Sunday, August 12, 2012

Attempted Murder on The Upper East Side With Peanut Butter Bagel

Today, my friends Cori and Kodjo and our kids, Ollie, Ivy, Samara and Ari all went to the Central Park Zoo.

It was a lot of fun, until we set foot on an Upper East Side playground. Upon entering the playground we were met with a resounding amount of hostile looks and strange interactions. It was like they knew the Brooklyn parents were coming.

Here's one interaction that particularly stood out in my mind as bizarre:

I went to see what Ari was up to on the giant slide while Cori was keeping an eye on Samara. When I returned, Cori informed me that one mother let her know that Samara should stay away from her stroller, because Samara was eating a bagel with peanut butter on it, and one of her twin girls had a severe peanut allergy.

When I returned, Cori let me know what this woman said.

Cori and I immediately starting asking the mom questions, out of genuine curiosity, did she have an epi pen? Could her daughter eat items that were made in the same factory as nuts? The woman became noticeably defensive.

"It's just life!" She said shrugging her shoulders. "Things could be worse!"

I believe she wanted to call attention to herself, however, insinuating that my child was dangerous to her child, and that I should keep my 18 month old away from hers, in my humble opinion, was total bullshit and completely ridiculous.

We were in a public place. We weren't in a school, or even an inclosed place that might be even more hazardous.

If she was so concerned about the safety of her child, then she should move her kid herself! Tell her daughter to keep away from the little girl with the peanut butter. Why is her problem now my problem?

If I were playing the game "Clue," and wanted to relate to you what just happened, I would say it was Samara at the playground with the peanut butter bagel. She's clearly an attempted murderer.



  1. It is really a tough situation. As a parent of 2 kids with peanut allergy (as in throat closing, call 911, stab screaming wheezing crying toddler in leg in epipen), sometimes when you ask a parent to wash their kids hands after eating pb at a park or other such place (bc peanut oil sticks to everything like a mofo and doesnt come off unless you wipe it with a cleaner, rain doenst do it), they question you. I guess that they want more info but sometimes it sounds like they are trying to trip you up, see if you are exaggerating.

    In Canada there is a peanut allergy epidemic, no one knows why. Theories range from the flouride in the water to airborn pollutants to early exposure to late exposure. All day camps, schools, etc are nut free. In my son's class, there are always a few with the allergy.

    One day at a park in a fancypants neighbourhood, one mom gave her kid a pb sandwich to eat on the slide. One mom ran over and asked her to remove her kid from the play structure and wash her kid's hands after the snack. The mom was very apologetic and actually gave her kid another snack to eat. I mentioned to one of the other moms that both my kids have the allergy too and lo and behold 9 or 10 of 17 kids at the park that day had a nut allergy...

    I know it seems like the woman was confronting/accosting you, but kids are so messy. And as a parent with a kid with a fatal food allergy, how else are you supposed to get your point across? I try to be as nice as possible but at the end of the day, I don't want to spend the afternoon in the ER or worse.

    Have you ever had Sunbutter? It is sunflower seed butter that is delish. I can't suggest it enough for public places. I actually like it more than pb (but for me, the thought of eating something that will kill my sons is grotesque).

    1. Here's the thing, I'm sympathetic that her daughter has a serious food allergy. That's totally understandable, and I would never want to cause another child harm. But I had a problem with her demeanor. She was extremely rude.

      I don't think it should be my responsibility to keep my child away from hers.

      If she was nicer about it, I might have been more sympathetic.

      But the reality is, knowing that her daughter has this allergy, she should be mindful of exposing her to other kids who are eating peanut butter. And don't be mean!

      Believe me Sara, I know if you were in her shoes, you would have been nice about it ;)

  2. Haha, sometimes I am not so nice about it. But for the most part peole are more than understanding. I have found that people are much more considerate than i give them credit for. It affects things though that most people dont think of: My kids can't go get an ice cream (cross contamination bc they usually use the same scoop), any store bought or bakery baked goods or store bought birthday cake. Going to a potluck/bbq is not really an option.

    my 5 year old has really always understood it, for example at his grandparents house tonight after dinner, he asked to see the peanut free label on the container before having a bite. my 3 year old doesnt get it at all.

    If you ever see Sunbutter, pick some up. it is good eats.

    1. I've seen Sunflower Seed butter (I think?) at Trader Joe's. Is that it?

      Yeah, it must be tough for them to understand it when they're younger. But that's awesome that your five year-old reads the labels, smarty pants LOL! So cute, I love it!

  3. I have been to that very playground! But I used to go on weekdays with my students - nannies are usually nicer than moms in that neighborhood.


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