I scared my child….and I feel terrible about it

There are many milestones parents watch for in their children’s lives as they grow. Since Calvin has been born we have watched him hit many with much enthusiasm. From the first few months of smiling (for real not just because he was pooping), to laughing, to rolling over to more recently as I watch him feed himself with a spoon, say new words, and communicate. He recently started calling me “Mommy” and my husband “Daddy” as opposed to “mama” and “dada”. It melts my heart every time he says “Mommy.” Last night he was home and when he saw my pull in the drive way he ran to the door yelling “Mommy, Mommy!” He showered me with hugs and headbutts (which is what he thinks kisses are from being constantly kissed on the forehead) and made all the stress of having just driven home in a snow storm disappear. 

Each milestone he hits is incredibly exciting to see and my husband and I are proud of him and try to praise and encourage him in his development. 

Last night he reached a milestone. At least I think it is a milestone. It seemed like one to me, I just don’t know what it’s called. Unlike the other milestones he has reached though this one broke my heart and simultaneously made me realize I need to keep in check how I act around my son.

It started with bath time after dinner. I don’t give him a bath every night but it had been a couple of days and we had a particularly messy dinner which resulted in mashed avocado and refried beans in his hair. Like many parents of young kids, we have a plastic, flexible jug for rinsing the soap out of his hair.

Calvin has been obsessed with this jug for sometime now. He likes when I fill it and pour water out so he can put his hands water as it pours. He likes to put smaller toys in it and then reach in and pull them out. Showing them to me with the enthusiasm of a children’s party magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat. 

Last night he finally mastered the skill for which the jug is designed though. He held it by the handle, submerged it under the water, lifted it out and proceeded to pour the water out. 

His face lit up with pride as he performed this simple act over and over again. I cheered him on, “That’s right! Good job! Look how big you are!” 

Until he lifted it up and held it out of the tub and proceeded to pour the water all over me and the floor. I am couldn’t believe it and I yelled, “Calvin! NO! What are you doing?”

Calvin froze.

He dropped the jug in the bath.

Seated on his bottom in the tub, he backed away from me and started to cry. 

My son, for the first time, was upset because I was upset. He seemed terrified of me. He didn’t want to let me pick him up. 

Watching my son react to my anger that way broke my heart. I had absolutely over-reacted to the situation. I was tired after a long day, I am up early every day to commute to work and usually bath time is a very pleasant and enjoyable time to unwind for Calvin and I but today I just lost it over some spilled water. 

I went towards him and he fought me, but I gathered up my wet toddler in my arms and hugged and kissed him. I apologized and told him I loved him. I told him I was wrong. He was good boy and I over-reacted. 

He still screamed.  

I wrapped him up in a dry towel and took him to his room. I cuddled him and got him in pajamas and even though it was well passed his bed time I made the decision to take him downstairs to play with his toys and read stories. I had to make it right. I couldn’t have my son’s last memories of me that night be that of fear and sadness. We played for 20 minutes and he calmed down. Soon he was cuddling up with me again. 

My mom tells me that one of the biggest pieces of advice she can give new parents is to respect your children. Just because they are little doesn’t mean you can belittle them. They are still human beings. She believes that often parents talk to their children rudely and condescendingly. She sees in public adults berate their children incredibly rudely and then turn on the charm talking to an absolute stranger. She says “if you wouldn’t speak to an adult that way, why would you speak to your child?” I told my mom that I agreed with her and said that I could see that was how she lived when I look back on how she raised me. It is how I want to be with my son. 

I want my son to be comfortable with me. I want him to know that I respect him and I don’t want him to feel like his father and I don’t respect him. I don’t want him to only listen to us out of fear. Respect is a two way street. We will show our son respect in the hopes that he emulates that respect in his own life with us. 

So last night when I had frightened my son with my reaction I realized I was not respecting him. But I also realized that this was the first time my son had reacted emotionally to my feelings, in this case my anger.

He was upset that he had upset me. 

I don’t know what that milestone is called. Perhaps it is a type of empathy? An awareness of another person’s feeling? All I know, is that my son was frightened of me last night and that was not okay. I messed up and I can’t excuse it. The only thing I can do is learn from this and remember the face of my crying, wet toddler trying to get away from an angry Mommy the next time I think I might lose my temper.

