We had a wonderful Labor Day activity with our church group at a local park on Monday. The weather was beautiful. There several tables of delicious looking foods. Those who prepared the meat had been thoughtful and kind toward those who have allergies and brought it unseasoned. I brought a pan of gluten free brownies, a pan of regular brownies...both from scratch, two loaves of gluten free/dairy free bread and watermelon that my wonderful husband cut into a basket shape and filled with balls of watermelon. So, there was plenty of good, healthy food for us to eat while we were there.
I watched our Littlest Miss and never sat still comfortably as I tried to keep my eye on where she was. Finally, after the majority of the activity was over and many people had left for home, I asked Mr. Artist if he would please take her for a little while. He groaned and wanted to complain, but when I pointed out that I hadn't asked for his help the entire time, he couldn't help but agree.
I still kept an eye out, but not as stress-fully. I was able to sit and visit with some ladies from church and just as I was getting comfortable I noticed that Mr. Artist had Littlest Miss over by the food tables. I glanced their way and to my HORROR I realized that Littlest Miss had a cookie....not just any cookie...but a cookie covered in lovely, glittery, blue sugar crystals. AAAGH!
My first mistake...I raced over yelling, "NO NO NO NO! She can't EAT that!...It has food coloring. (Insert frustrated sputtering)"
Mr. Artist, "I didn't know that had food coloring!"
Me, "How could you NOT know? It's BLUE!"
Mr. Artist slapping his forehead in embarrassment and despair, "I am ALWAYS a disappointment when it comes to watching Littlest Miss!"
Me...realizing my huge mistake..."I have NEVER said that to you! You always do a great job watching her."
Meanwhile, people around us are all trying to act like they are not there. Ugh! Terrible parenting moment! I completely embarrassed my son while embarrassing myself. After a brief discussion, I told him to go ahead and hang out with his friends and I would take care of Littlest Miss.
Mr. Artist, slapping is leg for effect, "I was GOING to watch her!"
Me, "I know. It's okay, I've got her. Don't worry about it." And off he went.
First of all, just because your children are in the room and are conversing with you about a certain issue, it DOES NOT MEAN THEY UNDERSTAND IT! They hear everything you don't WANT them to hear! But the important information always seems to slip through some cracks...somewhere in the recesses of their young minds. We had discussed Littlest Miss's food dye sensitivity with all of the kids. Apparently I didn't specify that pretty blue crystal-y sugar does not occur naturally...there are NO blue sugar bushes! LOL!
Since that day, we have had lots of discussions about what does and does not have food dye. I'm hoping that this will help prevent future episodes. Geesh!
Yesterday, when Mr. Artist arrived home from school, Littlest Miss, who had been fussy and screaming and thrashing since about 10 in the morning, was STILL fussy at almost 4 pm.
Mr. Artist asked, "What's she so upset about?" To which I replied, "Blue Sugar!"
Mr. Artist realizing that he had helped cause the fussiness replied, "I'm sorry."
I replied very calmly, "I know." That's all I said. It's hard to have sympathy for a teenager when I have been the one dealing with the consequences all day long.
Several times, yesterday evening, when Littlest Miss was A MESS and screaming, thrashing, throwing herself onto the floor about absolutely nothing, one of the boys would ask again why she was so upset/sad/mad/fussy/unhappy and my husband or I would reply, "Blue Sugar!"
One day we may all laugh about this!
It is ALL a learning experience. And until people see and have to deal with the consequences, sometimes they can't learn the lesson. There are LOTS of lessons being learned in our home this week.
So...if you ever wonder if food dye sensitivities are for real...just call my house and ask my children! LOL! They will ALL tell you it's REAL!