and she performed as advertised. Meaning, I fed her a food that would have made Ainsley have a monster allergic reaction, and she was absolutely fine. While Ainsley was at ballet yesterday, my dad and I went to eat at a Chinese food restaurant nearby. As those of you with food-allergic children know, ethnic restaurants (like Chinese, Thai, and Indian) are definite no-no's because they cook with basically all of the major allergens and there is a high probability of cross-contamination even if you order something that does not contain an allergen as an ingredient.
Despite my trepidation, I let Leighton eat some veggies from the fried rice I had ordered. I literally held my breath as I gave her the first few bites. After a few minutes, when it was obvious she was having no problem with the food, I started to relax, and began to fully realize what a difference it is to have a non-food-allergic child. It is just so ... easy. No that raising any type of kid - allergic or not - is that easy. Parenting is tough business for anyone. But still, the thought that I can feed one of my children basically anything is so liberating, emotionally and logistically. I don't have to watch her cautiously any time she eats something I didn't prepare, and I don't have to take special food for her when we go out. When she gets into grade school, she will be able to eat cafeteria food without me negotiating with the principal, the counselor, the teacher, and the cafeteria staff!
Please don't interpret my rejoicing at this to be whining about all I have to do with my food-allergic child. It is what it is, and we are more than happy to do whatever it takes to keep Ainsley safe because she is our wonderful, wonderful daughter and we love her more than life. It's just that I've never had the typical parenting experience when it comes to food, and now I'm starting to get a taste of it with Leighton. And it is fantastic to know that I don't have to be anxious, food-allergy-wise, about both of my children.