Rubber Cauterized Undies

May 22nd, 2010

Dear Ms. Principal of Warren Harding Elementary,

Hi!  We are so excited to be starting school next year!  I have a very bright, energetic boy who is eager to start!  He is already starting to read a few words on his own!  And boy is he excited about meeting the other kids! I am sure that you encounter moms all the time who are a little nervous about sending their kids to school.  I too have a few concerns, but they are a little more important than your ordinary concerns.  Because there is nothing ordinary about my kid! So I hope you will read this letter extra carefully, distribute copies to everyone in the school and have it enlarged with the enclosed photo of my son and hung up in the lunchroom where everyone can see it.  

My child is allergic to tomatoes.  We discovered it when he was only eighteen months old!  We were eating pizza and I gave him a bite the size of a pea and suddenly – out of nowhere – his face contorted, his eyes rolled back in his head and he began bouncing up and down.  I had never seen anyone having an actual seizure before – but this is what I had always imagined one to look like.  So I scooped up my tender baby and took him to the emergency room and after months and months and MONTHS  of testing ( I swear I drove my doctor practically insane!) I had to conclude that my son was deathly allergic to tomatoes.  If he comes into contact with a tomato, or any type of tomato product – he begins to exhibit a set of behaviors that can only be described as ‘seizure like’.   If he doesn’t get his Epi-Pen injection within ninety seconds, we have no idea what could happen to him!  So in order to prevent a fatal tragedy from occurring, we ask that the school please remove all tomato products from the school.  This includes salsa, spaghetti sauce, barbecue sauce, pizza, lasagna, side salads and yes – ketchup.  Also any pictures of Bob the Tomato that might be displayed in a classroom must be removed prior to my son’s first day of school.  I am sorry to tell you this,  but the image of a poorly drawn cartoon tomato scares the bejeezus out of my little boy.  What were those Veggie Tales people thinking?

Sadly  – our worries do not cease with tomatoes.  Two summers ago we were visiting relatives in northeastern Idaho.  All my son’s cousins were happily devouring a huge pepperoni pizza (unfeeling jerks!).  In order to protect my son from the dangerous tomato contaminants in the air, I took him to the back bedroom and tucked a towel between the door and the floor to keep any seepage from getting at us and I gave him his usual dinner – a bowl of bran flakes covered in raw milk.  He took two bites and then out of nowhere, he threw the spoon on the floor and refused to take another bite!  He was thrashing around and screaming that he hated me and he hated everything!   Of course, I reacted like any good mother world!  I bundled up my writhing child and took him to the ER.  Once again – after hundreds more lab tests (my baby has been poked more than a grand champion cake at the county fair) I have successfully diagnosed my child with a severe lactose intolerance.  Well… ‘intolerance’ isn’t really the right word.  It’s more like ‘lactose toxicity’.  If he even hears a cow moo -he could die!  His body stiffens, he screams in agony, he rolls around on the ground and will gnash at the nearest person (usually me) with his teeth.  As a result, we must insist that the schools eliminate milk and all milk products from the school lunch program.  He will also not be able to share a classroom with a kid who lives on a farm.  Farms have cows.  Cows make milk.  I know it may seem strange to take away milk, cheese, and yogurt from the ‘ordinary’ children’s lunches, but for my kid this is a matter of life and death and I don’t see how it really matters if it is a slight inconvenience to everyone else.

Finally – we need to talk environmental aggravants.  My child is a rare and fragile ball of fire!  He sure keeps me on my toes!  A few months ago, we were at the grocery store and I was carefully reading every food label like I always do, when I heard a wrenching clatter behind me.  I turned around and saw that my child had stripped himself naked right in the middle of the gluten free aisle! He had torn off his helmet, his outer vinyl protective layer, his face mask, his inner layer of 100% organic cotton and his galvanized gloves!  I raced up and down the aisle looking for anything that could have caused such a violent reaction.  While I was frantically reading labels, my son threw his oxygen mask at me and began stomping on his cauterized, rubber undies!   I take protecting my child very seriously  and I had that kid sealed up tighter than the last girl baby in a polygamous compound!  It’s for the molecular rhizomes!  They are everywhere!

