I ask this because I'm embarrassed to say I am. Now, I know that, to the mom of, say, a peanut-allergic child, the idea that anyone would be jealous of their situation would seem completely ludicrous. But I have to admit, so many times I have longed for Ainsley to "just" have a nut allergy or an egg allergy or even a milk allergy (although milk is, in my opinion, the most difficult allergen to avoid in our culture so that is at the bottom of my list of allergies to "want").
I have noticed this feeling among a lot of moms with kids who have multiple food allergies. I don't want to characterize it as a divide between the single-food-allergic and multiple-food-allergic; it's more like the feeling of, "Wow, it would be so much easier to prepare for/order food for/protect a kid allergic to just one thing." I think moms of kids with multiple food allergies are very aware of the difference, even if the moms of single-food-allergic kids aren't. For example, once, when I was talking with a mom of a child allergic to milk, eggs, and fish, and mentioned something a mom of a peanut-allergic child had said to me about dealing with allergies, the mom replied, "Leigha, don't you think it's just a lot different (read:more difficult) for us since we have kids with multiple food allergies?"
Even some food-allergy products are marketed toward children who have just one allergy. See, for example, here (cards to show kids what they can and can't eat if they're allergic to peanuts) and here (Alexander the Elephant books - he is allergic to peanuts only; to my knowledge, FAAN doesn't have books with any characters allergic to more than two foods). Some restaurants like Chili's and Burger King also very unhelpfully group their foods into separate allergy menus based on whether you're allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, wheat, OR soy - meaning you have to look at several of these special menus and compare the various foods listed on them to determine what your multiple-food-allergic kid can have.
I certainly don't mean to alienate any of you whose children have just one allergy. Food allergies are tough whether your kid is allergic to one food or all of the top 8, and there have been many times I've just been thankful that Ainsley isn't allergic to any other foods, such as soy or wheat, which we live on.
But I have often fantasized about the options that we would have if Ainsley were just allergic to one (or even two) foods. Each time we go to the allergist for her yearly appointment, I pray that Ainsley will have grown out of at least one of her allergens. When your kid has so many allergies, it's really hard sometimes to imagine that she'll ever lead a normal life ("Yes, she may grow out of milk and egg, but she'll still likely have the peanut and tree nut allergies"; "yes, her peanut number was much lower this year, but her egg number was still through the roof ..."). It frankly seems nearly impossible that she will overcome all of her food-allergy hurdles.
That said, I sincerely appreciate the advocacy that all food allergy moms undertake on behalf of their children - it benefits the multiple-food-allergic and single-food-allergic alike. The mom who has transformed our local elementary school into a food-allergy-sensitive environment has a son allergic to "only" peanuts and almonds, and I am forever grateful to her. I just hope that one day we can narrow down Ainsley's allergies into a comparable list.