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I hope my son never comes out to me

I bet that title is getting some attention. I bet a lot of you are wondering where I am going with this, so just bear with me as I explain myself. This is not going to be one of my normal funny posts but I have been working on it for some time as I have been trying to find the right words.

I myself am not gay. I am a tolerant and accepting person. I would never look down on someone because of their sexuality. I have members in my family and friends in same-sex relationships. Later this summer, I’ll be attending a same-sex wedding for two friends of mine who are getting married.

So when I say that I hope my son never comes out to me what I am really saying is that I hope that by the time my son is old enough to be dealing with such things that he wouldn’t be afraid to discuss his feelings with me as they develop. I don’t want to have a son who through adolescence works through complicated feelings of love and attraction alone. I want him to understand he can always talk to me in a safe space without judgment.

Maybe I am naive and maybe I am not understanding what it is like to be young person dealing with these feelings and if that is the case I apologize. I would hope that as I raise my son he sees that through the person I am that it wouldn’t matter to me. I would hope that as he is growing and maturing that conversations about human attraction and sexuality are not verboten in our household. I want him to grow up seeing what a healthy relationship looks like – between his father and me, but also through others in our circle of family and friends some of whom are in same sex relationships.

By saying that I hope my son never comes out to me, what I am projecting is a hope that our world will get to a point where one isn’t expected to “announce” their sexuality. People should be free to be who they are and it doesn’t have to be breaking news when a person dates someone of the same sex or says the type of person they are attracted to. I guess I could be naive in this sense. Not being gay and never having gone through it  perhaps I don’t understand all the nuances surrounding “coming out”.

But I can’t help but think that if we were truly a tolerant and accepting society with real equality perhaps coming out wouldn’t be approached the same way. People would just accept you for who you are. In a truly equal society wouldn’t saying your gay be greeted with the same reaction to saying your straight?

I hope to be the type of parent who can really be there for her children, to know what they are going through and be there to talk about complicated issues instead of having them navigate the truth and misinformation that is out there from other sources. If I am truly this type of parent, I would think that my son would never have to announce his sexuality because hopefully I would already know who he is.

Watching the fights for marriage equality over my lifetime has been fascinating. To see the shift in public consciousness towards a more accepting world is liberating. While there are still roadblocks and people fighting marriage equality, I sense that we are moving in a positive direction in terms of LGBTQ issues. I had friends recently lament and express disappointment to see negative press related to Caitlyn Jenner and while it is disappointing to see that, I am proud of our society and culture by the amount of positive press and praise she has received. Five years ago, I don’t think she would have received so much support from the media and I think as a society we should be proud of that progress.

My son is only 11 months old. I have no idea what type of person he will grow up to be. But I want him to grow up in a household of acceptance and love knowing we, his parents, aren’t going to change our interactions or our relationship with him based his sexuality.

me and calvin

I’m putting Buzzfeed’s “Only Summer Workout You Need” to the test!

Guess what! Having a baby really changes your body. I know Captain Obvious here is not telling you anything you don’t know. But guess what, losing baby weight is super hard! At least for me. Whoever these magical people are that said Breastfeeding will make you lose the baby weight easily are full or sh*t because it did not help me. Maybe you burned 10,000 calories a day breastfeeding and see the weight melt off you like butter in the hot sun, but for me I have to work hard to lose weight and then I have to work hard to maintain it.

The last time I got fit and lost quite of bit of weight took about a year. People were telling me that weight was melting off me and it seemed so easy. Actually I would spend upwards of 7-10 hours a week working out and meticulously monitored everything I ate. It was not “Melting off me” I was working my butt off to get into shape.

I gained 50 lbs in my pregnancy. I know a lot of people do and it doesn’t really bother me because I was growing a person. But in the few months before I got pregnancy I gained about 20 lbs so in my mind I was up 70 lbs! Which was almost HALF my body weight. Of course, the first few weeks after baby it was great. I was losing like 5 lbs every day.

Walk up the stairs – boom – 10 lbs gone! Awesome. Only that doesn’t last.

