Along the lines of my recent post on declined birthday party invitations, we don't visit much either. Friends, family, near, far, it makes no difference. We are just not much for traveling these days whether it's across the country or across town. It's not that we don't like you. In all probability we really truly do. After all you're sweet, charming, so very generous to invite us in the first place and (blush) you read my blog!
But here's the deal. Dinner parties stress me out. As a fully indoctrinated Midwesterner the rules of politeness prevent me from coming right out and saying it, but most of the time, going anywhere there is food with my kids just plain sucks.
The preparation - yes, we feed them dinner before we leave even if the invitation says 3 pm, the packing (epi-pens, Benedryl, Tupperware or other vomit catching device, full change of clothes for Roo, soy milk, safe snacks, safe treats to deploy in case of meltdown, clean shirt for me, 2nd safe dinner to eat on location, the list goes on), the worry (Are there nuts in the house? Does the pasta they made for the kids have egg in it? Do you still have the package from those crackers?), and the unknown - my kid could burst and vomit strawberries all over your plush white carpet at any moment. It's just a lot to deal with.
Then there's the weight problem. It doesn't matter what's for dinner, how adorable the plates are, or anything else. Roo simply does not eat well away from home. Maybe that's most kids, I mean, parties are supposed to be prime time for grabbing a couple of bites here and there and topping it all off with a yummy treat. But that doesn't fly for Roo. And unfortunately, he doesn't make up for it with a yummy calorie rich party dessert the way other kids might. He wants a Dum Dum lollipop and a cup of water. One poor meal for him means lost ounces. And too many of those lost ounces are when the doctors start talking about g-tubes and strict elimination diets.
So this is my confession. Please forgive me for being an ungrateful guest. I am trying. I know it's not fair to always come to our place. I know we've got to learn how to "live" with these issues, but in the interest of keeping my blood pressure intact, please do allow me my baby steps. And to all of you who keep inviting us anyway and strive to keep things nut-free and Roo-safe when we're around, who trudge to our place through both snowstorms and heatwaves from near and far, and don't roll your eyes when I read every single one of your ingredient packages for the 5th time, it means the world. Thank you!