Monday, October 06, 2008

Scenes From a Fall Party

I took Katherine to a fall birthday party at our favorite pumpkin patch on Saturday. Helicopter parent that I am, I stayed the whole time (respectfully in the background, of course). And, the curtain opens....

After the hayride out to the pumpkin patch, two girls needed to use the bathroom. One decided to wait, and one decided to go in the field, with limited success.

While the children were choosing their pumpkins, the farm owner chatted with me about the different varieties of pumpkins planted in the field, such as pie pumpkins, which are good for cooking, and "cow pumpkins," which are good for carving and for feeding the cows. He even cut open a pumpkin with his pocketknife to further illustrate a point, and he gave me some soybean plants from the next field so that I could show them to Katherine. Seeing the soybeans, another girl on the hayride said that she was allergic to milk, too, and her grandmother concurred.

We returned to the picnic area in time for lunch and dessert. I was standing off to the side holding Katherine's dairy-free cupcake, and a girl slid up next to me and said, "You're Katherine's mom."
"Yes, I am! How did you know?"
She raised one eyebrow and pointed to the cupcake. I laughed. "I sit by Katherine every day at lunch and I drink milk every day, but she never touches it or takes a drink of it," she reassured me. "That's good to know," I said.

The other dairy-allergic girl ate cheese pizza and cake made with milk at the party. I said, "Oh, so she just can't drink milk straight, but she can eat it cooked?"
"No, she's not supposed to have dairy at all, but we let her cheat sometimes," the grandmother said.

In addition to a pumpkin, each child received a candy apple, made that morning by the farmer's wife. Katherine brought hers home and shared it with her brother.


  1. You do such a great job with Katherine. I can't imagine how challenging it must be sometimes with the food at parties. And it's so cute how the other kids are so protective of her.

  2. helicopter parent, I like that :)

    I love fall and the whole pumpkin patch extravaganza.. how fun to combine that with a birthday party!!! I chuckling about the idea of little girl taking care of business in the field "with limited success" - oh dear!

    As for the parent/grandparent letting the "allergic" child eat off limits foods.. maybe they are saying ALLERGY and its intolerance? Either that or that kid is going to be mighty sick later on :( Poor kid. Hopefully she trully wasn't allergic.

  3. I'm assuming her allergy is fairly mild. What's the fun in cheating if you're just going to get sick?

    I love going to the Pumpkin Patch. Maggie is an October baby, so we'll definitely do the pumpkin patch party when she's old enough - so fun!

  4. HKM--I know. I hope she wasn't sick later. I don't mean to be all judgy, I just think people need to be careful with terminology. I don't want someone to see that and think, "Oh, then it must be OK for Katherine, too."

  5. I wonder if that girl's family is like my mother-in-law, who diagnoses things without the benefit of a doctor for drama's sake.

    Also, I didn't know that about different kinds of pumpkins!

    Also, it is a sad, sad thing that girls are not as well-equipped to pee in fields as boys are.

  6. That sounds like a fun idea for a bday party:) My 2 yr old was able to have limited dairy (baked) her first year since the allergy wasn't severe. (per allergists instructions) When we went back for her check up the dairy allergy worsened:( I guess we learned our lesson that it's better just to have NONE!! Now we are completely dairy free (along with beef and eggs; her other allergens)I really hope that little girl doesn't get sicker in the future because of her "cheating"!! Her parents may learn the hard way that that just because there is not outer signs of an allergy that doesn't mean that something is stirring on the inside.

  7. Hopefully that girl wasn't truly allergic.

    How cute that Katherine wanted to share with her brother!

  8. Now I want a fall baby so we can have parties at the pumpkin patch. HOW FUN!!!!

  9. Sounds like a fun party.

    One of the new girls I tutor at the center says she isn't allowed to drink milk. Her mom agreed when we asked, but she eats things with dairy. I thought that was odd. I suppose it's true that the terminology gets confused.

  10. My mom is allergic to dairy (along with everything else in the free world) but still consumes it because the worse thing she gets is a mild rash.

    She is supposed to avoid it...anyway, so what would be the correct thing to call that sort of condition?

  11. I have one child that can't have any dairy, and one who can tolerate small amounts. This is hard for people to understand. As I could tolerate small amounts of cooked dairy, every couple of days when I was allergic, but my eldest can't have any.

  12. She can't possibly be allergic! It must be an intolerance or some form of restriction. There's no way you could let somebody "cheat" at an allergy - like it's a diet! Plus, each exposure gets progressively worse, so if it truly is an allergy they're only making it more dangerous for her in the future.

  13. I do not dispute that there are many different levels of allergy/sensitivity/intolerance and that each person/family needs to decide for themselves what they will allow. I just found it interesting that the grandmother was SO insistent that her granddaughter couldn't eat ANY dairy and then let her eat dairy items.

  14. First, that was very sweet of the little girls and the milk.

    Geez about the other girl. It's very frustrating... *sigh*... Gives us other Moms the bad reputation.