Peanut Paranoia

Throughout peanut’s first days and months, I was, believe it or not, a pretty laid back parent. I was content going with the flow, learning about peanut and and letting him dictate the routine. I did a decent job, in retrospect, of really not sweating the small stuff. Even my dad has since said, “yeah, I was really surprised at how laid back you were during that first year.” A back handed compliment? Maybe, but I appreciated it nonetheless.

Oh sure, there was the initial obsessing over the exact number of pee pee and poo poo diapers the first couple of days home (this, thankfully, did not last very long); the how come the kid up the street is talking so much clearer when he’s only 10 days older; and — my personal favorite — the why isn’t he teething yet inquiry at his 4 month, six month and nine month pediatrician appointments. Um, yeah. Maybe Dr. W thinks I’m a little crazy after all.

My type-A behavior really kicked in after a year. Around the same time they start to get hurt from falling walking. The same time they try new and dangerous things like playgrounds and bounce houses and sharing. The same time my particular kid started getting weird fever viruses that I was convinced each time were ear infections because don’t all kids get ear infections? (Knock wood, peanut’s still managed to avoid that particular ailment).

Through all that, I felt that I was keeping a pretty even keel. My one big bugaboo?

Peanut butter.

Oh, peanut butter in all its deliciousness and evil potential to send my child into anaphylactic shock. There are no immediate peanut allergies in our families. Peanut has had no reactions to any other foods he’s tried, and the child has tried quite a few. But, the hubby’s aunt has such severe allergies (I’m talking hasn’t eaten food prepared by someone else or on someone else’s dishes in decades severe) that it had me a little wigged out that the potential for such a reaction was in the gene pool. That and, let’s face it, peanut’s are “the” allergy – so many kids have an averse reaction to them that it seemed only natural that mine would have one, too.

On this point, my pediatrician has humored me from day one and said not to try it until at least two. When the two year old appointment came around, he said I could wait as long as I felt comfortable.

For the past year, my mom has teased me many a times with the “has he tried peanut butter?” question. Each time I sheepishly said no. Now that the kid is officially three and I’m constantly in search of another protein option for his lunches, I figured it was about time.

This morning I made up a few peanut butter crackers to take with me to my midwife appointment (conveniently located in the same neighborhood as the children’s hospital). After hearing pumpkin’s heartbeat and realizing I’m already up to the every two weeks appointment schedule, I parked in a lot across the street from the hospital’s emergency entrance, handed my kid a cracker (after wiping him down with antibacterial wipes – he’s still fascinated with these at my OB’s office), and dialed the hubby at work for moral support. Final verdict – he didn’t eat the whole cracker but did seem to enjoy the new experience. No hives, no choking, no Old Yeller foaming at the mouth.


Now that I’ve crossed this off the list, what will I worry about? The nasty toe nail threatening to come off after a run in with a heavy beam? When he’ll get over his fear of automatic toilet flushers in public restrooms? How I’ll manage a two-kid household? Nah. He’s starting preschool. Time to start freaking out about swine flu.

4 thoughts on “Peanut Paranoia

  1. One of the 'perks' of motherhood that none of the books seemed to mention – and if it's not one thing, it's another! You are right to be cautious with a family history (even if it is a bit distant!) Glad it worked out okay and here's hoping he warms-up to peanut butter – my kids ate many a PB & J when I was at the end of my 3rd trimester!

  2. Peanut butter is such a good kid food – I can't believe you held out this long! I was worried about honey, but we survived. And I wasn't even “good” enough to park in front of the ER when we tried it!

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