The PT Cruiser Effect

By Heather Legg

I think it’s really called the Red Volvo effect, but it’s when you all of a sudden start seeing something in particular everywhere. A week or so ago, my daughter asked what a PT Cruiser looks like (she gets a kick out to the name), and I pointed one out. Now we see them everywhere, even two on the one mile way to school this morning! It reminds me of allergies, once you take note of them, someone’s always got an allergy story to tell.

I was with a group of women yesterday for lunch and guess what came up – allergies. Not even personal allergies or family ones, but the discussion began of birthday cakes, or rather cookies, in the classroom. My friend’s daughter’s birthday is here and she wanted to bring in a cookie cake to celebrate. She was asking me, not because of our allergies, but because of another boy in the class’s allergies.

She wasn’t sure what to do – would he eat it, should she check with his mom, should she bring in something separate for him…She wasn’t sure what to do. My advice was to bring the cookie cake (it’s not peanut/nut laden, but is made in a store that also uses nuts in other products) and he would have something safe for him. I told her no, he won’t touch it, but he’s okay with it and has a stash of candy for these situations. I could say that because I know the child, he is okay with it and often times even when special precautions are taken, he passes on the food anyway.

Another friend was telling me she thought it wasn’t fair to go to so much trouble for the other parents when a child in her kid’s class does the same thing, passes on the food. She however, wasn’t going to leave the nuts out of a certain recipe. My advice to her was, leave the nuts out! Even if he’s not eating it, he probably isn’t comfortable to have twenty other kids eating nuts around him in his classroom where he has to spend all day.

It’s hard for those without allergies to understand the differing perspectives and needs of those with allergies. They don’t know because they don’t live with it. The best we can do is pass along our wisdom and experience every time we see that PT cruiser.

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