Your Birthday Cupcakes Are NOT More Important Than My Daughter’s Life

by Leila on February 21, 2014

Birthday Parties in the Classroom

When a food allergy debate pops up on the interwebs I start getting flooded with links and my awesome people asking me how I feel about it or asking if I will chime in. The scenario is usually the same – Someone out there is annoyed that his or her child cannot bring what they want to school because of someone’s food allergies. This week Carina Hoskisson on Huffington Post is asking why my child’s allergies mean she cannot bring her homemade death cupcakes to school for her beloved child’s birthday.

Update: The same article was also posted to “Today’s Mama”. 

Well, she isn’t asking about my daughter specifically, but very well could have so I decided to answer directly. Carina, let me clear up some obvious misconceptions you have about this topic and maybe give you some insight so you, along with your friends, can stop whining about this potentially fatal topic.

“All over the country parents are being asked to accommodate the specialized needs of other people’s children thanks to the skyrocketing number of food allergies and food intolerances. (They both have similar symptoms, but intolerances are generally considered less serious and not life-threatening.) “

Correction – Parents are being asked to accommodate the specialized needs of children who have a disability and need to have a safe, secure and functional school setting so they can attend for the purpose of school. That purpose of school is to learn, not to eat cupcakes or celebrate your child’s birthday party. It doesn’t matter if there was one student or twenty in the classroom – their disability and legal rights trumps your preferences for birthday parties. Period.

You can throw a pity party with cupcakes over that fact if you want.

Additionally, reactions to food allergies and a food intolerance are very different. One should not be taken more or less seriously than another. Intolerances should not be considered less serious because you are assuming there isn’t an autoimmune disease that is triggered by said intolerance. Ultimately, it is irrelevant if it’s an anaphylactic reaction or an intolerance because both are an unfortunate disability for that child. Don’t make light of either of them because you simply don’t understand the difference. We live in the age where information is at our fingertips any time we want – use it.

“To a certain extent, I get it. “

No you obviously don’t…. But, nice try.

“I would never endanger the life of a child over a peanut butter cookie; that would be ridiculous.”

Then you are obviously ridiculous because you contradict this attempt at making yourself not seem like a selfish person who cares more about the type of cupcake you want for your kid rather than the well being of a child. Or did you mean you would only accommodate over a peanut butter cookie and not any other fatal allergens?

“My children’s school requires that we only provide store-bought treats because some children have allergies or dietary restrictions.”

You are misinformed and assuming on this one. Most school districts along with PTA policies state that any food brought to the classroom for celebration or part of an event has to be store bought and pass safety regulations. This has to do with liability. Same goes for school events when they have to research vendors who are serving food. Your lovely, homemade, buttery, gluten-stuffed cake may give the kids food poisoning. No one wants their children being fed listeria, e coli or salmonella no matter how delicious you claim them to be.

“I don’t always get to eat what people are serving, but I certainly don’t demand that my friend make me a separate cake for me on her birthday.”

Your egg white allergies and sainthood for not demanding that your friends make a separate cake have nothing to do with what is appropriate inside a classroom. It’s honestly a little pathetic that you would even try to compare the two just to make you seem like you “get” it.

“Some schools have even gone the route of banning all classroom birthdays and celebrations, which is ridiculous.”

Actually, a lot of school districts banned classroom parties because they take up valuable classroom instructions. All schools should ban classroom birthday parties from school NOT because of food allergies but because children are in school to learn not to eat your damn cupcakes for your child. Why is the classroom YOUR platform to have the party you deem worthy of your kid? Why do you feel entitled to take away an hour of instruction from twenty to thirty other kids because you want them make your kid feel special? You think it’s selfish for your child not to eat cupcakes or whatever crap you want to bring, but a lot of people don’t even want their kids eating junk food or taking away classroom time for your kid.

The classroom is not for your celebrations no matter what the occasion. Have a party at the park after school. Prepare whatever the crap kind of cake you want in your home and have thirty kids get hopped up on sugar on your own time and dime. It’s not the school’s responsibility to host your child’s party, but it is the school’s responsibility to keep their students safe.

“However, my kid shouldn’t have to forgo his birthday cake because yours can’t eat it.”

“The fear of one shouldn’t outweigh the rest.”

