Ah Nuts, My Kid's Allergic

When nut allergies kick-start your parental super sleuthing skills.

Nut allergies are the worst. They're especially miserable during the holidays where every third food item contains some kind of nut, and half of those are covert additions. I don't know how many times I've had to dash across the room and tackle my kid just before she popped a goodie into her mouth. To this day, she keeps an eye on me, ready to drop the food the second I twitch.

It's tiresome having to be *that* parent, the one double-checking the fare, drilling the hosts and organizers for more information and asking for the ingredients lists. I dislike having to pretend I didn't see the side eye and the eye rolls. I'm uncomfortable with the outright annoyed looks by those who'd rather I just shut up and go with the flow like everyone else.

But you know something? Not one of those people come home with us at the end of the day to the hives and the headaches, the bloating and diarrhea, the fever and vomiting. None of these people whose five minutes of their time I'm asking simply to protect my kid, spends their night sleepless from checking every half hour that their child is still breathing. The put-upon host isn't frantically racing to the emergency room because it's hard to gauge when the difficulty breathing will suddenly turn anaphylactic as each reaction is miserably unique.

There is so much more awareness today that the wider range of options seem to have made things better for people with nut allergies. And they have; many companies proudly display "made in a nut-free facility!" across their products. I'm grateful, really I am, because companies put weird things in their products, like wheat flour in the guacamole.

Wheat flour in the guacamole.

My sister-in-law is twitching right now. She makes the most fabulous guacamole, the kind without wheat flour or other cheap stabilizers and thickeners...

It's things like this that make me continue on as *that* parent. My kids are teens now so it's not as often I have to put the inspector cap on--they do just as well, if not better than I, when it comes to questioning the ingredients. I have to accept the unfortunate consequence of having food-cautious kids, but really? In the grand scheme of things? I'll take that over their suffering any day.

To the people who patiently give me the ingredients list without comment or judgment, thank you.