Many of you will know exactly where I am going with this! See the picture in your mind…small child is invited to party and rather than be excited about it, you notice immediate anxiety on their face and you know why…food.
This is what faces me every time my ‘big little one’ is invited to a party. So much so, that she has actually chosen to not go to some parties because she doesn’t want to either feel different, or be faced with a load of chopped vegetables and fruit whilst all the other children tuck into their sweet, chocolately party treats.
I hasten to add here, that I do not blame the party organisers!! For them, it must be a nightmare when told that a child has a food intolerance or allergy or coeliac disease (even worse cos many have no idea what that even is!!). I have tried everything…sending her with food to share with the other children…but then there is a worry of cross contamination! Sending her with her own box of food…but then she is the odd one out and the other children want to know why she isn’t eating ‘their’ food. Even running out to MacDonalds and purchasing a bun-free burger and chips happy meal to deliver to a party where they were eating burgers, chips etc…but she still is different! Finally, there are the parties where the host parents have so very kindly considered my daughters needs and provided some ‘free-from’ treats…and I dare not mention the cross-contamination word for fear of putting them off ever providing for her again…(but she is often ill afterwards).
I am not sure why I am writing this. I guess I just thought that I would share how it is for me as a mum of a coeliac 5 year old. One ‘element’ of being a mum of a coeliac 5 year old I may add. There are so many things we still have to learn…how to deal with foreign travel, the ‘difficult’ teenage rebellion years etc etc. I will probably look back at the small issue of kids parties and laugh when I get there. But right now I feel sad for her. Sad that she can’t just fit in and ‘be normal’ at parties and let go and enjoy herself like all the other children.
Still, there is a plus side to this. When she has her own birthday party it is like no other!!!! I always make a fabulous looking gluten free birthday cake (see my other posts) along with other amazing gluten free treats. None of the other kids know the difference, but my little one can relax and have fun! Oh, and stuff her face!!!!!