“Let’s stop the allergy insanity, and let the rest of them eat cake…”

This is where I lose my temper on people who have little common sense or compassion for others.

No one is telling you to forgo your son’s birthday cake because another child can’t eat it. You are being asked not to do it in the classroom that would harm another child.

I will be very blunt about this – Your child’s birthday cake does not mean more than my daughter’s life. If you truly think that your death cupcakes are more important than a child’s life, then I am so thankful not to know you. It makes me sick that parents would try to fight to put my daughter’s life in danger over a birthday party at school.

Your child’s birthday party in the classroom could easily take away the rest of my daughter’s birthdays. Could you live with that? Or would you just justify a tragedy like that with “Well, it’s the girl’s fault for even being in my kid’s classroom.”

Your view on how your child’s birthday should be celebrated in a classroom is completely selfish, uninformed and you should be embarrassed for sitting down at your keyboard and whining about it. You should seriously stop whining about how hard the world is for your child’s birthday party to be inconvenienced because of food allergies and maybe be a little thankful that this is the least of your worries in your, obviously, perfect world.

The road of food allergies for my daughter has been filled with people like you and I have gone out of my way to do everything in my power to work with other parents, make sure she is safe and even throw down her legal rights over their entitled preconceived notions. Ultimately, we always win and situations like this help me weed out the people who are not worth our energy. I am constantly thankful for the caring, open minded, selfless and compassionate people in my life that don’t even flinch at any accommodations they CHOOSE to make for my daughter’s safety.

They love her that much not to be such a jerk over what she cannot control and that could end her life.

I do not know you at all. I am trying so very hard not to judge you. I’m simply going off of what you have put out there in your article which, to me, just screams “Yet another uninformed, entitled parent, who doesn’t want to think outside the box and they want to bitch and moan over the world not being the way they want it to be”. I do hope that you can see outside your misinformation and assumptions and maybe grow a little more from this.

However, if you still think that your child’s cupcakes inside the classroom are more important than my daughter’s life then I will gladly show you multiple things that you can shove somewhere uncomfortably. 

I’m not going to apologize for my tone, harsh words or visuals. They also make me laugh despite how angry I am.

For everyone who gave me a heads up about this article – Thank you. For all of you who I know through my blog, or “real life” who have been cheering my daughter on or appreciating how much I advocate for kids who deal with people like this or those who are in the same boat as us – this is all for you.

For my not so baby girl who now reads my blog regularly and helps encourage me to keep fighting the good fight for her – I love you and your health hurdles have never been and never will be anything negative in our world. They are simply you and nothing more. Don’t let people like this hold you back or get you down. You are an amazing self advocate who is compassionate, caring and a better person for the struggles you have had to face in a world surrounded by people like this. I’m proud of you. Focus on the rad people out there who have your back. Oh and please… clean your room! 

Thanks for stopping by my ninjas. Let’s all keep living, laughing and ninja kicking to happiness and a, hopefully, more compassionate place.

Update 2/23/14: I decided to finish an article about how I manage food allergies and classroom parties for my children. If you are looking for some insight on how we make it a success and overcome hurdles hopefully you will find it of use. Thank you all for the amazing response to this. 

About Leila DontSpeakWhinese

Leila, aka The Ninja, is the advocate for all things not whining. Parenting is fun when everyone stops b*tching! She is the Mom of a big blended family of five awesome kids. They ninja kick through life together. Oh and she is a total jackass.

Comments

  1. Kristin says:

    Preach on, Ninja Lady!
    Kristin recently posted..He’s 17My Profile

    1. Leila says:

      MWAH! Thanks for always being such a rad friend :)

  2. This shouldn’t even have to be a topic of discussion. Cleeearly the HP author does not “get it”. On the other hand, I find it amusing that my 3yo’s public preschool allowed me to bake and bring in gluten-free dairy-free cupcakes for his class Valentine party so that he would actually have something he COULD eat – but I’m glad they let me.
    Jenny from Mommin’ it Up recently posted..The BEST {and worst} Drugstore Mascaras Part TWO!My Profile

    1. Leila says:

      I completely agree. I do not ever understand why this becomes a topic of debate. People scream about how someone else’s food allergies shouldn’t burden them and it makes me cringe!