Once again, I rushed him to the local emergency room (where we are on a first name basis with everyone – even the hospital administrator!)  I could plainly see that he had a few red bumps where the rubber tubing met up with the sheet metal shirting.  In a matter of months (and long sleepless nights researching deadly allergies on the internet) my worst fears were confirmed.  My baby is allergic to clothes. Even the SITE of clothes can set him off!  The worst reactions seem to occur when he sees his old travelling outfit hanging by the back door.  He begins to writhe like the serpent in the Garden of Eden.  He dances around like all of his limbs are ablaze and he comes at me with whatever pointed object is close at hand!  As a mother – this is excruciating to watch.  I have had to stop wearing clothes too.  It was the only way I could be in constant non-stop contact with my son.  His father can’t touch him either – even if he takes his clothes off after he gets home from work (because he still has the deadly fabric excretions all over his body).  Of course these days we don’t see my husband very much.  He’s taken a second job… and a second house… and a second wife.  

So I am going to have to ask that my child’s class be clothing free.  I have thought long and hard about this and realize that the most difficult part might be finding a teacher who is willing to stand at the black board buck naked eight hours a day.  Trust me, I understand better than anyone  the difficulty to adjusting to full time nudity.  The stories I could tell you!  There was this one time at the park… I was just pushing my son on the swings and this mother of four year old twins came up behind me and just started screaming!  ”FREAK!  FREAK!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU LADY!  PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!  GET SOME CLOTHES ON YOUR KID!”  But you know what?  I just launched into my long litany of allergy hell and before I knew it – we were sitting on a park bench drinking lattes and talking food reactions.  Turns out that her twins are allergic to shell fish and they get hives if they even smell an orange!  Can you imagine!  She comes over twice a week for nude playgroup now.  Our membership is up to twenty three members and growing every month! 

You might think that implementing these new policies into your school will be difficult and that a few hardhearted parents will balk at having their kid in my child’s classroom.  But in my experience, people really don’t mind taking certain choices away from their own kids in the name of safety.  I find that people will tolerate just about anything if you demonstrate how to stab a child’s thigh with an Epi-Pen the correct way.  Make sure you hold the Epi-Pen like a dagger and swing down hard and fast towards the child’s thing while screaming, “BREATH! JUST BREATHE BABY!  C’MOM BABY!  FOR MOMMY! BREATHE!”  The weak arguments to protect their own child’s food and clothing ‘freedoms’ to save my kid from certain death will evaporate as quickly as the nurses at the local ER do, whenever me and my boy show up.

Always Safety First,

Carlotta Bullocks

(Mom to one very excited kindergartner to be!)


  • GA in GA:

    ROTFLMAO! Too funny!

    If this child/parent were in my school district and were coupled with the TX BOE decision regarding the way history ‘should’ be taught, and I think running for the hills would be my best option.

  • Spinny:

    I heart you, Rechelle.

  • bPer:

    Masterfully done, Rechelle! It reminds me of Prof. PZ Myers’ The Courtier’s Reply, both in style and the use of public nudity. I hope it becomes as famous as his.

    You do like to play with fire, don’t you!

    BTW, readers who swoon when Rechelle criticizes religion are advised to not follow that link.


  • LOL
    Nicely done!

  • Kim K. in Western PA:

    Oh crap. Your website and weak bladder are not a good match.
    Thank you!

  • Samantha:

    Love, love, love this!

  • Brilliant! I think I know this Carlotta chick. Next trip to NYC, Rechelle, lattes are on me. With soy milk of course.

  • amy:

    Oh–you’re gonna’ catch hell for this from some but I love it. Seriously. If your child is in need of extraordinary protection–step up and protect them. YOU take extraordinary measures and do what needs to be done to protect your kid (homeschool, find a small private school or tutor, etc).

  • Mama Needs Coffee:

    Wow. I never thought you’d turn me off, but you managed to do it. None of my kids have allergies, but some of their friends do. Is it really such an overwhelming imposition on your children to have their PB&Js at home? Or is it just that you believe deeply in the function of community (routinely expounding upon the moral obligations of others) until the very instant it causes you the slightest inconvenience? To heck with those kids who could go into anaphylactic shock (and their pesky mothers), your sons need their nut butter! Now let’s cue the reply in which you accuse me of not having a sense of humor because I’ve finally grown weary of your martyr complex, as well as of your seeming inability to show the slightest upward movement in your life learning curve.

  • jan:

    Thanks for sticking up for me and my boy Mama. Rechelle. That one hurt. I’m over and out.

  • amy:

    Aaargh! Mama…do you not understand the difference between ASKING friends nicely to help you protect your child (by not having certain things around) and DEMANDING that entire school populations forgo a very economical and popular food product because a child has an extraordinary problem?