Here’s where I am now:
I am still carry 10 lbs of baby weight, plus the 20 lbs I gained before I got pregnant, so really about 30 lbs that I don’t want to be carry. And yes I know that it’s not really about the weight or number on the scale but this goes beyond that. I am definitely not as fit as I once was. I can’t run as well and I definitely have lost strength. I use to pride myself on fitness. When I would spent 7-10 hours a week in the gym it was because I really wanted to be there! I loved watching my gains each week as I was able to load more and more weight onto the barbell. I loved seeing the improvements in my cardio performance. I took pride in the fact that I had a resting hard rate around 55 bpm because my heart was that freakin’ healthy!

So I have decided that it is time to kick it up a notch and really work on fitness. So when I stumbled upon this Buzzfeed article and read the work out plan I thought that it would fit with my current lifestyle and would be perfect way to jump start my new fitness journey.

I would commit to completing this 4 week program.

This article tells me that this is the “only summer plan I need” so I am going to give it a go and review it here. Keeping in mind that although it says it’s the only thing I need this summer, I am also part of a dragon boat club so in addition to these workouts I’ll also be paddling in 1 day of races over this 4 week period as well as practicing up to 3 times a week. As well. husband and I do regularly go for hour long walks with baby so I think that there will be times when I do more than just this program.

Here’s what I like about it:
Dumbbells – the only equipment is dumbbells. This means I can do it at home or work.
Exercises – the exercises are all ones that I am already familiar with. No learning new form for me.
Cardio-Flexibility – Cardio is anything you want to do on Saturdays only
Simplicity – the routines are the same each week. The reps and sets don’t change. The only change would be the amount of weight you are using.

Here’s what I don’t love about it but am willing to look beyond: 
Over simple: Since it is “dumbbells only” some of the exercises aren’t how I would like them. For example, on Monday Dumbbell Floor Press, I would much rather lay on a bench and do this as opposed to the floor.  Or Wednesday’s Glute Bridge I would prefer a Barbell instead of a dumbbell. So I will likely be adjusting the workouts while staying true to the spirit of the move. Also for a lot of the floor work you probably would want an exercise mat depending on the floor you are using but in trying to create a simple routine with minimal equipment that isn’t really mentioned.
Cardio is Interval: All the cardio is interval which isn’t my favourite thing in the world but mostly that is because I hate paying attention to a timer. I think I’ll download an app for that and just set it to buzz every 60 seconds.

I plan to complete this over the month of June (and first week of July) and blog about results.

Now, here comes the part that I really don’t want to do this but I figured it would be helpful in my journey so here are my BEFORE STATS and pictures. These were taken Monday June 8th before the first workout in the gym. I didn’t have anyone to take the photo so I did an “In the mirror selfie” and I think I lost a little bit of self-respect for myself in doing it.

The second photo is my "I can't believe I am taking a selfie in the mirror, I hope no one sees this. Is it lined up? Oh ya it is. Snap picture and be done with this" face
The second photo is my “I can’t believe I am taking a selfie in the mirror, I hope no one sees this. Is it lined up? Oh ya it is. Snap picture and be done with this” face

***Mental Note** When this is all over find someone to take the after photos of me so I never have to sneakily take my picture in the gym mirror again**

Now. Compare that to this photo of me from 2012. It was around my 1 year anniversary and I was about to run the Warrior Dash-because yes, that is what I wanted to do for my anniversary. Run an obstacle course. This was not the skinniest I have been as an adult but I would say it is the fittest I have ever been as an adult. So There’s the goal. To get back to that fitness level.  I may not have that same body but I want to be that fit again.

warrior dash
My motivation photo! Me when I was the fittest I have ever been! Let’s get back there!

That year I completed the Warrior Dash in just over an hour. Literally seconds over an hour.

Up next…a review of the first week of exercises and how I am feeling about it.

Beer & Babies OR “Inappropriately Themed Party Invites”

We are 6 weeks away from my son turning 1 and we are starting to plan a first birthday for him. It will be low key and small but I did want paper invites for it because I figured it might be the kind of memento that grandparents and ourselves would like to have for the scrapbook. (I’ll just add it to the drawer with his hospital bracelet which I am sure will not continue to sit waiting for eternity to become part of a scrapbook that is never going to get made).

I turned to my favourite site for this, Vistaprint, which I used for my wedding invites, save the dates and thank you cards and for baby shower thank you cards. I start looking for first birthday invites and look what I find near the top of the list!