      I’m glad your preschool rocks like that. I’ve always found preschools to be more accommodating but the parents are a little crazier than public schools. Honestly, our gluten free and dairy free cupcakes are moist, delicious and amazing compared to traditionally made cupcakes ;)
      Leila recently posted..Boys and Baby Dolls – There is Nothing Wrong With It My Profile

  3. Tara says:

    Hi and thank you for posting this response. The story was posted by one of my husband’s Facebook acquaintances today and it really upset him.
    Our food allergic son is 2 1/2 and not is school yet, so we’re pretty new to this. We know we will have to deal with people who lack any understanding of food allergies in the future and it really helps us to see how you and others respond.
    I always enjoy reading your posts!
    Tara recently posted..My Favorite Food Allergy Resources.My Profile

    1. Leila says:

      I’m so sorry you and your husband were upset with the original article (along with the rest of us!!) and it’s especially frustrating to see all of this and not know what you will face when your son goes to school. I’ve been on this road, literally, my entire life. But, the battle as a parent is 11 years strong. I promise, it gets easier. You will find so much more support out there than the negativity and the resources are endless. Please, feel free to reach out to me anytime if you ever need some advice, tips or a kick in the butt for encouragement :)
      Leila recently posted..Boys and Baby Dolls – There is Nothing Wrong With It My Profile

    2. Elyse says:

      I just wanted to echo Leila’s reply! It does get easier and you get used to reading the riot act and saying what works/doesn’t work. Huge hugs!
      Elyse recently posted..Failed soy lecithin challengeMy Profile

  4. No One Important says:

    You know, this rant is just plain mean, and insulting. If you want to give information OF VALUE to people, maybe you should take the opportunity to educate as to WHY this food allergy could end your daughter’s life. Going off on someone’s “ignorance” and “whining” without giving factual information as to why your position is the right one makes YOU look ignorant, and, well, whiney. Be part of the solution and provide education instead of insults and arguments. You don’t know this person and this particular situation doesn’t affect you or your daughter personally, so don’t take it personally. You missed the opportunity to educate this other woman, instead choosing to insult and put her down – which causes her to stop listening to you and puts her on the defensive. You made the situation worse, not better. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

    1. Leila says:

      I sincerely respect your views on this as well as your opinion. If your perspective is that I am whiney or ignorant then that is what you rightfully took from it and it obviously upset you enough to respond.

      I do feel that based on the response from many who have thanked me for telling it like it with with a verbal choke slam are valuable and mean the world to me. Sometimes when you are on the side of the fence of constantly fighting a battle all that feels right is a little word-fu.

      And to correct you on this – This type of parent, who asked publicly in her article why another child’s food allergies should prevent her from having a birthday party she wants at school, was simply being answered from my perspective. She asked. I gave my answer. As I have the dozens of other parents who are just like her that have constantly made it a struggle for my daughter. And this was the answer for all the thousands of parents who are in the same boat.

      Education and factual information can be, and has been, shared on another day.
      Leila recently posted..Mommy does not mean maid – Chores, Independence and Clean Up your CrapMy Profile

    2. Elyse says:

      I guess that the way YOU replied shouldn’t be taken as offensive or whiny then. Any allergy parent and/or individual lives on guard 24/7. It’s not a choice; it’s reality. I found this post enlightening and real. Sure we can share facts all day long but the reality is that it’s personal.
      Elyse recently posted..Failed soy lecithin challengeMy Profile

  5. Jeanette says:

    Amen. Thank You. Let it Be. And any other colloquialism you can toss in there. I have a six year old with peanut allergies. A mom just **HAD** to bring her precious princess cupcakes in school and the teacher thought there was no way she could deny such a request, so MY daughter had to sit by herself doing homework in another room eating a snack we brought her while the rest of her class had a party (I think I unleashed 77 levels of rage when I returned from my out of town meeting). She came home in tears that day, wondering why people did not care about her. Her allergy is so severe that touching a surface that had peanut residue caused her to go into anaphylaxis in November. Folks have lost their compassion. And their common sense.

    1. Leila says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time!

      Have you looked into a 504 Plan for her? It was a bit of a pain to get rolling but I had to implement it to prevent situations like this. It’s so hard to see our kids put in these situations!! The entire world is going to make it difficult for them but their home and a school should be a safe place for them. School isn’t meant for parties so these issues shouldn’t even be there. It makes me sad that people don’t see past that fact and I am so sorry you dealt with it.