    Those parents who are concerned for their child’s LIFE should be the ones taking on the huge inconveniences–not the community. Homeschool. Create a peanut free school with others like your kid, hire a tutor. For those who will say this is too expensive, would you be willing to give up your cable, DVR, internet connection, cell-phone, etc. to keep your kid safe?

    Why are you feeling entitled to demand the rest of society give up something when you haven’t yet given everything you can to protect your child? This whole attitude that the rest of us OWE the peanut-allergy families somehow is really annoying.

    If a friend asked me to help her allergic child by not eating peanut butter around her kid I’d do it in a heartbeat. But demanding that I never send any kind of peanut-laced item to a PUBLIC school will just tick me off.

  • Natalie:

    It’s not about having a sense of humor, Mama. Many overemphasize the severity of allergies, causing insanity like a peanut free zone in classrooms when it is not necessary. Over parenting causes this sort of crap, and there’s substantial evidence saying peanut free zones are overkill and impossible to enforce. I work with kids from both spectrums of over and under parenting, and both sides are just as screwed up as the other.

    My brother, for instance, is allergic to cashews. He was born long before the peanut freakout. Guess what? My family never insisted on a cashew free zone in his school. He has a legitimate allergy to them that causes hives, but he was taught how to avoid them.

    There’s a difference between a school asking parents to send treats that were made in an approved commercial kitchen and a school demanding that no child bring in peanut butter- there’s actual risk in having kids bring in food of questionable origin to share with the class, but very little risk of one child bringing in a damn PB&J for their lunch.

  • Action Squirrel:

    I really have to wonder what some of these people do when they read books and see television programs they don’t like. Is blog commenting the modern day version of cranky letters to the editor? Christ, people.

  • I’m pretty sure Carlotta’s kid goes to my son’s school!

  • pamcake:

    That post was off the hook, fabulous!

  • I’m going to add to Natalie and say that my cousin is severely allergic to peanuts and when she was in school my aunt did not insist on a peanut free zone at her school.
    Thanks Rechelle this was hilarious. And after a long tough day at work I needed the laugh!

  • Freth:

    Why not insist they only allow students into school who are peanut allergic. There can be a separate school for lactose intolerant (allergic). And a separate school for those who are chalk allergic. In fact, just build a row of little schools that cater to different specific needs children. And tell all the others that they are just going to have to stay home and be home-schooled by their parents who are paying all the taxes to build the special needs schools. Oh I just love this! .. or.. Maybe all parents should just keep all their tax money and teach their own children … :-p

  • Another Lee:

    Apparently, the inability of Americans to appreciate true satire has been a problem documented as early as 1911 in Ambrose Bierce’s “Devil’s Dictionary”.

    The following is an excerpt:

    ‘In this country satire never had more than a sickly and uncertain existence, for the soul of it is wit, wherein we are dolefully deficient, the humor that we mistake for it, like all humor, being tolerant and sympathetic. Moreover, although Americans are ‘endowed by their Creator’ with abundant vice and folly, it is not generally known that these are reprehensible qualities, wherefore the satirist is popularly regarded as a sour-spirited knave, and his every victim’s outcry for codefendants evokes a national assent.’

    So carry on, brave knave, and we of the weak bladder will just have to do laundry more frequently – unless you have a link to that website for rubber cauterized undies?

  • Vee:

    Do you think it would work if I wrote a note stating that my daughter is allergic to homework? Rechelle, you are too funny.
    I loved it!

  • LucyJoy:

    Soooo funny, Rechelle ~ Excuse me while I go wipe the mascara that’s running down my cheeks!

  • Lgirl:

    My 11yo DD was MHOB eating a bagel in the school cafeteria. when a girl sat beside her exclaimed OH! and ran to a Lunch Monitor. The Monitor came to my DD and said the girl is allergic to Sesame seeds and my DD was asked to leave the cafeteria and eat her bagle in the hall!!! WTF!?
    I follow the stupid school rules and Sesame seeds are NOT on the list of Kiwi Nuts Banana… AND to top it all off It’s wasnt my DD who sat beside that girl My DD was there first! UGH!

  • canada:

    was this written by the same person who thinks her son will melt in the rain?

  • Ha!!! So funny. Loved every histrionic word.

    And a shout out to Spinny who turned me on to your blog.

