'Peanut Allergy Princess' is the story of one mom, one Princess with food allergies (to peanuts and brazil nuts) and our journey through the stress of life with food allergies. Here you will find many recipes, tips on living (and enjoying life) with food allergies, thoughts from a mother of 3 kids (The Brothers and The Princess) and insights into our life. Welcome!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Favoritism, Smothering and other Food Allergy Thoughts

I need to start this post with an apology for dropping the ball last week. You may have noticed that Tuesday's post was a day late and Friday's post never happened. I do have a very good reason, not just that I was a slacker. We were out of town, in a hotel with no internet access (yes, such places do still exist. Much to our annoyance when we realized our mistake). I was able to post Tuesday's finished post using my sis-in-laws phone while waiting in line for a ride (does that give you a hint as to where we went?) but Friday's unfinished post was a different story. I had no access to finish it and therefore, it didn't get finished or posted. So, now that we are back home and I am back on the ball, we can get back on track.

I have been thinking about the topic of this post for awhile now. I never quite knew how to write about it... and I didn't know whether I was the only one that felt this way or if it was a common theme among food allergy parents. When I talked to a friend of mine (whose daughter has peanut and egg allergies) and shared my thoughts, she completely understood where I was coming from. I knew that I needed to find a voice for my thoughts and write a post about this.

Having kids can be downright scary. There are so many things that could happen to them, sometimes it is terrifying trying to keep them safe. I've always realized that my kids could be here today, and than gone tomorrow. Accidents happen all the time... we see it every night on the news. No matter how hard  we try (talking about parents here) it is impossible to ensure our kids safety at all times. Despite knowing this, I don't spend a lot of time seriously worrying about my boys. They are smart, healthy kids who never seem in imminent danger. Than came The Princess.

When The Princess was diagnosed with food allergies, I felt like her life became somehow more fragile than her brother's. I worry more for her... often having nightmares where she eats a peanut (or some food with a peanut or PB) and experiences anaphylaxis. I want to keep her with me all the time and have a hard time leaving her with people. The only people I truly feel comfortable leaving her with are those who also have kids with food allergies. Only they really, truly understand the difference between "regular" kids and "food allergic" kids.

I struggle with finding a balance between constantly wanting to have The Princess with me and smothering her to keep her safe and letting her be independent. I don't want her to grow up being clingy and afraid of the world. But I also want her here - with us.

I am not a touchy-feely person by nature and have never been one to spend all day snuggling with my kids. Brother #1 feels the same and hates snuggling. Brother #2 LOVES to snuggle, but prefers to get his snuggles with Daddy. Than, we have The Princess. She is somewhere in between her brothers. She likes to snuggle when she feels like it, but HATES to be touched when she isn't in the mood (like when Brother #2 is following her around the house trying to sneak in a hug or kiss and she is screaming at him to stop!). Yet, I have found that I can't get enough snuggles from her. There are times when I just want to hold her forever... knowing there is always that chance (however slim it is) that it may be my last hug with her.

I feel like she gets away with more than her brothers do - even gets more attention. Which, could be in part because she is the only girl and also the youngest, but I feel there is more to it than that.   I guess our family dynamics are lucky for me, because her brothers never question my motives or get upset that they are getting the raw end of the deal.  I'm sure in other families, where the dynamics are different, it may cause friction and hurt feelings. I know what some of you might be thinking... "How can she say that she favors one child over another? That is so wrong!" It isn't that I don't love my boys as much as I love The Princess, but there is a special place in my heart for her because the chance of losing her seems more possible. Something as common and simple as a peanut.

I'm sure there are no right or wrong answers as to how to handle these situations. It is a continual balance - an ever-changing dynamic that I'm sure will continue to change as The Princess gets older and I have to learn to let her go, let her take control of her own life.


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