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AIBU wrt to my DC missing out because of his allergies?

(127 Posts)
WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Thu 07-Mar-13 13:03:03

I have a toddler with many many allergies. Mostly quite serious.

We attend a brilliant music group which he loves, the woman who runs it is absolutely brilliant. Its one of the few toddler things-to-do that I actually quite enjoy and not cringe my way through.

Since starting last summer, my son has changed from a very shy, frightened child who'd cry if another child or stranger tried to engage with him - to a happy, confident, outgoing toddler. Ive no doubt regularly going to this class has helped (theres a lot we cant go to because they have children walking round with food).

2-3 times a term, the lady uses feathers in the class for 3-4 minutes. If my DC goes anywhere near feathers he breaks out in hives, let alone handles them.

We used to leave the room during this time. But now he gets upset, he doesnt understand why Im dragging him away from all the noise and fun.

So Ive asked her to let me know the week before she uses feathers and we'll not come that week. She agreed and said she email me.

Except I was secretly hoping she'd say she'd just not use them. Theres so few groups we can go to, now 2-3 times a term we cant attend this one.

I dont want to drag my son out the class, its making him feel excluded. I hate that. I hate that fucking, bastard, bastard allergies means my lovely son see's and feels excluded from things.

AIBU to wanted, slightly expected, her to just say she'd not use them?

I really need to know if AIBU because this is just the start of situations like this, I know. sad

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Thu 07-Mar-13 13:05:19

To add, I did not feel I could ask her outright not to use them. I felt that was her decision to make, or notion to arrive at by herself.

YABU - I think the best idea really would be for her to tell you when they are going to use them and then you can give that a miss. In all honesty, she is being nice by agreeing to do that - surely sometimes these things are winged and she doesnt have a meticulous plan for each session.

Really, why should everyone else miss out just because one child is allergic to feathers. What if another child is allergic to say the shakers, should she ban those as well???

I do feel for you, it must be a nightmare but really, it's not fair to expect her not to use them.

belfastbigmillie Thu 07-Mar-13 13:08:43

Speak to her in advance - find out what props she plans to use and get allergy-appropriate versions. My son has mild epilepsy so I know what it's like to feel like your child has been cheated out of a normal life. All the best x

MoaneyMcmoanmoan Thu 07-Mar-13 13:09:13

Hmmm... I think Yabu. But understandably so.

With time your son will learn about his allergies and come to understand that he just can't touch or play with certain things. Especially when he starts school.

Could you take in something he could have instead when the others are using the feathers? Maybe some sort of fabric, shaped like a feather?

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Thu 07-Mar-13 13:10:06

All the other children would 'miss out' on 2-3 minutes. My son would miss out on several classes.

Honestly, that sounds fair to you Betty?

That doesnt seem fair to me at all. sad

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Thu 07-Mar-13 13:10:34

3-4 minutes, sorry.

Dannilion Thu 07-Mar-13 13:12:15

YABU, but it must be very hard watching your DC go without over something no-one can control.

It's not unreasonable to want the world to revolve around your DC, but it is unreasonable to expect it.

SarkyPants Thu 07-Mar-13 13:12:29

I think it is fecking ridiculous that she is not prepared to make a tiny adustment to accommodate your child.


Of course your DS will have to learn to make adjustments WHEN NECESSARY.
But a feather doesn't come into the category of "necessary adjustment".

It's a feather FFS.

megandraper Thu 07-Mar-13 13:13:21

YANBU. Feathers are hardly an essential tool. Somehow my children have survived their early years without ever attending a feather-play session at a playgroup.

Why can't this lady use artificial feathers? Would they be okay for your DC? They're easy to get hold of from craft shops. If I were you, I would find some and then email her suggesting using those instead (possibly offering to pay for them yourself if you can do that).

It's just silly to exclude one child for no fault of their own, when they could easily make small changes to accommodate them. I expect this lady has not thought about it properly - until you've come across / dealt with a few allergies/intolerances, people tend to be unaware.

Betty - yes, if a child were allergic to the shakers, I would imagine something else could be used. I have two coeliac children. Pre-school makes their playdough using gluten-free flour (which I supply) for everyone, rather than exclude my children from the playdough area. It's not a big deal.

No Nancy it isn't fair...but then life isn't always fair is it!!