Break out your lederhosen! It's an Oktoberfest First birthday!
Break out your lederhosen! It’s an Oktoberfest First birthday!
I get that parenting is tough at times and you may reach for a cold one after the baby has gone to bed by why is this design showing up in the search parameters for “first birthday invitation”? It must be an outlier I think to myself….

Oh wait…apparently it is not the only one!

Because cake smash videos are so much better if the baby's inhibitions are impaired.
Because cake smash videos are so much better if the baby’s inhibitions are impaired.

more beer invite
This would be perfect for C’s first birthday, if only it came in a different size?

more beer iterations
Oh good! More Size options!

Is there some sort of ironic-hipster trend to have beer themed birthdays for babies? Am I missing something here?

But “wait!” you say, “What if beer isn’t my libation of choice for my child’s first birthday?”

Well, C does prefer his Formula "Shaken not stirred"
Well, C does prefer his Formula “Shaken not stirred”
Needless to say, we won’t have a beer/cocktail themed first birthday for C, he already has a bottle he likes to fall asleep with.

bottle

Mother’s Day Gifts that are just awful OR “Do people forget how to buy gifts for women once they become a Mom?”

I am coming up to my first Mother’s Day this year. If you don’t count last year when I was pregnant, which I don’t. I know some people count it but I did not. So for me this is my first Mother’s Day.

Before I was a Mom, I wouldn’t put much thought into the online gift guides that start circulating in Mid-April outlining the best gifts for Mom. I usually found something on my own for my Mom and Mother in Law and left it at that.

This year being a Mom I have been looking at them, wanting to see what type of information is out there and what these all knowing gift guides are suggesting for Moms like me. And man, if these gift guides are to be followed I am in for a life time of terrible mother’s day gifts.

Now, to be fair, my husband is possibly the best gift buyer ever! He does this really handy thing where all throughout the year when we are out he will write memos into his phone’s notepad with things I have pointed out or mentioned. Then come birthdays, anniversaries and holidays he has a ready to go list of things he knows I will like. This works so well because I often have forgotten I wanted something and then end up being so surprised by it. I am anticipating that this great gift-giving system of his will transfer over to Mother’s Day but just in case my husband decides to start looking at gift compilation lists for ideas, here are some items that despite what these lists would have you believe, are not actually great gifts for Mother’s Day.

1. For the Mom who likes to read

From The Globe and Mail list we have this lovely metal feather. The description says to “pair a good tome with this feather-shaped bookmark.” While it may be cute I think bookmarks are up there with “paper weights” in terms of gifts you give when you haven’t put any real thought into it.

A book mark as a gift says, “Hey I know   you like reading, but I didn’t put the effort in to walking passed the checkout in the bookstore and finding a book you would actually like so I grabbed a book mark from the displays at the checkout.”

And at the bargain price of only $21.00 why buy your book-loving mom actual books she might enjoy reading when you could instead spend way too much money on a book mark whose receipt would work just as well at marking where in the book she left off.

(I am not even going to mention the fact that I myself read almost exclusively on my kobo making this even more pointless of a gift…nope, not going to mention that at all).

source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/mothers-day/eight-practical-and-poetic-mothers-day-gifts/article24287481/
source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/mothers-day/eight-practical-and-poetic-mothers-day-gifts/article24287481/
2. For the New Mom (ooh, this is me)

A baby monitor…

Wait What? I don’t want this for Mother’s day. Why is a Philips baby monitor on this list? If you are a new mother like me, you probably already had your baby and had baby showers before and possibly after the baby was born.Therefore you probably already own a baby monitor.

Even the description of this gift in the article mentions that this Philips line of products is immensely popular at baby showers. Trying to sell a baby gift as a Mother’s Day gift is tacky. You aren’t going to give a new Mom packages of diapers for mother’s day so don’t give her a baby monitor either. Mother’s Day should be about celebrating Moms, not reminding her that she isn’t out of the woods for worrying about SIDS yet.

I guess it isn’t surprising that Baby gifts are on an article about Last Minute Gift Ideas because last minute gifts usually are terrible, but if you are looking for last minute gift ideas for a new mom and you end up in the baby section just turn around and get to a section that sells anything for adults. I guarantee most items from any other section of the store would be better than buying a new mom another item for her baby.

