Will the black cloud looming lift soon?

We’re having a bit of a rough go around here. The stomach flu is clearing up, but ear infections are abound with both kids having them as far as rupturing their ear drums. Plus The Boy has a throat infection. And no one is getting much sleep. I don’t mind being a sleep deprived mom (though today at my eye appointment I had several “stupid” moments and had to explain that I’m not really an airhead), but I have a limit to my sleep deprivation. Last night, The Boy was up from 2am until 6am. Why? According to him, he just didn’t want to be asleep. Needless to say, I’m a bit tired, and fatigue cramps any hope of creative thinking.

I’ve just finished reading (yes, reading, as in cover to cover) The Creative Family by Amanda Soule (she blogs at SouleMama) and I have a list of projects to start with my kidlets, but alas, I can’t even think how to tie a knot let alone sew something right now.

I’m looking very forward to Wednesday evening. My local Celiac Association Chapter is putting on an Anti-Panic session for us to learn about how to be a normal functioning celiac in a grocery store. The Husband does 95% of the grocery shopping, but we need to know more about what to look for and what not to. I’m hoping that they cover some of the issues of labeling that have been popping up lately. Even though I’m in Canada, we still have most of the same food to read the labels of.

Label reading isn’t new to me.. I’ve been allergic to shellfish for years, and always had a sensitivity to MSG, so I’ve been an avid label-reader for a long time. What’s definitely changed now is HOW I read the labels. I used to just look for a specific ingredient, but now I look for warnings and “may contains” and “gluten-free” and “produced in a nut-free facility” type prints all over the box. It’s the may-contain that drives me up the wall. Can’t you just tell me if I can eat it or not?

It’s especially getting difficult to try to explain to an almost-3 year old why some things are okay and others are not. He knows that he’s allergic to peanuts (you say: What are you allergic to? He says: Peanuts!) which is the first step. But, at this age, he doesn’t understand the gravity of it. Plus, for us, we have to avoid ALL nuts. We don’t even know if he’s allergic to any other nuts but our pediatric allergist doesn’t like to test too many things because of false results (which I’m quite happy with) plus he adds that at this age, a nut is a nut and kids can’t tell or know the difference. So, we have to be careful. But that means trying to be careful everywhere else to and therein lies the problem.

People try to be wonderful about our food restrictions, but unless you are the parents of an allergic kid, label-reading just doesn’t come easily. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had someone say to me “it’s okay, I checked and it doesn’t have nuts” only to turn the box over and see “may contain traces of…” in small print. Will I get used to it?

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