Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Rules

My Kid – My Rules. Why is that so hard for some people to understand? The Rules are simple. It’s not like I’m asking for the moon! Come-on people, work with me here!

Let’s count down my Top 5 Rules For School…

Rule #5 Nut-Free Classroom. This means no homemade snacks allowed and any snacks that do come in must be unopened with ingredient label intact. Any snacks containing peanuts or tree nuts will simply be returned home at the end of the school day.

Rule #4 Nut-Free Lunch Table. Brody dosen’t always like this one because sometimes his friends want to sit other places in the cafeteria and he feels left out, but for now it gives me great peace of mind knowing he isn’t sitting right next to 5 other kids eating messy PB&J for lunch. When he’s a little older, I’m sure he’ll win this battle and will get to choose where to sit…with some other rules in place probably.

Rule #3 Children will wash hands when entering classroom in morning and after lunch. I have no idea what little Johnny or Jill ate for breakfast, although I’m guessing quite often it might have been peanut butter on toast. Two years in a row I know of a child that showed up to school with obvious peanut butter all over his face and shirt. Nice. Don’t parents at least check to see if their child is clean before sending them off to school?

Rule #2 I will attend all class field trips. Allergic reactions are more likely to happen on field trips because the daily routine is thrown right out the window and its extremely hard for a teacher to keep track of all 20 or so kids running amuck. Plus the fact that on the last field trip I attended, the child that my kid was paired up with pulled a huge bag of peanuts out of his lunch sack. Niiiiiiice. I think Brody and I will just move over here by this nice shady tree and eat on our own, thank you very much. And hey, teacher, pass the wipes to little Johnny please!

And finally, the absolutely positively most important #1 Rule for School…

Rule #1 Brody ONLY eats food that I have checked and okayed. Period. End of story. Why must people make this more difficult then it needs to be? Yesterday apparently the third graders were doing some state-wide testing. For whatever reason, the principal decided to buy them all gum to chew while taking the test. Teacher hands Brody gum…Brody asks if "mom checked it". Teacher then reads ingredients to Brody and asks HIM if he thinks it is safe. Brody again states that “mom should check it”. Teacher then gives gum to another staff member, who in turn reads the ingredients to Brody and asks if he thinks it is safe. Brody again says “mom should check it”. Staff member then gives gum to school nurse, who reads the ingredients and states that she thinks it is fine for Brody. Brody again states “I think my mom should check it”. Finally school receptionist is given the gum and told to call and check ingredients with me. Why in the world did it have to take this long to call me when that is what should have happened in the first place? Do not put the responsibility of knowing whether or not something is safe on an 8-year-old child! Brody will have his entire lifetime to have to read ingredients to keep himself safe…he shouldn’t have to shoulder that responsibility right now. This is why I made The Rules to begin with! And for anybody thinking to themselves, “but it was just a piece of gum”….Right, just like it was just a grape flavored tongue depressor that Brody reacted to last year when the speech therapist at school gave it to him without possibly thinking there could be any ingredients in the grape flavoring that Brody might have an allergic reaction to. Well guess what…he did! His lips swelled and itched to the point of bleeding and the whole lower half of his face turned bright red.

I'm very proud of Brody for sticking up and advocating for himself yesterday! I praised him and reassured him that he absolutely did the right thing by insisting they check with me. Oh, and just so you know, there are a couple of brands of gum that I can think of right off the top of my head that do contain milk protein. Of course most people who aren’t avid label readers wouldn’t know that though.

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