Halloween Allergy Note Got This Mama's Hackles up

"Practice Responsible Parenting"

Halloween Allergy Note Got This Mama's Hackles up

Poster put up in neighbourhood for Halloween allergies

Attention parents, it's Halloween and in case you're not stressing enough about how original or homemade your child's costume is, someone posted this neighbourhood notice to Imgur.

The author of the note laments the fact that their son comes home "devastated" from trick-or-treating every year because severe allergies prevent him from eating the candy he collects.

While I love initiatives like the Teal Pumpkin Project that promote allergen-free candies, I think this parent is misguided in trying to force everyone to accommodate her child.

The obvious choice is to buy commercial candies that are peanut-free (most now are), Smarties included. But expecting people to provide only treats that are nut, gluten and dairy-free isn't exactly rooted in reality. 

For a start, the tone of the note is accusatory. The insinuation that those who don't provide such treats aren't "practicing responsible parenting" frankly gets this mama's hackles up. 

My son doesn't have allergies, but he does have special needs so I can appreciate how utterly shitty it is to see your kiddo excluded from anything fun that feels like a childhood right. But unfortunately that's what happens when your kid is different in any way, shape or form.

Unfortunately I've had to learn as a mom that it's not the fault or responsibility of every other parent when my kid can't participate in something fun everybody else is doing. To some extent, I have to chock it up to the reality of his disability (not that I'm likening allergies to a disability!).

I do what I can to promote inclusion and awareness on my own terms, yet at the same time I don't expect the whole world to change simply to suit my son's needs.

I'd like to think that neighbours who know the kid well would be inclined to set something safe aside for him without being badgered to do so.  

Oh, and to the chump who hands out carrot sticks to the masses on Halloween night... Expect your house to be egged faster than you can say 'gluten.' 



Jamie Oliver's Kids Keep it Real in the Kitchen

"Dad, I need the toilet!"

Jamie Oliver's Kids Keep it Real in the Kitchen

Jamie Oliver and Kids in Kitchen

Jamie Oliver's kids stole the show in a recent clip from his YouTube food channel. The celebrity chef was trying to throw together a kid-friendly pizza when his son Buddy - totally unfazed by the fact that dad was being filmed for the telly - heeded nature's call. Then and there. 

Because apparently rich celebrity chefs don't have indoor plumbing...

To Oliver's credit, he took a potentially embarrassing situation and handled it like a champ, nary like a dad. 

As Buddy opens the door to the backyard, Oliver quips, "that boy will go to the toilet anywhere."

Where others would have faltered, the British chef jokes his way through the awkwardness, and the result is a perfect recipe for what parenthood is all about. Stuff the pizza.

"I’m leaving that [part] in for all the parents out there, because you parents are all going 'Yeah I’ve got one of those too,'" says Oliver, whose kids are delightfully cheeky showstoppers.

The five-minute footage is such a welcome change from other cooking shows, which tend to be clinically neat and soulless. 

Oliver & Family keep it real and sloppy and chaotic. And you may well see your own family reflected in that charming, flour-dusted mayhem.

As for Buddy, he returns to the set where, after a reminder to wash his hands, he proudly declares that the whole world saw him.  

 RELATED: How to Decipher British Cooking Terms 


China Finally Set to Lift One-Child Policy

1 Plus 1 

China Finally Set to Lift One-Child Policy

China revamps its one child policy

Massive change is afoot in China, where the government is considering amending its longtime one-child policy.

As part of a four-day meeting to plan the Communist Party's future, officials announced the news in a tweet. After almost 40 years, China may finally loosen its stronghold over families, by allowing two children in most circumstances.

The policy was implemented initially over fears of overpopulation and poverty, yet it came at an immense social cost to the county.

The country saw increased infanticide, illegal sterilization, and abortions (particularly of female fetuses).

Some families failed to register children other than their firstborn, leading to lack of health and educational provisions.

Families who flouted the policy were met with steep fines, like a Beijing couple with seven kids fined 700,000 yuan ($110,161) earlier this month. Jobs were lost, property seized.  

While there are currently exceptions to the one-child law for rural families or parents who themselves are 'onlies,' the proposed change would allow two children for all families.

It doesn't sound like a big deal to us, but this is history in the making, folks.

Being able to have as few or as many children as you want is one of many central freedoms we take for granted here in Canada. 

Do I worry about overpopulation and the effects on the planet? Sure, but there is no magic family number other than the one you determine.

Some people choose not to have kids, or can't. Others have enough to start their own minor league hockey team.

I like to think it all evens out in the mix, and I don't believe the State has a right to dictate the size of my family or yours.

 RELATED: China's Octomom Under Scrutiny