  • Dominique:

    Yep, I’m done.


  • Megan:

    Funny stuff. Sunflower and soy nut butter suck.

  • Momofthree:

    I am pretty sure that my 14 year old daughter is developing an allergy to teenage boys. She exhibits this strange behavior of giggling non-stop, her eyes get all fluttery as if she is barely holding off a seizure, and her hands can’t stay still…. constantly touching and rearranging hair and clothes. I think that all boys will have to be outlawed from her high school. It is the only way she will be safe…. at least until all the tests come in to confirm this allergy.

  • The only thing that was missing from cauterized undies was this “Mom” having her very own helicopter! She will need it as CU moves in to High School! I was laughing so hard I could not, “Breathe! Breathe”!

    Thank you for the howl!

  • Amber:

    So I guess we will have to talk to all the bees if a kid who is allergic is going outside for recess. I mean, they could sting him and kill him if he doesn’t get his epi pen stat! That is so rude and inconsiderate of those damn bees. We should declare all playgrounds and public parks to be a “Bee free zone”. Any bees who are caught in this zone will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  • Michele:

    Hysterical. I loved it.

    Few things bother me more than listening to people talk about how I have to make sure their allergic child is kept safe. Having several food allergies myself I know the frustrations. However, I am responsible for keeping myself safe, not everyone else. If I had raised an allergic child I would have taught them from the diagnosis how to keep themselves safe. I actually know people who have done this with very young children, so far their children are doing fine.

    I agree with the poster that pointed out “not sending nut containing products to be shared, fine. Denying my kid what they want to eat, not fine.” (paraphrased, despite the quotation marks).

  • Cassie C.:

    I get hives when you post about radishes, could you please refrain from doing so? Oh, and you might want to go through your archives, and remove any radish related posts. I would hate to accidentily stumble upon one. Thanks!

  • Carry:

    Bwahahahahahahaha ::breath:: Bwahahahahahahaha

    I guess I’ve been lucky so far, neither of my kids’ schools have asked us to refrain from PBJ. I think my kids would starve too. They even let us send homemade treats, though not all the kids are allowed to have them, but that’s up to the parents to say if they can or cannot.

    Seriously though, the more bubble like we keep our kids, the more susceptible they are to the environment around them. Just like the overuse of antibiotics have caused “superbugs”.

    Ok, I’m tired and rambling now. Thanks for the laugh R, I always love reading your posts.

  • whirled_peas:

    My favorite line:

    “and I had that kid sealed up tighter than the last girl baby in a polygamous compound!”

  • scd:

    I love how earnest some commenters are and how they must now Leave (!) your blog because of this post. Unfollow! Unfollow! It’s true that Americans have a hard time taking satire. American, overall, are spoiled and self-indulgent, and they expect everyone to take them as seriously as they take themselves, and if you don’t, you’re just mean.

    While allergies can, in some cases, actually be life-threatening, it’s also true that rigid rules and over-reactions are frustrating to deal with. Parents facing these frustrating situations can either:

    1) dress in sackcloth and think constantly of how they can do more to protect other people’s children than they already are by abiding by the school’s rigid rules and over-reactions–

    2) force-feed some peanut butter down the “offending” children’s throats, thus “eliminating” the “problem”–


    3) find a way to laugh about it to shake off stress and frustration

    Which would you prefer?

  • Haz3y:

    I must be one sick and twisted parent because I found this hilarious. Good job Rechelle. Thanks for the laugh. I really needed it today.

    Amy, I totally agree with everything you said! We need more parents like you in our schools.

    Mom of three with a daughter who has 21 food allergies. Not once have I asked the school to make special arrangements for her. The cafeteria doesn’t even know she has allergies. My daughter is nine yrs. old and handles her allergies very responsibly. Why? Because that is MY job as her parent!

    Sorry for my rant…

  • Dot:

    Great post. Isn’t it amazing how many folks scream “Personal Accountability” EXCEPT when it comes to themselves or their own family?
    If your child is truly allergic, to the point of losing his life, then please find a way for YOU to keep him safe. Ironically, it starts with ‘education’.

    And Canada, have you ever heard the term, Satire?

  • My sentiments exactly. Enough is enough as to what we expect our school systems to have to deal with. If a child is so highly allergic that they can’t even have a peanut butter bar’s fragrance wafting through the air then either home school him or turn him into Bubble Boy.