The first mother’s day should really be about celebrating her as a new Mom. This gift really doesn’t do that so just put it down and buy something for that is really for her.

source: http://heavy.com/social/2015/05/best-last-minute-gifts-ideas-mothers-day-2015/
source: http://heavy.com/social/2015/05/best-last-minute-gifts-ideas-mothers-day-2015/
3. For the Busy Mom who wants to also be organized

The You Can Do It! Planner Pad” is a weekly planner and schedule and while I appreciate that many people like these types of planners I think that giving a gift to a mother that reminds her of all the shit she has to do after her “special day” is a bit like nagging someone about the number of calories they just consumed for dessert on their cheat day away from the gym.”Here Mom, happy Mother’s Day! You don’t have to do anything today…oh but you have a lot to do this week so you better start getting organized about it. Here’s a planner.”

Not to mention, we are moving into  the realm antiquated gifts. I think paper planning systems are becoming largely obsolete no? I know in our family we use google calendars and we share our calendars with each other and we can access those calendar on any of our devices….so a paper planner is about as useful to me as a cassette player. Which is to say completely useless.

Oh wait, it has a bonus feature, maybe this will change everything. “Bonus: It can also be used as a mouse pad.” Nope. It does not change anything. Because you know what else can be used as a mouse pad? A desk, or table, or book, or any paper….and why is this a selling feature? It is 2015 and I largely use tablets and smart phones. Outside of my office, I rarely use a device that requires a mouse. So good job on pointing out bonus features that were useful 5 years ago for a product that in my opinion has already moved beyond the cusp of usefulness.

source: http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/mothers-day/mothers-day-gift-ideas/you-can-do-it-planner-pad
source: http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/mothers-day/mothers-day-gift-ideas/you-can-do-it-planner-pad
4. For the crafty Mom who wants to learn a new skill

This learn to knit kit is described as being for the woman “dreaming of giving handmade scarves to the whole family at Christmas.” Great, Just what I want for Mother’s Day. Pressure to learn how to knit and then create handmade masterpieces for the whole family! This just seems like a covert attempt to get your wife/mother to make you something while masquerading as a mother’s day gift.

Remember, if one of the selling features of the Mother’s day gift is explaining its virtues in terms of what it can do for anyone other than the Mother receiving the gift it is not a mother’s day gift.

And the only thing that my son would get out of me having this gift is a new vocabulary as I utter multiple expletives as I try to master a skill I have no desire to learn. So maybe my son doesn’t have a home made scarf from Mommy at Christmas, he has learned how to say “Dammit, Stupid piece of sh…oh crap, C can hear me.”

source: http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/mothers-day/mothers-day-gift-ideas/learn-knit-kit
source: http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/mothers-day/mothers-day-gift-ideas/learn-knit-kit
5. For the Mother who likes to Bake

“I think having my name engraved on this rolling pin would make my pie crusts turn out better” said no woman ever.

Another gem from Realsimple.com comes a Personalized Rolling pin. Anyone who does enough baking that they need a rolling pin probably already owns a rolling pin that is perfectly satisfactory. In fact, I have known women who have a religious type adoration for their rolling pins trying to give them a new one would be like asking the Pope to consider converting.

source: http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/mothers-day/mothers-day-gift-ideas/personalized-rolling-pin
source: http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/mothers-day/mothers-day-gift-ideas/personalized-rolling-pin
6. For the Mom who suddenly is a 9 year old girl again

Let me say that I think that these customized stickers are a lovely idea, having kids turn their own artwork into stickers sounds awesome – for the kids.

But I don’t see how this is a great gift for me as the mother. It’s not like I have a lot of requirements for stickers in my day to day life. I am not plastering my laptop and note books with stickers. Walking into the board room at work with stickers all over my books and devices doesn’t really help the professional image I am trying to portray.

