When your five year old picks out a flavor of ice cream and says, "There's no eggs in this, right Mama?" And you say, "No, this flavor has no eggs," and he nods, so excited (because eating ice cream is one of his all-time favorite things to do, you are happy as a mom.
A few minutes later, it became obvious things were not right. Isaac turned to me and said again, "There isn't eggs in this, right Mama?" He then asked for water. And orange juice. And then said he didn't want anymore, and I looked at JB and he looked at me and we knew we had screwed up as parents.
It stinks to make a mistake as a parent. It stinks to see your child in discomfort because you didn't do the right thing.
I was glad JB was there to scoop Isaac up and grab the Epi pen and head to the bathroom without even asking me who was going to administer the dreaded shot. Isaac knew what was coming. He tried to downplay his throat bothering him, but he's five now, and he understands. He is actually the one who has become hyper vigilant about the egg-status of an item he might eat.
As I sat with Sidge and Abigail eating our own ice creams, we heard Isaac scream, and it hurt my feelings something awful. He had asked me if this ice cream had eggs. And I had told him that it did not based on the word of an employee of the restaurant. He trusted me. And now he was in the bathroom getting a shot to prevent his throat from swelling too much.
This is the third time we have had to give Isaac an Epi pen during the last year on this island. And all three instances have revolved around Portuguese ice cream. The truth is, it's not processed enough for Isaac's allergy. It's too creamy and fresh and yummy. And so, we've made the should-have-been-obvious-already decision that our Isaac, as much as he loves ice cream, just can't eat ice cream again unless it is the normal, processed, pre-packaged kind you can find in Portuguese Cafe' freezers. (Or the kind we can read the labels on that they sell at the American Commissary.)
What you can't screw around with is an allergy that effects the throat. JB noted a recent research article that indicated the children who die from allergies are usually children whose parents knew of the allergy but either (a) failed to bring an Epi pen or (b) failed to administer it due to wanting to avoid the pain.
This parent stuff is quite tricky. Quite tricky indeed.
*To read more about Isaac's allergy and the Epi pen, click here.