Posted by Gina Perkins, Pre-School Mommie | Posted in Gina Perkins, The New Mommy | Posted on 08-11-2010
Tags: anxiety, fears, food allergy, Gina Perkins, new mommie, new mommy, obsession, peanut butter
I’m feelin like a pretty big girl right about now. I did it. I faced my biggest parenting fear tonight – peanut butter. Yes, peanut butter. Somehow, some way, the creamy goodness became my nemesis, and I (oddly enough) battled with the idea of it almost daily.
I don’t have any food allergies. My husband doesn’t have any food allergies. Neither do our parents – or even their parents. And still, I became obsessed with anaphylactic shock. I actually never realized that hives were a much more common symptom of a nut allergy than full blow anaphylaxis was until tonight, when my husband walked me through the “procedure.”
Prior to tonight, I had it all figured out. DJ’s first taste of peanut butter would be in the car, which I was going to strategically park near Kaiser’s Emergency Room entrance. That way, if DJ became short of breath, broke out in a crazy rash, started having seizures, etc. – I would be close enough to professional help (I don’t blame you for thinking that I’m the real one in need of professional help, and while that may be true – it’s another blog).
Perhaps this sounds insane (it might be). Or maybe it even sounds insensitive for those who have experienced a serious allergic reaction (it’s not intentional). However, it is the truth. I was scared of peanut butter. I was terrified that peanut butter would be the “thing” to make me say, “I just knew this was too good to be true.” And that, my friends, is insane.
DJ has been an easy kid. While she is 14 months old, and is experimenting with all that comes along with this age (as you know from last week, tantrums are still topping the list), her temperament is sweet and her quirks have been minimal. I find myself wondering when the other shoe will drop more often than I celebrate how blessed we are to have had such a gloriously uneventful experience as parents thus far. Somewhere along the line, while other moms were worrying about head injuries and kidnapping – I began worrying about peanut butter.
So, tonight became the night. While standing in the kitchen with my husband and coming up short on ideas for snacks for DJ – we cut up an apple and I said, sheepishly, “Maybe we should try peanut butter.” My husband reached for the jar almost immediately, but was kind enough to hear my hesitations and refer to Google for answers. In that moment, I decided that I was tired of being controlled by my fears, and that I would prefer to triumph over this obsession with DJ, rather than to find out later she had a good ol PB&J while in someone else’s care.
“Peanut butter is number 8 on the list of top 10 allergies. Milk and eggs are way above it. She’s most likely to get hives, if anything. She’s unlikely to have an allergy if neither of us do.” My husband read convincingly from About.com. OK, DJ was already fine with eggs, fine with milk, and I knew that I was tough enough to handle hives. As my husband grabbed a spoon, I grabbed the telephone (seriously, in case I needed to dial 9-1-1). A little dollop on a slice of Fuji apple, and over to DJ’s salivating mouth it went.
It was completely uneventful. She liked it – a lot. However, she was more interested in watching our goldfish swim than she was in her newest delicacy. I watched her like a hawk for several minutes following, before I realized what a complete whack job I was.
Now that the whole experience is over, and life in our home remains allergy free – I am trying to forgive myself for being insane, while also trying to put it all into perspective. Listen, I am a mom. I only want the best for my child, and if I think there’s potential for anything at all to hurt her, chances are, I’m going to fear it and try to steer DJ clear of it.
More than that though, I am a new mom. I’ve never done this job before. Fears and anxieties are going to manifest themselves in the strangest of ways. Today, it was peanut butter – but God knows tomorrow it will be something else. I am OK with that, so long as I don’t allow my fears to hinder DJ from trying new things. Within reason, of course.
“Honey, while you’re at it, can you Google the health benefits of red wine again?” I think I might need some positive affirmation tonight after facing my fears.