  • Megan:

    This article is interesting:

    Basically, children with positive skin tests for an allergy, even children with a severe reaction to the skin test turned out not to have a real allergy in a food challenge test where they ate a peanut. Of those that did have real allergies, very few had severe reactions.

    The idea that every child who had a reaction to peanuts will die if exposed to a peanut is pretty much ridiculous according to the founder of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. Your child has as much a chance of dying of a lightning strike as they do an allergy.

    About 0.8% of the population has a peanut allergy. How much of a percentage is that in our schools? Almost zero. So explain to me again why this very tiny minority can not be inconvenienced for THEIR OWN safety by sitting at a peanut free lunch table, rather than the entire school district of thousands of children not being allowed to have a peanut.

    I wonder if these parents never let their child play at someone else’s house, visit the library, go to the grocery store, go to a public playground, eat at a restaurant, etc. You just can’t be sure if someone has eaten peanut butter and put their grimy hands on the same swing set, can you? It seems that if your kid’s allergy was so severe they couldn’t be in the same room with peanuts they would not have lived this long.

  • Emerald green:

    Flat out hilarious. We have this exact child and this exact mother at our school. You wouldn’t believe the precautions we are taking. Peanut-free Zone signs posted on every vertical surface, epi pens stationed every two feet throughout the school, every kid in the entire school has to wipe their hands with a wipe IN A FIVE STEP PROCESS upon leaving the cafeteria… The principal spent an entire morning one day going to every classroom in the school to illustrate the proper 5 step hand-wiping process and had the kids practice. The teachers had to go to a one hour inservice (hosted by the parents, natch) to learn how to use the epi pen correctly. Then a month later, the mother sent out a refresher bulletin. Then a few weeks after that, made a laminated instruction card for every teacher to keep in their classrooms. The poor kid’s teacher has to carry a bag around with an epi pen everywhere she goes, even if it’s 3 feet down the hall to the bathroom.

    Ironically, I was at a restaurant one day when these people came in. They sat down at a semi-bussed table, wiped the crumbs from the previous diner off with their hands and the kid proceeded to have her hands and face all over the table and the back of the booth. The parents wiped nothing down, and ordered regular food for the kid. But yet the school and everyone in it has to jump through hoops for these people on a daily basis. The person who ate there before them could have been Typhoid Peanut for all they knew. I’m over it.

  • Mindy:

    I’m going to take this as ranting for the sake of ranting. I’m guessing that anyone who is complaining would still go along with the school rules, and that’s what really matters.

    And sunbutter tastes pretty much exactly like peanut butter if anyone is really hard up for an alternative.

  • Melissa:

    Jonathon Swift’s ” A Modest Proposal” This essay is widely held to be one of the greatest examples of sustained irony in the history of the English language. Much of its shock value derives from the fact that the first portion of the essay describes the plight of starving beggars in Ireland, so that the reader is unprepared for the surprise of Swift’s solution when he states, “A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout.” SATIRE IRONY It makes people THINK.

  • Samantha:

    Irony is lost on most Americans.

    And peanuts are actually in the bean family so how did they get grouped with nuts???

    again Rechelle, loving this!

  • Samantha:

    oops! I meant legume family.

  • Ashley F.:

    Did you happen to watch the Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution shows last month? It was interesting to note that when the elementary school started serving healthy meals made with whole, fresh ingredients instead of processed chicken nugget-type crap, a ton of parents started sending their children to school with sack lunches that consisted of things like tortilla chips, potato chips and Skittles. (That was seriously one girl’s lunch: two types of chips, Skittles and maybe a soda.) Jamie has a heart attack over these lunches, and the principal shrugs and says that whatever the parents send to school is what the child gets to eat, even if it doesn’t meet the school’s strict nutritional standards for cafeteria lunches. It’s the parents’ right to feed their child whatever they want.

    So why on earth is it okay to send your kid to school with a meal consisting of basically just grease and sugar with no nutritional value whatsoever, but school’s can impose bans on healthy foods? What about vegetarian kiddos? PB&J is seriously the easiest vegetarian lunch option out there. And it’s cheap. So cheap. Why not just have a school assembly where you teach kids why they shouldn’t swap food with each other if one of them has a food allergy? That’s what they’re *really* trying to avoid: actually teaching children responsible behaviors (you will get sick if you eat peanuts, you don’t know what has peanuts, EAT THE LUNCH THAT MOMMY SENDS WITH YOU AND NOTHING ELSE, I MEAN IT!) and instead creating this insane protective bubble.