      Keep on fighting the food fight. I got your back :)
      Leila recently posted..Sexist Customer Service Practices and Why They Probably Hate MeMy Profile

      1. Elyse says:

        I second a 504 plan. This is truly unacceptable and WRONG on so many levels. This is not inclusion. This is exclusion.
        Elyse recently posted..Failed soy lecithin challengeMy Profile

  6. Jenn says:

    Thank you for this post! The original article was ridiculous. I was ticked off not just as an allergy mama, but as an elementary school teacher. I posted it on my Facebook page and the amount of support I received from friends, family and colleagues was overwhelming!
    Jenn recently posted..Throwback Thursday – Years in Review…My Profile

    1. Leila says:

      This means so much to me. Thank you SO much for sharing as well as taking the time to read/comment.

      All of my teacher friends get annoyed at the… uh… entitled attitude of some parents. I try to make it simple and easy to manage. Most teachers are thankful for the blanket excuse of “sorry no food parties this year” because it makes life easier.

      Glad you stopped by and sorry to hear you are on this allergy road as well!
      Leila recently posted..Boys and Baby Dolls – There is Nothing Wrong With It My Profile

  7. Colleen says:

    PREACH! I am especially loving you for this -> “However, if you still think that your child’s cupcakes inside the classroom are more important than my daughter’s life then I will gladly show you multiple things that you can shove somewhere uncomfortably.

    I’m not going to apologize for my tone, harsh words or visuals. They also make me laugh despite how angry I am.”
    Colleen recently posted..A Letter to Carina Hoskisson from The Family PantsMy Profile

    1. Leila says:

      Thanks so much, Colleen!!! I almost left that part out… but, then I realized I wouldn’t be me if I did hehehe
      Leila recently posted..Boys and Baby Dolls – There is Nothing Wrong With It My Profile

  8. Simi D says:

    I suffer from food intolerances in major, as a matter of fact, one of the worst ever diagnosed at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami Fl. Difficult yes, life threatening, no. My son was tested at infancy to the same. Though we need watch our feed lest we become allergic indeed.. I see it as a blessing as no food is worthy being sick over and the know of our poisons and ability to avert them stays our healthy. That said, I also see positivity in much the same, and though it’s frustrating to deal with my deal on a daily deal around those who don’t suffer allergic in feel, I’m understanding of their lack of know and ignorance in regards to food, and the dangerous effects it has upon so many, our children especially. Meeting negativity and ignorance and self importance and selfishness with negative back in same, negates any possible positive outcome leaving no positivity in change. If we deal through life in a voice of strife over that of love and understanding then we too become that in which we stand fight against. Insulting remarks, made out of anger or any irritant of sort, to those struggling in need of knows is no less of a poison in plant… and it grows. Though this article met point in needed make, I found the rude interjections of undertone harsh in take. Anger grows not the body good, so planting it in spread of others needing learn is more a tell from bitter sake. Mind, spirit and soul become this through take of toll. We are all plantable beings.. plant positive and grow wiser. Children learn by watching, seeing, feeling and by planting. Anger is not a worthy plant in grow, it will only seed ugly and voice internal bad in that we sow. Stay blessed full cover in all you say and do. Simi D.

  9. K Temple says:

    What an excellent come back x thank you x

    1. Leila says:

      Thanks so much :) I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and for the kudos!
      Leila recently posted..It’s a Girl Ninja – She Didn’t Make it Easy to Find Out!My Profile

  10. Jennifer says:

    I just can’t with this woman. She actually believes it’s the food allergic child’s duty to sit in her desk with her hands folded while everyone else in the classroom chows down, without any thought to how upsetting or exclusive that is. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12 and also struggle with food allergies, and yes, I can attend a party or a dinner and say “No” to my problem foods. I can also choose to leave the party. But how cruel to expect the same from a six-year-old who is trapped in school at 12:00! And what message is she sending to her daughter?

    As the mother of a food allergic child, I continue to be disheartened that people would be willing to sacrifice her LIFE for a cupcake or a cookie. Her LIFE. And as a classroom teacher with 32 students, I do not have the instructional time to spare to throw an hour-long celebration for your little darling (times 32). Between allergies and intolerances and obesity and food-borne illness issues, let’s just work towards getting all food out of the classroom.

