Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Dreaded Peanut

Boy #2 went to a one-week basketball day camp with a friend of his last week. I went to sign him up the same day he started, so I had sent him with his own lunch even though the camp provides lunch. I just wasn't sure they'd have a lunch for him since we hadn't signed up in advance. I dropped him off, took the packet of information they gave me, and went home. I started reading the stack of papers. By page 3 I was already a little stressed out. He hadn't taken a backpack, just a water bottle and his lunch bag. Already we were not in compliance. Under the heading of BREAKFAST, on page 4, another reason to worry. "Your child should eat a healthy, nutritious breakfast." OK, in some cultures Trix IS considered nutritious, but probably not at this camp. The milk counts, though, I'm pretty sure. Then on page 10, I started to panic. LUNCH AND FOOD SERVICE: Please do not send your child to camp with peanut butter or any foods containing nuts or made with nut products. Please do not send "lunchables", sugary or junk foods, candy, soda, red or blue drinks, or glass containers. Such items will be confiscated if found. This section was in bold print AND was underlined. OK, so on his first day of camp he had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, contraband which would be confiscated if found. I immediately called the camp and confessed. The director went out to the playground to confiscate and destroy the offending sandwich. Boy #2 ended up eating the lunch they provided.

I just don't remember the peanut arousing such fear and horror when I was a kid. Peanut butter was the most common lunchbox item around. Now the peanut is banned in many schools. Some schools have peanut-free tables for the kids who are allergic. Many schools just ban the peanut because it is easier that way. What happened in 20 (OK maybe 30 or so years)? The peanut, so small, but so powerful, is feared everywhere. Next time maybe I'll just send a little baggie of Trix for lunch--oh--but that would break the zero-waste rule. Maybe if he eats a big enough breakfast he won't even NEED lunch. That could be the best idea of all....

6 comments:

Steve said...

Your Ignorance Is Vast

My roommate (still) has a peanut allergy. He once ate mislabeled food and collapsed in an anaphylactic shock.

If he didn't keep the house clean, we'd leave Fiddle-Faddle in his car. That kept him on the ball!

There's two solutions: genetically modify the individual or modify the mutant peanut.

Martwork said...

Thank you, Steve, for your kind words. I bet you say that to all the girls. I am not unaware of the power of the peanut and how prevalent these allergies are--just wondering what happened over the last 20 or 30 years--and why no one was scared of the peanut when I was a kid.

Carry on.

Steve said...

We have been terrified of the peanut (and other spawn of the legume) since childhood.

Did you grow up in one of those insulated suburbs that forced anaphylactically challenged families to move to cities such as Naperville?

I think you need to examine the cultural conditions in your town to better understand why you failed to see the "peanut" problem.

Martwork said...

Probably because in the cafeteria lunchroom in 1976 there wasn't a "peanut problem". Just lots of bell-bottoms and plaid. But then, you weren't around in 1976, were you?

Anonymous said...

It's not the peanut that is more dangerous and dreaded, it's the darned litigators who have proliferated faster than cudzu in the south.

Anonymous said...

Still more reasons to keep thinking about boarding schools.