I went to pick up Bug from his preschool class the other day (he was in a much better mood, thank heavens) and found him playing two other little boys in the play house area. Each of them was toting a baby around protectively. A little girl stood by watching – she, apparently, was not allowed to join in. It was ridiculously cute and one of the kids proudly told me that he was “the daddy.” I am always thrilled to see little boys practicing being good dads, since so many dads clearly could use the role modeling.
Anyway. Bug was playing with two pieces of fake bread and a play toaster. Once the bread was toasted, he took it out and slapped a thin, brown piece of plastic on top. I eyed it suspiciously. “Is that peanut butter?” I asked.
Bug nodded with some hesitation. I think he thought I might be mad that he was playing with pretend peanut butter.
“Who is allergic to peanut butter?” I asked him. We’re still working on helping him understand what he can and cannot eat.
Before Bug had a chance to reply, one of his friends piped up, “Me! I’m allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and eggs!”
“Oh,” I said, trying not to laugh,”Bug is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and eggs!”
The little girl who had been watching from the side perked up and said with pride, “I’m outgrowing my egg allergy. The doctor did tests and told me so.”
We hear stories of how food allergies are on the rise, but it was stunning to have such a high ratio in this little group. Even more so, it was sad that these three year olds, most of whom probably don’t know their own addresses yet, can talk with such clarity over the foods they are not allowed to have.