    A good friend of mine has children with multiple, very-real food allergies. She just had to use the epi-pen at home on her son after a surprise allergic reaction to egg in pizza crust (seriously–and they thought their son was getting over that particular allergy) and he had to go to the hospital for steroids. But you know what? I’m pretty sure she’s just taught him not to eat other people’s food at school. He knows he has allergies. He eats his own food. Problem solved.

  • tess:

    heeeeeeeeeelarious!!! some commentors are just far too anal for this world!

  • Maria:

    Seriously this is partially why I school at home. Look how much TIME the school and other schools mentioned by the commenters are taking just to deal with a stupid parent issue! Politics, litigation worries, budget contraints, peanut allergies, wiping your hands in five steps! OY. My tax dollars at work.

  • Anonymous:

    Dot said
    “……And Canada, have you ever heard the term, Satire?”

    oh, I got that it was satirical. I was just making a joke, and not that well, I guess, since you thought I was serious ; ) , that the blogger who wrote about how over protective she was of her own son in a previous post, then tried her hand at ribbing other over protective parents.

    • Canada – I got it. It made me laugh. Was going to reply – but had to save my tender baby from a fist fight with his brothers.

  • Jimmy:

    Love it, Rechelle! And very much to the point right now. The allergy thing is worrying – but…so is the cotton wool world we are indulging ourselves in.

    Some of the commenters here need to get a grip. But seriously. I think I have an allergy to folks who don’t understand satire, and I’m off to a dark room to recover.

  • km:

    I loved this. We have a neighbor like this.
    I have a heart kid. I am a casual mom. I give school administrators and coaches nervous breakdowns. They are scared of my son. I tell them, let him hydrate, let him sit down when he’s tired, he self monitors well. He is 5, going on 35. I give them his emergency numbers and a sheet for the paramedics. I assure them the likelihood of needing it is minimal. He plays soccer, tball, golf and swims. He is a happy man. He knows what to do to keep himself healthy. He turned down hot dogs at field day because of the “niterades”. He has a big scar down his chest that for ages he called his scarf. He knows his defect’s name. I refuse to cottonwool him. I am with him only a small part of the day. He has to have the tools to live. Maybe some kids can’t self monitor. Each kid is different. I see that in my own house. Life is too short to make it a minefield. It’s to be enjoyed surely?

    • KM -From you description – I have just fallen head over heels for your boy. “Niterades”. Love it.

  • Marti:

    KM, I guess I’m kinda like you. My son has multicystic kidneys and I list this on his emergency info stuff that has to be filled out. It seems to freak people out. That seem to want a detailed list of what to do. I usually tell them to just treat him like they treat every child. He’s educated about his disease. He takes great care of himself.

    My son’s school is a latex free zone. The kid that this applies to doesn’t even go to the school anymore, but they’ve kept all the signs up and still maintain the latex free status. I’m friends with the school nurse who said the child in question gets welts if they come in contact with latex. Sooooo, the entire school has to suffer because of welts? At least latex isn’t a lunch time staple.

    Rechelle, I think you may have found your niche in satire. You took one for the team with this and it was a joy to read. Thanks.

  • Marti:

    One more thing. Did you know that people with peanut allergies can safely consume peanut oil (as long as it is not cold pressed), because what they are actually allergic to is the protein which the peanut oil does not have. Thank you Alton Brown for the info.

  • Spinny:

    I wonder about the people who were so insulted by this humorous story. Are they so hurt because they see themselves in the obviously over-protective insane mother and don’t want to believe that their own over-protective behavior is slightly silly.

    I have found that if you cannot take yourself lightly, you are much less fun to be around.

  • km:

    thanks Rechelle. He is a pip ! He would love to go in a hot tub at hotels but contents himself to put his ankles in and chat to the old ladies. They love him.

  • susan:

    What is WRONG with mama?? She needs her coffee and a sense of humor.

  • susan:

    p.s. I can see why you said what you said at PW’s about your readers – per April’s comment.

  • David Sedaris You Are Not:

    If your grandkids turn up with these allergies, see if you think it is funny then people. Obviously, you don’t have kids with the allergies or close friends with the allergies — if you did, you wouldn’t be laughing. Not about this.

    Just try to have some respect as you move on down the road. Maybe then your children will do the same.