So unless the mom in your life has suddenly turned back into a 9 year old girl, I would say save the personalized stickers for your kids and get the mom something that’s really for her.

source:  http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/mothers-day/mothers-day-gift-ideas/crafty-mom
source: http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/mothers-day/mothers-day-gift-ideas/crafty-mom
7.  For the Mom who likes inconvenient hard to read charts with her wine

The practicality of these Wine Pairing tea towels is mind boggling to me. At first glance you may think this is a good idea for wine lovers. And while it is cute and has a kitschy appeal to it, I don’t think most wine drinkers are going to consult their tea towels for pairing. Between these two towels it lists 68 wines with 56 different foods. I think most people with a wine palate sophisticated enough to differentiate between that many types of wines probably does not need to consult a towel to confirm their pairing choices.

I have seen other tea towels like this in the past that have food conversion information. I always come back to the same issue. As you use them they will get dirty and possibly stained and then you are left with a towel that has started to fade as you have laundered it and you can’t read it easily.

Considering the majority of the population follows the white wine = white meat, red wine = red meat rule of thumb, this chart is also probably overkill for most people.

For Moms like me the main discriminating factor when it comes to wine is this conversation I have with myself:

“Is it wine?”

“Yes, it is”

“Great, I will drink it while the baby is asleep.”

Source: http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/mothers-day/mothers-day-gift-ideas/wine-pairing-towel
Source: http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/mothers-day/mothers-day-gift-ideas/wine-pairing-towel
8. For the Mom who has too many writing utensils and doesn’t know what a cup is

I am sure many of you think this is a cute personalized pen holder. And it is. But do you know what else it is? Expensive. Yup, for the bargain price of only $64 you can display your pens in this glorified rectangular cup.

Oh but wait, you can get it personalized. Yes, because that changes everything. So if you are the type of person that places an inordinate amount of value on the ability to personalize things then go ahead and buy this for the Mom in your life. Just don’t be surprised when she rolls her eyes and continues using the free mug she got from the Company Christmas party last year.

I am pretty sure there is no Mom out there engaged in an epic battle trying to wrangle and control pens throughout her house so this seems particularly useless. And considering it is just a single section it’s not like it has redeeming organizational features going for it.

Maybe I am wrong but I feel like most people I know (myself included) use a cup or small vase already found laying around my house.

source: http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/mothers-day/mothers-day-gift-ideas/striped-lucite-pen-holder
source: http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/mothers-day/mothers-day-gift-ideas/striped-lucite-pen-holder
9. And finally, For the Mom who likes it when you throw away $150.00

The mother of all useless gifts is the Mother’s Day Gift Card from Starbucks and it has been rightfully criticized already (kudos to the excellent article over at Mommyish.com which basically reflected my feelings perfectly on the subject) but I couldn’t make this list without commenting on it myself.

If you are unfamiliar with this particular product, it is a $50.00 gift card to Starbucks that costs you $200.00.

Apparently paying $150.00 for a decorative box and laser etching on the gift card is totally worth it. Except that it is not. If my husband bought me this for Mother’s Day I would be getting him a meeting with a financial planner for Father’s day. Except that this meeting would happen way before Father’s Day because I wouldn’t trust him in the 4 week’s between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. So to our financial advisor Ben, if you get a frantic voice mail from me on May 10th saying we have to meet on May 11th then you know that it is because Husband bought me this for Mother’s Day.

And Full Disclosure, this criticism is from someone who loves Starbucks coffee. But if you are going to spend $200.00 on a Starbucks gift card for me then there better be $200.00 “on the gift card” that I can spend at Starbucks because no way in hell is that “Box” work $150.00. In fact, if you want to get me a nice box for the gift card and still spend $200.00 then get a $198 dollar gift card and buy a $2 box from Dollarama.

I am sorry, I just have to stop here because I am about to have a rage-induced embolism brought on from the horribleness that is this gift.

source: http://store.starbucks.com/limited-edition-mothers-day-premium-starbucks-card/011049644,default,pd.html
source: http://store.starbucks.com/limited-edition-mothers-day-premium-starbucks-card/011049644,default,pd.html
And that is it from me. I look forward to Mother’s Day this weekend and spending it with my husband and son as well as my Mother, Sister, and Grandmother in Laws.

I hope that everyone else reading this has a great day with the important Mother’s or Mother-Figures in your life.

Stay tuned next week. I promise to post an update about my first Mother’s Day and how it went.

