“Here’s the epi pen. Instructions are inside and my cell’s on there if she has a reaction. Oh. And don’t let her eat anything. BYE!”
I’m new to drop-off birthday parties. So new, that five of the six parents at Bee’s birthday gathering (sorry, it ain’t a “party” unless there’s more kids than keys in my purse or someone sings California Love. Evan.) stuck around. But one mom left her four-year-old completely in my care and her kid is deathly allergic to peanut dust.
I’ve never met this woman.
I could be anyone! I could be a feeder or a ne’er-do-well with a day job at Jiffy. I could be freaking Mr. Peanut over here, you don’t know. I must look trustworthy.
What does a “reaction” look like, anyway? Will the kid die on the spot, or is there like a window where I can find a place for my latte and take a moment to Google “epi pen, WTF?” And where’s the pen? This looked like an organ cooler. Is it just peanuts? Why can’t she eat the strawberries? How does this family travel on planes or go to baseball games or restaurants where they let you throw peanut shells on the floor? What will happen if she chews on a marker that was slobbered on by a kid who loves holiday peanut brittle? Why are you trusting me with all this, lady?? QUESTIONS.
I couldn’t ask my questions because she was already gone. I was in charge of a stranger’s peanut allergy kid. For the next 90 minutes, I nervously made small talk while eyeballing this little girl like she was a Japanese nuclear reactor. Any minute, I could be on. Any minute . . . what, maybe her face would explode? Or she’d ingest a whiff of someone’s lunch breath and turn into Violet Beuregard on Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory? I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but I was looking.
Only once during the course of this time did anyone in the group have to poop. Guess which kid it was. Yup. I became well acquainted with this child, who was very polite and seemed to take the news of her not getting any birthday cake with aplomb. I will thankfully report she did not need the epi pen on my watch.
Was that weird, or should I just get used to drop-off surprises like that? Mike, who is legally responsible for a mishap with the epi pen? Could I have been charged with murder if some other kid snuck her a Snicker’s bar? Dear God, I don’t want to go to prison. I want to be freeeeee!
Internet, weigh in. That freaked me out.
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Filed under: Mom & Pa Faux Pas