  • km:

    Rechelle, looking at your twitter. I read The Help too. Are you enjoying it. I thought it was fantastic. I think I got anxiety along with the ladies involved.

  • This was Great!

  • Oh…BTW my dog is alergic to grass. Yes the lawn.

  • Jenni, I once had a dog who was allergic to grass, and she was a dachshund with a belly that touched the grass when I walked her. She got shots once a week. OY VEY!

  • km……I really like your child-reaing attitude. And your kid sounds like fun!

  • If you liked “The Help”, KM and Rechelle, try Beth Hoffman’s “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt” It was terrific and I thought more realistic than “The Help”. Don’t get me wrong, I liked this book, but thought that some of the portrayals were too “out there” and exaggerated.

  • Jimmy:

    David Sedaris You Are Not (hmmm – nice name. What a pleasant chap/chappette you must be)…

    You have had some kind of humour bypass surgery perhaps? If you read the thread you’d see that there are lots of people here whose kids are seriously impacted by factors in their environment but still absolutely get where Rechelle is coming from. Seriously – lighten up!

    So – I’m going to do what I thought I’d not do – but it makes the point: here’s my own story. My boy was immune supressed following a bone marrow transplant. We had two years of trying to keep him away from infection living in North London – particularly the chicken pox virus and measles (which was made more difficult by the idiocy of the anti-vaxers). But it was our problem. Not the rest of the world’s. Folks were great: they’d not come near if they had colds. They’d tell us if their kids got chickenpox. It’s all about balance.

    But I couldn’t demand special privilege from the world because my kid was sick. It would have been UTTERLY ridiculous to do so! (You see what I did there: I got wound up at my desk at work…).

    It sounds remarkably like you would be pleased if Rechelle’s grandkids had allergies. Are you a fundie perhaps?



  • Hi Jim!:

    It’s me – David. And you are right, I am a whole load of fun on this issue I’m so sorry for your boy and for what you have gone through. I really am. And no, I don’t want Rechell’s grandchildren to have food allergies. What I would like though, is for everyone to have some sensitivity to issues that are not their own.

    The thing that strikes me so wrong about the cyber peanut bullies is that (unlike in your situation) it really is a pretty simple fix. Peanuts are just this one food. There are other foods and simple substitutes. And the danger is high for causing harm – according to my child’s doctor. And the prevalence of the allergy is growing so maybe, just maybe, the whole solution does not need to be laid at the child’s door. Maybe it does. I don’t know. But yeah, sorry again, it really isn’t funny to me.

    And the Sedaris reference was just a way of saying to Rechelle hey lady you want me to feel bad that you didn’t have fun in Europe? Then quit poking fun at the thing that scares me most in the world.

    Gotta go google fundie now dammit … I guess I’m not one since (sigh) I don’t even know what one is.

  • Hi Jim!:

    oh shyt! definitely not a fundie – I was one of R’s atheist fans until lately now I’m just gone

  • Kait:

    OMG that is so funny. But so damn true of all the crazy ass people out there with kids nowadays.
    I say the dirtier and sicker a kid gets in childhood the stronger and healthier they will be as adults. At least that holds true in my family. Every time a germ passed me as a kid I would get sick but I never get sick now. Strongest immune system in town.

  • Lauren:

    So funny!!!!!!!!

  • Jeanie:

    In our litigious society, schools have been expected by an increasingly growing number of parents to assume excessive responsibility for far too many unwarranted concerns. In the case of peanut allergies, even young children can be taught to be responsible for their health concerns. Where were all the peanut allergy kids when I grew up 50 years ago? This is another one of those issues that have received far too much hype in recent years.

  • Jimmy:

    OK – David: you’ve made me feel bad now. And that’s not easy. I’m a hard hearted bugger. (Delighted you aren’t a fundie: that wasn’t a polite suggestion of mine…I’m a pretty angry atheist).

    So down to brass tacks: here’s the deal, as I see it. Allergies are definitely increasing. Some of them are seriously dangerous. Obviously something has to be done about it – and something pretty darned effective too. I’d go down the science route though – and specialised facilities where demand makes that viable. I’d also put an end to the blanket laziness of litigation-scared food companies who brand everything as potentially containing nut traces. Get a grip corporations.

    On the flip side, we keep restricting ourselves, and worse our kids in their lifestyles. It just is not cool.