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Thu 07-Mar-13 13:14:29

"over something no one can control"

Except in this situation we can control it cant we?

Thanks for replies, even ones saying AIBU.

LoopDeLoops Thu 07-Mar-13 13:16:34

Of course YANBU.

Has she actually emailed you yet to say she'll be using them? Maybe she just won't?

Yabu. She has agreed to do exactly as you asked. You are upset with her for not being able to mindread. Why not ask her not to use the feathers and see what her response is?

SarkyPants Thu 07-Mar-13 13:18:38

"but then life isn't always fair".

so let us make it as fair as is reasonably possible smile

Am shocked by the "suck it up" attitude on this thread.
I'd hate to think that we are doomed to live in a society where people can't be bothered to make small inconsequential changes to their lives to make someone else's life a little bit happier.

OxyMoron Thu 07-Mar-13 13:18:45


Worth a small adjustment for the sake of not excluding a child.

EyeoftheStorm Thu 07-Mar-13 13:20:29

This is going to come up again and again and you have to frame it positively for yourself and your son even though it is horrible and unfair for you both.

I have two friends with DCs with allergies - both very serious ones. One of my friends makes passive aggressive comments about what other children are doing/being given and the other one takes it in her stride and makes the best of it. I like them both, but I know whose DC is going to grow up with a better attitude to their allergies.

I don't know how she did it, but my friend is able to be completely on top of what her DC is doing and what contact she might possibly have with her allergens without making it a drama/issue for anyone including her DC.

You have a chance now to steer things in the right direction. You cannot rely on other people to always do the right or kind thing. They won't. You could follow the directions here and take your own things in on a feather day or just not go and do something else special on those days. Take it into your own hands.

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Thu 07-Mar-13 13:20:30

I only asked her last week. She replied and agreed, said she'd let me know. Then this morning we had a class and on my way out she said let me know when the feathers are coming up.

Shes a really lovely, kind woman. I feel guilty about starting this thread.

But more so, I feel guilty that I cant keep my son included in normal toddler things.

He cant attend the majority of toddler groups round here. I want 3-4 minutes to change, thats all. And Betty 'lifes not fair' is just a terrible retort, all things considered.

Pozzled Thu 07-Mar-13 13:24:07

Yanbu. And I would have thought the other parents would be happy to miss out the feathers bit. I'm sure with a bit of imaginationshe could replace them with another prop.

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Thu 07-Mar-13 13:25:04

Eye I juggle allergies in situations on a day to day basis, some situations pretty 'dangerous' for want of a better word. And drama never comes into it. Its my personal mission for my son to not see panic, worry and see situations as normal as humanly possible.

Im definitely not turning this into a drama, and wouldnt dream of it (I realise you werent suggesting that I was smile), inside my head and on MN I can bring it up as an issue.

goodiegoodieyumyum Thu 07-Mar-13 13:30:43

Of course your not being unreasonable I can't believe she just won't say well I won't use feathers then, I mean 3-4 minutes it's not as if it's something she really needs to use as part of a music group.

EyeoftheStorm Thu 07-Mar-13 13:31:18

Of course you can and I realise 'drama' is an emotive word and I didn't mean that was what you were doing. I was just trying to imagine how it would be to have the drip drip drip of coping with these situations all the time and how you won't be able to change how other people react.

megandraper Thu 07-Mar-13 13:35:05

It is hard work dealing with situations like this - I deal with it from the point of view of coeliac children who must avoid gluten, and allergies must be even worse, as I don't have the anaphylactic shock risk, at least.

You really notice the people who are kind and accommodating. And tbh, you also really notice the ones - like a few on this thread - who think it's better to exclude children from something rather than making tiny adjustments. Madness.

Eye said what I was trying to say but put it so much better.

Didn't mean my life isn't fair to be taken as a horrid retort, was just being truthful. Shitty situation and of course in an ideal world then yes, everyone should make it as easy as possible for your DS to enjoy these pleasures.

Anyway, won't dig a bigger hole so apologies, I didn't mean the comment how you took it.

seeker Thu 07-Mar-13 13:37:37

Go next week. At the beginning,when everyone is sitting down, but before it starts, say to the group "I'm really sorry, but little X is allergic to feathers. Would anyone mind if we didn't do the feather song?"

Everyone will say "No, of course not"

Problem solved.

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