Mummy Buzz


Halloween Allergy Note Got This Mama's Hackles up

"Practice Responsible Parenting"

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.'