Wednesday, July 29, 2009
When Bob was about a year old, we gave him mashed strawberries. He loved them. Wolfed them down. Covered his giant cheeks in them. Thirty minutes later he developed gigantic hives all over his backside.
I called our pediatrician who said, “Sounds like a strawberry allergy. He might outgrow it. You can try again next year.” Solid advice.
After a little (frantic, exhaustive, compulsive) research on the subject (following the top 25 Google threads for the search: baby food allergies) I read that a child with one food allergy is predisposed to having more and that those allergy-prone kids should wait to try peanuts and shellfish until they are three years-old.
Too late with the shellfish since Bob had already enjoyed (with impunity) a shrimp shu mai from a rolling dim sum cart at Ocean Star Sea Food in Monterey Park. I moved on. By “moved on” I mean that I put some thought (worry, insanity) into the peanut thing.
I decided I would pick a date on the calendar, a random Friday after Bob’s third birthday. On that day, I would pack up Bob’s medical records and health insurance information and drive to the parking lot at the emergency room of Cedars Sinai Medical Center. (Statistically, Friday is the slowest day at the ER.) Clutching my cell phone, with my finger hovering over the speed dial number for his pediatrician, I would feed Bob a small spoonful of peanut butter and wait to see if he went into anaphylactic shock.
That was my, you know, loose plan.
Fast forward to last summer. Bob had been two for a month or so. As we sat at the park having lunch with some other families, a mom asked if Bob was eating peanut butter. Jeff and I replied simultaneously:
ME: We’re waiting until he’s three.
JEFF: He loves peanut butter!
Apparently, Bob had been enjoying peanut butter sandwiches with dad for a few months and had lived to request more.
And also the strawberry thing went away.
The other good news is that statistically, Bob will have at least a 50% chance of not being an insanely overprotective type who spends too much time analyzing statistics and hanging out at WebMd and MayoClinic.com.