Saturday 15 July 2017

Allergy children shouldn't be excluded from fun. Should they?

Standing in a fitting room in Debenhams my phone starts to ring, I rush to find it in my bag which just always seems an impossible task. It stops. Eventually I find the phone, when will I learn to have smaller bag to find things quickly? I see it's Isabelle's nursery, you see I'm off shopping for our honeymoon - a rare treat to be alone with no children in a fitting room, no one questioning parts of my body as loudly as they possibly can or playing with the curtain exposing my body to the other humans who do not need to see it.

The sheer panic of why your child's school has called; were they ill, hurt, upset, scared or anything else that could possibly have happened. Everything running through your mind just for a few seconds. It's a bit silly really but it's natural. Your heart starts to beat a little harder with each ring on the phone as you're waiting for them to answer because this will be the time that you call someone back the quickest you possibly could.

You get told that they're calling because it's a fun day at nursery and the children are having an ice lolly... Yes, I know.. But that's the thing, I already knew about this little treat they were having. So why are they calling? I offered to take an ice lolly for Isabelle so that we knew she was ok with it. She's got some allergies but the nursery said it was fine, that they would make sure the ones they got were safe for Isabelle to have. I checked with them 3 times.

Then this phone call went something along the lines of "Hello, we've got some ice lollies here but they've got milk in them... is she alright to have one?" (OH YEAH, SURE just give the girl with a milk allergy an ice lolly with milk in... She'll be fine?!?!) No she isn't alright to have one, she's allergic to cows milk.... the lady I spoke to assured me that they would get some that Isabelle would be fine with.... Yes I know but.... BUT!?!? So basically there were three options here 1) stop trying on clothes, rush back to our village and take her an ice lolly by which time her 3 hour session would probably be over. 2) ask Grandma to drop an ice lolly to Isabelle's nursery for her. 3) SHE'LL JUST HAVE TO GO WITHOUT. ....3 was their answer. How could you possibly think that it was ok to let a 3 year old who has been told and who has been looking forward to her special treat of an ice lolly at school, just go without one and watch others have one?


We went with option 2 and grandma, bless her, took an ice lolly to Isabelle for me.

Fast forward a little and I go to collect Isabelle. Her little face lights up when she saw me, "we did a treasure hunt today mummy for gold chocolate coins" SAY WHAT?! Chocolate coins, where are they... Did you eat them? Why is no one taking this seriously... No she didn't eat them as there was a lady stood there *ASKING* me if Isabelle could have them.


No, No, No, that's chocolate, I haven't made this up. She can't have those. BUT thank you SO MUCH for the tantrum that you have created for me because of course she wants them, she's three years old and in her eyes she has just earned those chocolate coins by finding them. Hell if someone made me walk around looking for chocolate I'd expect to be able to eat it too.

Fast forward to 14th July 2017. Her very last day at this nursery. She went into nursery very happy. She came out looking very sad.

You can probably guess why...

On the side there were cakes, cutely decorated cakes. The type that a 3 or 4 year old would love. Then there was a round plastic tub next to the cakes. Inside the tub; grapes, blueberries, pineapple (I think? it looked a little weird) hmm weird.

So, a lady hands the tub to Isabelle.. Here you are Isabella. (WHO IS ISABELLA?) Isabelle kept telling me someone kept calling her Isabella and now I know she wasn't fibbing.

Then I realised. I looked at her. Isabelle. (E not A). And she said these words "mummy, they called everyone up to the table to make cakes. But not me". A sad look upon her face, a quiet look. A left out look.

I asked the teacher and she said they didn't have the ingredients for Isabelle to make some so they let her have a bit of fruit. There's some serious swear words I knew my husband would be saying to these adults right now but I remembered there were little ears around. I then thought, we're not coming back anyway. But...

I'd like you to know if you ever read this that I can't believe you left a toddler out for her allergies and I think you should be ashamed of yourself for upsetting a 3 year old.

Also - dear.... when you tell me that ISABELLE, needs to learn to remember and tell other ADULTS what her allergies are you can get lost. I, as her voice, tell you, the person whom I trusted to look after her, to care for her whilst she was with you, what she is allergic to...

tips for the future;

  1. Don't leave any child out. Your inclusion policy should mean that technically you can't do that. You've upset her by leaving her out of this just because she's allergic to milk... Everyone can make cakes without milk JUST LEAVE THE MILK OUT. It really isn't rocket science.
  2. Ask the parent of an allergy child if there's a cake that they can provide for their child - they will be happy to do so. We love it when our children can feel the same as others with food.
  3. Including an allergy child not only makes the child feel really happy but makes the parents see that you are a nice person, a caring person who has gone out of their way to make sure your child is included.
  4. Don't make children sad.
We don't want special treatment but we do want our children to be treated the same as other children.

Isabelle told everyone she saw today that you left her out. That you didn't ask her if she wanted to make cakes and she is so confused why you didn't want her to do them.

You should feel bad for your lack of organisation. All of these could have been avoided by asking me to provide safe things for her, I don't expect anyone else to but if I am not told then I am unable to provide safe things for her.


1 comment

  1. Gosh this makes me so mad for you MK. As a nursery nurse, we use all free from butter and simple baking ingredients, so that allergies aren't even a worry and we can all join in. When it comes to parents bringing in sweets etc for a child's birthday, we have a fruits only policy so that all the children enjoy the same food. And as for meals, every single child with an allergy has the exact same meal as the others just made with different ingredients to suit them.

    These things shouldn't even be a big deal it should be a given, I'm so sorry you two were treated like that!! What a bloody shoddy nursery.


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