    I’ve got another personal experience that may turn out to be relevant by the end of the ramble. 3 years ago we moved to a little island near France called Jersey. Presumably it has some connection with that place in the US of similar name? When we arrived, we discovered that it was like stepping back in time 50 years. I never lock a door. My kids take themselves off to the beach when they feel like it without me being worried about paedophiles etc.

    And it has totally changed our outlook. I just worry about less stuff these days. Which is very good for me. And very good for the kids.

    I see that we make our kids worry about loads of stuff. Now when it’s an allergy that might kill them, then, fair enough: they need to worry. A bit.

    But to the extent possible, we need to try not to pass that on. ie keep the worrying to as close a circle as possible. And keep it under control with the kids too.

    So when I see this stuff creeping into our schools, I think that it is a move in the wrong direction. If a kid has it so badly that they cannot be near a peanut, then they really should not be in school. To inflict the restrictions demanded by that condition on the rest of the world seems like an imposition. To believe it is your fundamental right to do so suggests someone has got things out of perspective. Which I think was Rechelle’s point?

    Sympathy for those in that situation? Definitely. Pay enough taxes that we can provide decent services for special cases? Definitely. Demand massive restrictions on the public at large to protect tiny minorities? Seems harsh and unbalanced. W e could ban all cars on that basis too.

    Last example. When I was at college, I studied Geography. (I’m an accountant and banker now…apologies). I did a study around what should be done with London’s open waters. I bumped into a group of parents whose kids had died in accidents in such waters. They believed – and lobbied – that all open waters should either be fenced off entirely to the public or filled in.

    While one might have every sympathy for their grief, clearly, the public should not consult them on this subject.

    I wonder how balanced any of us are on our pet subjects?



  • Hi Jim!:

    You’re alright by me Jim. Now I find myself a little jealous of your island lifestyle but alas someone has always got it better or worse than the rest of us.

    You and I? We understand each other. Reasonable accomodations all around! Damn the money making corporations and their peanuts and their mad cow! And blast the silly people fencing off the world while we’re at it.

    Rechelle hurt my feelings because she started a conversation about this peanut thing one day (that turned a little grim in my opinion) and then just completely opened fire on Mom’s Like Me the next. I guess she thinks we’re just supposed to take the whole thing in stride. We try, honey. We try.

    I think it is sortof easy to poke fun at peanut mom’s until you are one. There is a vigilance involved here that is funny until it is your’s.

    Happy Trails to you Jim. I will raise a glass in your honor this weekend. OK – maybe tonight!

    I’m done, done really done with Rechelle. She’s a bully if you ask me. And nothing like the hostess of P-dub.

  • Jimmy:

    Hey David, well – sorry if you need to go: I recognise that living with one of these conditions is a nightmare. (There are some interesting medical breakthroughs happening too though, so I understand, specifically around peanuts. Have you seen any of that? Micro-dose induced tolerance for eg…)

    Anyway: here’s how I see Rechelle. I think she’s honest and funny, sometimes at the rough end of it perhaps. But I have deep respect for the honest bit, and I often laugh here so that’s always good. The apolgies-for-being-a-shit-head-christian-for-all-those-years post was masterful. And summed up my own feelings very clearly.

    I am a follower of PZ Myers too. He is unashamedly at the rough end of it – but makes a big point: content is so much more important than tone. I buy that, even when it steps on my toes for a specific issue.

    I wonder though in Rechelle’s case (Rechelle – this is weird: we are discussing you in pretty personal terms – on your blog!) I have a strong understanding of the ex-faith position, and could forgive much I think. I’ve not needed to so far though. I like gardens and I hate religion (though not the religious before I kick off any more controversy). That makes this blog a good place for me…

    And you’ve got me on P-Dub. So I looked it up – and am none the wiser!

    And look at that: it seems I am obliged by the rules of common courtesy to drink to you (across the Atlantic?). Obviously I’ll not enjoy that at all, but social etiquettes must be observed…I’ll take a Lagavullin then if I have to.



  • Hmmmm....:

    I wonder how many more times we’ll hear you say you’re done, really done with Rechelle.

  • Hi Jim!:

    Ah touche Hmmmm. I promise {hic} just ONE MORE DRINK for my old friend Jim.

    P-dub is the Pioneer Woman, Jim. She is the Big Time Blogger that Rechelle likes to think is so mean. She’s probably not your type, hon, but the real sweet stay at home moms on my block like her recipes.

    Thanks for the word on PZ Myers. I could use a laugh dangit.

    I really PROMISE I’m off now. Tata.