Saturday, November 01, 2008

Trick or Treating Adventures

I thought I would share about our Halloween experience. This is a bit about the adventures of Trick or Treating with a peanut allergy. Halloween was full of activities beyond Trick or Treating. I will post pictures and details on our family blog.

At every door, the kids said "Trick or Treat" and David immediately told the people that he was "allergic to nuts." This was greeted with some confusion. Also, many people just couldn't understand what he was saying. He would say it over again. Then most of the time, the people would get out an item that didn't have nuts. On a couple of occasions, David started to ask if the item had a nut warning.

Seth and I tried to go up to the door with the kids to help explain (and diffuse) the situation. David wanted to ensure that everyone knew he couldn't have nuts. He would have stood there and talked to people about it for a long time. In between houses, we told him over and over that we were going to go through his candy and that he would be able to switch out any candy that wasn't safe. It didn't make a difference. He told each and every person that he was allergic to nuts. We were concerned because he was so adamant. And then we reminded ourselves that we were the only ones that were hearing him over and over.

One time when we were trying to remind David that we were going to check his candy, it hit me hard why he was being so diligent.
Daddy: "David, I want to tell you something."
David: "Daddy, I know... if I eat a peanut, I might not be able to breathe."
(take a deep breath)
Daddy went on to explain that we were going to keep him safe.

Now, the funny part... The trick or treating conversation went like this:
All 3 boys: "Tick or Treat!"
David: "I am allergic to nuts."
Thomas: "And, I don't like nuts."
So... at each and every house the people found out that David is allergic to nuts and Thomas does not like nuts. (Of course, Thomas has never had nuts. So, he is just as adorable as ever with the way he loves his big brother.)

At one house, an older lady started to hand David a peanut bar. David told her that he was allergic to nuts. She looked at him a bit confused. He said, "I can't have nuts!" She moved her hands to put the peanut bar in Thomas's pumpkin candy carrier. In one swift movement, Thomas moved his pumpkin behind his back. (It was all I could do not to laugh.)

When we got home, we went through David's candy first. At least half of his candy wasn't safe (or at least we weren't sure about it), so he got to trade it in with our "special candy". As Seth was counting out the candy he got to trade, Jonathan came over and offered David some Whoppers (which are David's favorites). He said, "David, you can have these." Then he told me, "It is so he doesn't cry." David was no where near crying. It was special to see Jonathan thinking of David's feelings.

By the way, we decided that the other boys could keep the candy that had "nut warnings" ("made in a factory that processes peanuts" and things like that) but they could not have any of the candy that had nuts or peanut butter in it. They did not mind at all. There is something extremely fun about getting to trade in candy.

I think that Trick or Treating and trying to educate the neighborhood is very tiring. Jonathan and Thomas showed no signs of slowing down until we made them go to bed. David, however, was wiped out.


John & Carrie said...

Thanks for sharing your Halloween adventures. I love the sleeping Superman picture!

RLR said...

Thanks for sharing! I am glad to be able to look ahead a few years (through your blog) to what we might expect with our little girl. We also did the swap-out with candy last night, which she thought was lots of fun. After the kids were in bed, you have never seen two adults enjoy the "candy in the orange wrappers" so much!

Elaine said...

Very cute. I have decided I do not like Halloween very much. A lot of work with a two year old allergic to nuts. Thank you for your post, it shows me it will get easier.

Carmom said...

Jane Anne,

Because of you and several friends whose children are also allergic to nuts I have become more aware of the treats I am serving and providing. I am finding myself checking bags to make sure they are safe when sending them to school and even for our candy last night. Thank you for your posts. I am glad to read them even though I am directly affected by peanut allergies I am glad I am more aware. Thanks.

cbogie said...

Great entry! Also love the picture - even superheroes need to rest once in a while!!

Anonymous said...

Did you mean that Jonathon shared his "whoppers"? You spelled it whoopers, which made me smile because that's how my girls pronounce it. Natalie also made me laugh when she examined a goody bag with a familiar monster's face on it and said that she liked it, even though it was "FrankenEinstein".

Jane Anne said...

I really appreciate all the comments! I am especially glad to know that hearing about our experience is helpful to others.

Sharon- you are right I mispelled Whoppers. It is absolutely adorable that your girls call them that... and now I have to change that type-o because I just cannot stand leaving it. :)

sarah said...

Too cute! I especially love how they all look out for each other and love on each other!

Kimberly said...

are you sure David didn't konck out early from a sugar induced coma from eating ALL his candy like last year???
heeheeheeheehee =)

P.S. Tell Seth my word verification word is really a word - HUNCH!!!

aj said...

You have really taught David well. It will be entirely up to him someday to protect himself. (Even though I know all Mamas have a hard time letting go! :) You are giving him wonderful tools. Such a GREAT mom you are (and dad, I suppose. you know it's tough for me to give props to SA! hehehehe)

Jeanne said...

Thanks for sharing! I actually thought of this as we went out on Halloween night. If you take a look at my post, you'll see that I questioned it over and over at every house, how someone must deal with it in an older child. It is tiring and a bit disturbing that people just don't get it. WTG, David & Thomas! What smart boys you have!

Mrs. Fields said...

What a story! I was laughing out loud at the picture of the old lady trying to give the kids that peanut bar and they are all yelling at her or pulling their buckets away! So, so funny. I love how special you can make it for David and how his siblings care for him too. Glad you had a happy Halloween!