    1. Leila says:

      Exactly! There is a huge difference between an adult making a choice at a social engagement vs a child in a school setting who has no control. I have food allergies and it’s easier for me to manage than it’s going to be for a young child.

      The other side will always say it’s unfair for their non-allergic children to be burdened by one person’s food allergies and that makes me sick. Where is the compassion? What are you teaching kids by saying “Sucks for you to have these limitations. Give me my death cupcakes!” hehe

      My children are taught to be kind, considerate and compassionate. Selfishness is something I loathe. I just won’t ever see that protecting a child’s well being over a freaking cupcake is selfish.

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m sorry you are dealing with the same but know there are many that have your back :)
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  11. Libby says:

    Thanks for writing this. I didn’t have it in me to write a full blog post myself, so I just left a snarky response on the Today’s Mama site. You’ll be happy to know that there’s a pingback link to here in the comments. :-)

    Hope you and the fam are doing well!

    1. Leila says:

      Thanks so much Libby!!!! I don’t usually call people out directly about this but after seeing so many friends hurt by this I just couldn’t help myself. I’m glad you liked it and thanks for stopping by!
      Leila recently posted..Sexist Customer Service Practices and Why They Probably Hate MeMy Profile

  12. minal says:

    I agree that classrooms are not the place to celebrate birthday parties.
    I grew up vegetarian, and dealt with incessant commentary
    on what I was eating and how different it was. I see first hand the
    difference with my kids in that food is not in the classroom.
    and the compassionate attitude of school staff and parents
    at our school has made food in general a non issue. Everyone
    Eats lunch and goes off to play. Thank you for spelling it out
    so clearly. You are clearly angry, please don’t let your anger interfere
    with getting the message out.

    1. Leila says:

      Very sage advice and thank you for stopping by :) I am very obviously angry and usually try to sprinkle some humor in with my writing and rants to balance it up ;)

      I’m always floored at the commentary that people feel the need to spew when it comes to others dietary choices. Just because it’s different (either by choice or by necessity) it’s no one’s business other than that person.

      I think teaching and encouraging compassion goes such a long way. I’m thankful that we have had mostly amazing experiences at my daughter’s schools. It helps that she is truly a lovable person that people gravitate towards. :)
      Leila recently posted..Boys and Baby Dolls – There is Nothing Wrong With It My Profile

  13. Marci Shockley says:

    I love and appreciate your response! I have come across a few people like this (including some family members) and it is so hard for me to understand why people would risk my child’s life just to serve preferred foods or keep traditions! I wish people were more compassionate!

    1. Leila says:

      Family members are the WORST. I mean… I love all my family (and anyone who is reading this I’m not talking about any of you… hehehe), obviously. However, it’s a bigger challenge to get family on board at times.

      I agree. I think life threatening or just any kind of reactions should encourage others to be a little more compassionate. It’s really not that difficult to offer a substitute in a non food form to make it fair and equal for all.

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Leila recently posted..Sexist Customer Service Practices and Why They Probably Hate MeMy Profile

  14. Dre says:

    A girl in my daughter’s 1st grade classroom has severe food allergies, and I was delighted to see the request come home before valentine’s day that parents either send non-food items for their celebration. They also said food items could be sent as long as they did not contain milk, peanuts, tree nuts and had not been made in a facility where those items were also manufactured. The teacher went above and beyond to make sure this little girl got to participate safely, and my family was so happy to be able to do that for her. Too bad that there are some people who just don’t understand, and lucky for them that no one they love has such problems. However – if her child DID have food allergies, I sense that she’d be the head of the school committee on getting the allergen out of the classroom, since HER child had special needs.

    1. Leila says:

      I feel the same way Dre. I’ve gotten into debates about food allergies with parents who were on the side of the fence of the HuffPo writer until their children had food allergies. Then they were insane over protecting their child’s rights.

      I do accept and know that people just do NOT get it unless they experience it in one way or another. You can explain it. You can give all the examples and date in the world… but, sometimes until it hits close to home or they see the reaction it just doesn’t sink in.

      It’s wonderful your classroom went above and beyond. To be perfectly honest I don’t like all the candy and crap that comes home from school around holidays. I wish everyone would just do non food type activities even for my kids who do not have food allergies!