Why I prayed my son wouldn’t develop allergies

I have celiac disease. This is known to readers of this blog from my post on the subject. Guess what? Celiac disease sucks. It really does. I know I act like it is no big deal most of the time, but it really sucks. I hate not being able to eat what I want easily. I hate imposing on other people. I hate asking people to reveal what is in a recipe – over and over again.

Not only do I have celiac disease, over the last few years I have recognized that I also have an allergy to Kiwi. When I was a little kid I always said I didn’t like kiwi because “it made my mouth feel fuzzy.” No one clued in that I was describing an allergic reaction. I just didn’t eat kiwi. It’s not like it was super common in our house. And my Mom was probably happy that I preferred the cheap fruit – apples and bananas.

But there were always times when I got these mystery hives or rashes and eventually we figured it out. Kiwi and to a lesser extent Pineapple would do me in. It was especially bad a couple of years ago when my throat actually started to close up from it. Long story short, I now carry Benadryl everywhere and have an epi-pen, which I am notoriously bad for leaving at home.

I know that in the grand scheme of “things that can be wrong with your kids” allergies can be managed relatively effectively and there is of course more understanding and accommodations made for children’s allergies nowadays but given my history of being forced to be very careful with what I put in my body I am not ashamed to say that I prayed my son wouldn’t have allergies while I was pregnant.

I didn’t want him having to grow up to be afraid of food. I didn’t want him to be “bullied” because he couldn’t eat something. I hear stories of kids chasing classmates with peanuts when they find out about the allergy. And I especially didn’t want to experience the judgement of others when they think I am just being “difficult” about what my son eats when I question food being served.

Unfortunately, at 9 months it looks like we have a son with allergies. And the thing he is allergic to sucks. It is a super common food for kids and adults; people love them and kids love them. They are great on their own and in desserts. I am sure many of you have them sitting innocently enough on your counter (or in your freezer waiting to be turned into bread and if you are like me thrown out when you realize that you are not going to make said bread).

Can you guess what it is he is seemingly allergic to?

Bananas.

Every time he would eat bananas he would throw up within an hour. And not just a little spit up but projectile vomit everywhere. We tried fresh bananas, frozen bananas, as well as store bought banana baby food. Even banana bread.

Interestingly enough, I couldn’t stomach bananas my ENTIRE pregnancy. Every other food aversion I had would come and go. But bananas the whole pregnancy would cause me to vomit and be sick often before they even got to my mouth. I tried to research whether there is a known link between pregnancy aversions and allergies in babies but couldn’t find anything beyond other anecdotes like me. We mentioned it to the doctor who responded with, “Yah, that can’t be a coincidence.” But it was a rather non-committal response…..

Anyways, given that bananas made our son sick we decided not to feed them to him.  He wasn’t getting hives or a rash or anything like that we just didn’t like making our son vomit if it could be avoided. Also it seemed pretty easy to avoid bananas. He mostly eats home made baby food and now as he gets older (and gets teeth) more and more table food. There is a lot of banana puree in many commercial baby food so we just started avoiding the ones that had that in it and everything was fine.

Until last night. Husband and I were in the process of buying a new “old” car. (i.e. a used car) because we were going to the dealership after I was done work I threw a pouch of baby food in my bag in case C got hungry. We fed it to him while we did the financing. As we were leaving and I loaded him into the car I noticed red splotches and on his cheeks and slowly his whole face and neck were breaking out in red splotches and hives. We immediately got baby benadryl and gave it to him and the rash went away.

We talked to our doctor and will be seeing an allergist in a couple of weeks to confirm the suspected banana allergy.

Having a kid with allergies is scary. Having a kid with a weird allergy like banana I can foresee as sucking A LOT. As it is now, people are always telling me that it is really weird and that they have never heard of anyone with a banana allergy. This scares me because I think that most people understand peanut and other common allergies. It is commonplace for kids to have nut free classrooms for example. But bananas. No way will there ever be banana free classrooms (and I am in no way advocating that there should be)  so I know that with an allergy like this we will have to be vigilant with C to make sure he doesn’t eat banana.

In the end I realize that I just have to accept that my son is likely going to have an allergy and I will have to be the crazy sounding Mom telling people, “No, he can’t have a banana. Yah, I know kids love them and they are a great snack but he can’t have a banana….”

Have you ever heard of anyone with a banana allergy? What about other parents whose children are allergic to something super common for kids to snack on?