There are several truths that need to be documented to fully explain this post.
- We are six days Gluten free. (Our entire household is now gluten free and that’s not a small feat.)
- We are seeing positive physical and psychological changes.
- Our kitchen has been sterilized with chemicals that I don’t love.
- We have successfully attended a social event. The hosts made Oo her very own GF substitutes and provided her (and me) with amazing support, love, and comfort as we navigate our new normal.
- The tiny humans have been watched by friends and family. Friends and family who I know will protect, respect, and support our new normal to keep Oo safe.
It’s not like we are not doing this. We are. We are in it. We are figuring it out. I downloaded 504 forms today, and refined a GF muffin recipe.
I have no idea how to navigate a potluck. I have no idea how to navigate hot dog buns, and a table full of treats she can’t eat. I have no idea how to navigate this potluck that is being hosted in a place she feels safe. I have no idea how to explain to a three year old that her friends can have everything that is offered, but she can’t.
It’s a potluck, and I have no idea what substitutes to offer, prepare, and bring. What happens if I make GF cupcakes, but the potluck brings brownies that all of her friends will eat? How do I become the mom that follows her around, even though that’s a role that I think stifles growth, independence, and confidence? How do I navigate this?
A huge part of my belief system asks students everyday to dig deep, find grit, find perseverance, and find tenacity. And yes, that’s all awesome. We need to teach this tiny big kid to self advocate; when was the last time you attended a party and said no to cake? Now imgine you are three years old. Now imagine all of your three year old friends get to say yes. Now imagine this is all taking place in a location the grownups in your life have told you is safe. Again, imagine you are three years old.
I have dedicated my nine plus years of parenting to affirming tiny human security. I never let them cry it out, and I validate feels.
How do I ask a three year old to develop the confidence to protect her body, in a place she feels safe, and still survive saying no to everything her friends (and the people we have taught her to trust) get to say yes to?
I’m just not sure how to do this yet. I will learn, but I’m kinda questioning do I really need to learn this impossible during week one?