      Thanks for stopping by :)
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    2. Elisabeth says:

      Totally! If she thinks it is hurtful to her child not to have a birthday cake celebration, imagine how she would feel if her child was left out of every food related activity, everywhere. Had to bring her own food to parties outside of school because he child couldn’t be accommodated, etc. etc. etc. Bet she’d be singing a different tune then. I’ve been doing this mothering of a child with food allergies thing for a few years now, and school has been the biggest challenge yet. Never have I dealt with such cruelty and lack of empathy. It’s not so grand when you are on the side who doesn’t get the cupcake.

  15. Jay says:

    I agree that school is for learning. Not for partying but if your child can’t have a certain food then they don’t eat that food. Life is not fair and if a mom decides to bring in Cupcakes for her child they are for her child and those able to consume. They were not made for YOUR child. We are NOT socialist. That mom had no opbigation to take the inclusion of your child into consoderation. Food allergies unfortunately exist and can be deadly, but that’s your concern. Not hers.

    1. Leila says:

      No, life is not fair at all but that is a lame excuse for people pushing their own desires for a non educational activity in a school setting. It can also be said that “Life isn’t fair… eat your birthday cupcakes at home.” Neither is a more valid argument than the other.

      Life is also not fair for those who have to legally accommodate someone’s disability in a public school. Just as you feel a child isn’t obligated to consume a cupcake that was not made for a child with food allergies the school does NOT have to be obligated to allow a non-school related activity to cause possible harm to a child in the classroom. The Mom isn’t obligated to make a cupcake for a child who has food allergies but the Mom is obligated to comply by many school policies that may or may not have to do with food allergies.

      This is all protected under disability rights.

      This also has absolutely nothing to do with socialism.
      Leila recently posted..Your Birthday Cupcakes Are NOT More Important Than My Daughter’s LifeMy Profile

      1. Elyse says:

        Really? We are bringing socialism into this argument? There is nothing attributed to it. The fact is that life isn’t fair and many people do suffer from FAs. However, there’s something called a 504 that protects a child at school and with a food allergy. The 504 allows for a safe classroom environment for the food allergic child. No, do not get me wrong. Cupcakes have a place. Outside of school. The safety of students, at school, is MUCH more important.
        Elyse recently posted..Failed soy lecithin challengeMy Profile

  16. carrie says:

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who was completely appalled by this. I’m posting my response Monday. It needs a few days. I’ve never written while so angry so I need to cool off before I edit!
    carrie recently posted..How to be an Awesome Mom to a Food Allergy MomMy Profile

    1. Leila says:

      Thanks for stopping by and let me know when your post is up! I like writing when I’m angry, obviously ;) Sometimes anger ignites the compassion that is needed and sometimes it just makes people all hulk smashy!
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  17. Cyndi says:

    I was so upset reading that article, as I have encountered people just like that! That woman seemed to understand at different times, such as knowing about the teen that died from ingesting a Twix bar due to traces of peanuts; and, her own “allergy” to egg whites. But then, she went way off base with the whole ignorance of not understanding how that “beautiful creamy cupcake she HAD to make” could actually kill my child, without my daughter even eating it, but just the messy traces of buttery icing left behind.
    Totally invisible to others, if my child touches a left over trace of a milk product, then bites her hangnail (like we all do without thinking) it becomes POSION to my daughter! POSION! That’s how I usually get through to others!
    I have to say, my daughter’s school has been outstanding with ensuring those parents don’t ignore my daughter’s life is more important than their child’s treat! We have tried to promote celebrating birthdays with non food items, but unfortunately, this year they tried to incorporate only celebrating with food treats @ lunch in the cafeteria, while my daughter sits at a safe table with 2 friends. This satisfied those “other” parents & keeps my child safe, but still leaves my daughter & the two friends that sit with her totally out of those celebrations (I provide treats for them so they have something to enjoy!). I do EVERYTHING possible to go above and beyond for the school, as 98% of the staff & 90% of parents & kids are supportive & I feel the more I do, the less they can be rude. It’s harder to be mean to a nice person, but the “mean” will be “mean” no matter what, and they usually are the selfish people that you and I can never change. We can only keep educating & caring for others.
    Your words are straight from my heart! Thank you for being so strong! Many parents thank you, but won’t write back, but I’m sure they think it! So here’s a big thank you from all those parents you’ll never hear this from. We need your strength & wisdom, so keep up the great work!

