Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Night of the Living Food Protein

I was standing in the waiting area at my son's gymnastics class on Monday, uneventfully waiting for the hour to tick away. It's a comfortable waiting area with spacious, carpeted riser-like steps for you to wait and watch the classes through the wall of windows that looks into the gym. From there you can see your kids do their graceful cartwheels and handsprings or, alternatively, trip over their own feet and fly through the air in an impressive display of flailing limbs. Whichever.

Anyway, the first thirty minutes had gone by quite uneventfully. That was until I glanced over to the entrance of the hallway that leads to the front door and I saw it on the floor:

The Cheez-It Square of Death!!! (cue Psycho shower scene music)

My pulse raced and my breathing quickened. I broke out in a cold sweat. I kept looking over my shoulder at the bright orange, one inch square cracker. It sat there looking all innocent as it mocked me, just waiting for the right moment to strike! Aaaaagh!!

Okay, so that seems a little bit extreme, but it really is true that those things really wig me out. Cheddar cheese goldfish crackers? They're like the piranhas of the snack world to us and they and their inevitable shower of crumbs are simply everywhere where you find kids.

Still seem a bit extreme? The bottom line is that it's hard to have a child with a deadly milk allergy in a world that's littered in cheddar cheese cracker crumbs. They're everywhere from playgrounds and sports venues to regular retail stores where they're knocked off the stroller trays of snacking children and then are selectively ignored by the young child's parents so that someone can step on them and spread the crumbs all over the store from the bottom of their shoe. And if anybody's going to find that trace bit of crumb, it'll be my son. He finds them often enough that I lament that Benedryl doesn't come in a multi-vitamin supplemented formula, y'know, to kill to birds with one stone, so to speak.

Anyway, the place where my son goes for his gymnastics class is no exception to the ubiquitous goldfish cracker rule. The carpeting is a veritable smorgasbord of cheddar cheese cracker crumbs, cookies, sandwich crumbs, and spilled milk. We watch the kids scarf down all this milky goodness and then go running into the gym without so much as wiping their mouths or hands on a napkin, subsequently spreading all that milk-protein all over the equipment. This is why my younger son can't take a gymnastic class even though he'd be quite good at it, but has to sit out in the waiting area in a stroller the entire time.

Yes, he's turning five years old and he still sits in a stroller while we wait, but only because the last time that he was out of the stroller at the gymnastics place, he was gagging on his tongue by the time that we got home. There's nothing like giving shot of epinephrine into your kid's thigh, taking a scenic ambulance ride, and enjoying the hospitality of the hospital overnight to give you the reason to dread kid snacks when you see them.

So, as we got ready to go at the end of the class on Monday, I looked back and the cracker was gone. Gone?! I hustled off to the car just in case it had snuck off and was waiting to pounce.


  1. My company provides goldfish crackers gratis in the break room...I regard them with terror equal to yours.

  2. Oh, honey. I never thought about all the details of this. Thanks for continually opening my eyes.

    I go now to set fire to my snack cabinet, lest those damn goldfish ever hurt a child.

  3. Thankfully, milk is not part of our retinue of far we have eggs, peanuts, cats, and whatever the hell is in Omnicef...the other child so far just Sulpher...

    I fear the inevitable baked good or far it hasn't happened, but it's coming and I know it. I set forth, child in stroller, epi pen in hand, to bravely face the world of the uneducated, well meaning masses.

    *on an up note, I got two new egg/nut free recipes for cake this week to try out!*

    And oh yeah, I answered my questions!


  4. Holy crap. This post scares me.

    I developed a food allergy a few years ago. I am terrified to touch people and surfaces, but it's no where near as common as Goldfish crackers.

  5. moniker-

    That's really scary. Even the thought of goldfish crackers makes me break out in a cold-sweat. Good luck with your goldfish avoidance.



    Be thankful that you never have to think about this. Personally, I think that eating them all in one sitting would be a much more enjoyable way for you to get rid of them than setting them on fire. Just my opinion.



    Wow, it sounds like you've got a lot there, too! We've also got eggs and soy (the soy is minor and a candidate for a food challenge), and our other son is allergic to Zithromax and possibly cantelope.

    Wow, you go out so bravely into the world! I wish that I could still muster up that kind of courage. Or better yet, I wish that none of us had to live this way at all. What a great fantasy, eh?

    Good luck with dealing with your food allergies out there and have fun trying new cake recipes!

    *(Are the recipes dairy-free, too? If they are, I'd be interested in taking a look at them. I think I sent you an egg substitute recommendation once, but did I send you the cake recipe that goes with it? If you're interested, e-mail me.)*

    Oh, yes, and I'm definitely stopping by to check out your answers. :)



    Being afraid of food really sucks, doesn't it? I read your post about this before and, as always, I'm sorry that you have to deal with this, too.

  6. That is truly terrifying. I'm conscious of nuts and bees because of friends, but it is so easy to not think of other things.

    Fantastic heading though - I was imagining all sorts of things.

  7. holy crap, I started salivating as soon as I saw the box of white cheddars, in fact, I can't even read your post now

  8. I'm so sorry to hear that your son has such severe allergies. Poor kid! :( is there a chance that his body would ever outgrow them?

  9. Hey!
    Just to let you know that I deleted my old blog (Helen's Blog -
    and I know have a new one! Go

  10. That is a very scary way to go through life.

    My cousin was allergic to everything as a child -- chocolate, eggs, dairy, strawberries, nuts, her own hair, even, but she outgrew all of it.

    I hope your sons do, too.

  11. furious-

    I had a hard time myself, which is why adding the photo was the last thing that I did before posting. The drool on the keyboard would have shorted out the laptop.



    He should outgrow them with time. I heard differing statistics, but one source said an 85% chance of outgrowing the milk allergy and another said 100% chance. I'm hoping that the latter one is the correct one. ;)



    Duly noted. Happy Blogwarming. :)



    Wow, her own hair?! That's incredible. The fact that she outgrew them is extremely encouraging to me and the statistics are in favor of my son outgrowing his really bad allergies. We'll cross our fingers and just try to get him there alive.

  12. Geez, you must worry about this every moment of the day... I hope he outgrows it!

  13. tammie jean-

    I hope so, too! Leaving the house is a nerve-wracking experience, but it has to be done. Taking him to the playground or *gasp* the grocery store is almost enough to give me a stress headache.