I have to share a big win today. I am so proud of my six-year-old son, Tristan, that it brings tears to my eyes. He really and truly “gets” his allergies and yesterday he proved that tenfold.
He was invited to a classmate’s birthday party at the movie theater where they serve a bevy of foods loaded up with dairy, one of Tristan’s allergies. As usual I prepared an assortment of safe food replacements for him to take with him, one of which was butter-free popcorn. Now, this party was special because it was the first party Tristan was to attend alone, without my husband or myself to monitor the food situation. His allergies have diminished greatly, although we still have yet to do a successful food challenge for dairy and some nuts, but we felt he was old enough and there was less of a risk for him to go alone.
On the way to the party Tristan asked me lots of questions about his medication, although he was already very aware of how to use the Allerject epinephrine injector, since he plays with the trainer often and has all the vocal instructions memorized. I think he was a little nervous, so we just went through when and why to use everything in his KoziEpi pouch again. I was confident he wouldn’t need anything, but it made both of us feel better to talk through the routine again. We had spoken with the parents before the party and of course did so again at the movie theater. He was prepared with his food as well, so he seemed set to me.
All went well until it was time for the popcorn. The birthday boy’s mom gave Tristan’s bag of popcorn to the concession employee who filled a regular popcorn cup with his popcorn. She distributed all the cups to the kids in the dark movie theater and confused Tristan and another boy, giving the other boy Tristan’s allergy safe popcorn and Tristan the popcorn loaded with BUTTER!
Since Tristan did not see the concessions employee fill his cup with the safe popcorn AND could not see in the dark if his popcorn looked like the butter-free variety he was used to, decided his popcorn may not be safe to eat and therefore wasn’t worth the risk. He sat for nearly two hours with this tempting cup of buttery popcorn in his lap and didn’t even touch a kernel. I’m not so sure I’d have had the same will power.
I can honestly say that I have NEVER been prouder of him than I was for his actions that day. As a reward, that evening Tristan had his first ever cone with homemade chocolate sorbet. He’d always wanted to try a cone in the past, but he was so sensitive to wheat that it was never an option until recently. So, he enjoyed his reward immensely!