  18. Beemis says:

    Our ring bearer at our wedding, my little cousin, had some pretty severe food allergies. We made sure with his mom beforehand that our wedding cake was either allergen-free or that he had his own allergen-free dessert. The first thing we did while sitting down with each caterer was asking, “Can you accommodate this child?” It was a priority for us over all of our other guests and even ourselves on the big day because the kid didn’t choose to be that way. We had one special day, but he will potentially have to live with his disability for the rest of his life. My aunt was so accommodating through the entire planning process, but she didn’t have to be.

    I hear all the time from his mom about how he has to be isolated on a regular basis at a “peanut free” table at his school and can’t sit with his classmates on a regular basis. I absolutely understand why kids need to sit at a separate table at school and why special meals must be prepared for them because certain priorities prevail, whether financial or otherwise for the school districts. It is unrealistic for a district to change entirely for three or four kids in a school of hundreds. But for an outside force- a parent- to come into a classroom and expect FIRST AND FOREMOST for classroom time to be interrupted for their child while a mess is made on their behalf, and secondly (only secondly!) to not give a squat about kids with potentially fatal allergies, is just unbelievable and disgusting. It’s so inconceivably selfish to me that someone might feel “put out” one day per year while the other child and their parents are inconvenienced by a food allergy 365 days a year- potentially by the difference between life and death. Did this other parent stop to think that maybe she could bake special cupcakes once a year for the entire classroom to enjoy and just thank God her child has no disability? She needs to feel blessed that her child can go home after school and eat whatever he or she wants with the family, while that other child has to go home and read every box before he or she can do anything. If she has a problem with the children with allergies or with the school district’s policies quite frankly, WHO CARES?! Get over it and celebrate at home- you have that PRIVILEGE.

    For the original author to believe that anyone besides herself was the “selfish” one in the story is just unbelievable to me. The only person who had any choice in the cupcake incident was the mother who wanted to bring them and she needed to do some serious soul-searching to find a better answer to her stupid, selfish dilemma. I would never wish ill will on anyone, but every parent in the world would have a different perspective on life and allergies to see their child unable to breathe or function from allergen-induced anaphylactic shock just once. Let’s see how precious your cupcakes are when your own child’s life is at stake.

  19. Becky says:

    It took me a few days to read, process this before I could write my response. I think I could write 3x as much as what I did – but this isn’t just a food issue, and certainly isn’t limited to a birthday cake/celebration. It’s sad that another mom is behaving like this – at the end of the day, regardless of what our views/positions are, we’re supposed to be in this together; we should be advocates for EVERY child. Anyway – the rest of my thoughts are here: http://www.peanutallergymom.com/cake-in-classrooms/

  20. Melissa says:

    “Why do you feel entitled to take away an hour of instruction from twenty to thirty other kids because you want them make your kid feel special?” I love this line because it also brings up another (non-allergy related) reason to find another way to celebrate our children. Summer birthday children NEVER got/get to celebrate their birthdays in schools yet watch their friends get celebrated. Let’s celebrate our children (who should be celebrated) in other, non-food related ways in which ALL of them are able to participate.

  21. suzi says:

    I’m a parent of a TN allergic and Fish allergic kid. She previously outgrew her dairy, wheat and egg allergy by age 3. We have navigated this food allergy situation for 8 years now and I kind of feel like I’ve seen it all. But reading this Huff post article honestly shocks me. I’m aghast at her lack of insight into her own motivation. I glean from her words that providing of her Martha Stewart cupcakes is more important to her than anyone else. It almost reminds me of the whole ‘smoker’s rights’ debate from decades past. To that I must say, go smoke your heart out and frost your pinterest cupcakes at home.

  22. Celiac Mom says:

    This is awesome! So many people need this straight forward, blunt approach when dealing with food allergies/intolerances. Sadly most adults choose to remain ignorant until they are forced to face the reality when it hits home.

    We aren’t asking for much… Awareness? Yes. A red carpet? No

    (although many of us deserve it)

  23. Andrea Cohen says:

    I always love how direct and blunt you are. I hope Carina reads this and rethinks her position. You rock mama! Keep telling these ignorant people how it is.

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