s with Mom, sponsored by PTO at the school. But no, I pressed on and forced the issue, prodding her to hurry up and get moving so we could get there right when it started. We raced out the door and made it to the school cafeteria before the rush.

We step up to the area where the server will fill our plates and filling the table are the giant muffins from Sam’s Club, notoriously known for not only having tree nuts in the proper muffins, but for extreme cross contamination. I’ve bitten into the chocolate and blueberry muffins in the past and been greated with stray walnuts. Muffins are clearly not an option for Dorothy, and because we are eating with Dorothy, Dustin and I pass on these muffins as well. They show us some “sugar free” muffins from IGA and tell us that these wonderful muffins are either chocolate or blueberry. Perfect, we can eat bakery goods from our local IGA without issue, Dustin and I take blueberry, Dorothy takes the chocolate. Add some fruit and off we go.

I bite into my muffin and OH MY GOD. It is a banana-nut muffin, chock full of walnuts. Crap. I remove Dorothy’s chocolate muffin from her plate cause god only knows what is in it. Dustin’s blueberry muffin is also a banana-nut muffin. Great. I give him Dorothy’s chocolate muffin and give Dorothy a banana. Dorothy was already a dramatic mess this morning, so the tears just start flowing. Now she’s afraid that someone will touch her and that she will be hurt. I assure her that I’ll call her teacher and that Mrs. Ivie will have everyone wash their hands before touching anything in the classroom.

We come home and I feed Dorothy breakfast before John takes the kids back to school. I called the teacher, she assured me that every child in the room would wash hands and that all hard surfaces would be wiped with Clorox wipes.

I recognize that we cannot keep Dorothy in a bubble and that she will be exposed to tree nuts. However, she should be able to attend school events without having to worry. She has, what I thought was, a comprehensive 504 plan, but this is the second PTO sponsored event at the school where the presence of tree nuts on a grand scale was an issue, the first being the Fall Festival when the PTO specifically requested items with tree nuts to be brought in by Dorothy’s 1st grade for mass distribution at the event. When we revise her 504 plan for next year I will see what can be added to the plan so that she can safely participate in events such as Muffins with Mom and the Fall Festival.

Lessons learned:

1. Don’t ever assume that even though the same people are running the event as last year, and that you spoke to them at length last year about the nuts, that they will a)remember or b)care.

2. Don’t ever assume that an unpackaged food is what someone says it is because they probably don’t care enough to really know.

3. Don’t ever forget that you are your child’s best advocate and that they count on you to keep them safe.

4. It’s a big, bad world out there, full of nuts both literally and figuratively, both are equally dangerous.