My daughter has a severe tree nut allergy that has resulted in multiple hospital visits over her life. She is now 11 and I am finally starting to feel confident that she will be able to read labels and avoid foods that contains nuts. As part of her new-found freedom, I no longer pack meals and snacks for my daughter to take to her friends’ homes. I am always careful to let the host parent know that she cannot have peanut products and that I’m happy to provide food for her visits if needed. Recently my daughter came home early from a sleepover because her friend’s mother served a lunch with peanuts and then a dinner with peanuts. Despite my daughter explaining why she couldn’t eat lunch, the parent offered no alternative. Imagine her hunger when dinner was served and she couldn’t eat it as well. When my daughter asked for something else to eat, the mother let her know it was time to go home – before the sleepover had even occurred. My daughter was in tears for the entire weekend. Lola, I talked to this mother on the phone and she assured me she understood the concern and could accommodate my daughter at mealtimes. I want to tear her head off for endangering my child.
What should I say to this mother?
Mother on a Rampage
Dear Mother on a Rampage,
First, let me congratulate you for writing this letter instead of going with your first instinct, which was to tear the head off the irresponsible mother. My own Mommybeast is clenching her fists in anger over the treatment your Miniature Human received. While I think you could have gotten a jury to grant you leniency had you slapped that mother in the heat of the moment, none of that would have helped your Mini Human.
Your self-control is both commendable and a bitter pill to swallow.
My first instinct is to recommend that you have a meeting with this mother. Make it clear to her that what she did was endanger your Miniature Human’s life, in a way that would be punishable by a court of law. She knew of your daughter’s life-threatening allergy, and chose to present her with food that would kill her. Not only that, as the person charged with the care of a minor child, she neglected to care for that Mini Human’s basic needs. That is, again, in violation of law. Then let the mother know that your Miniature Human will no longer visit her home, but that her offspring would be warmly welcomed to play at your own home. She will not take you up on this offer.
My actual advice is to disregard everything I said in the paragraph above.
There is absolutely nothing to say to someone who purposely tries to kill your Miniature Human. The truth is, some parents find food allergies to be myth and they endeavor to prove it by serving those items to people with allergies. Whether or not this mother holds those beliefs, she has certainly displayed a lack of concern and caring for your Mini Human in the way she agreed to. You will never trust your daughter to visit that home again, so addressing the issue with the other parent is a moot point.
Focus instead on what you should say to your Miniature Human.
You can start by explaining what I said in the paragraph above. Ensure that your Miniature Human knows that any lapse in the friendship has nothing to do with her or her young friend. The friendship is now at the mercy of a mother with terrible judgment, but that you’ll still welcome her friend over to play at your home. Then prepare her for the other mother to never let that happen.
I sense this other mother is vindictive and will punish the Miniature Humans.Tweet
If you feel strongly about needing to confront the other mother, I would recommend you seek out an attorney to help you draft a letter. It would be beyond unfortunate for you to face legal ramifications for saying the wrong thing in the heat of the moment.
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