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 In the Wrong Hands, Goldfish are Evil


The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” – Benjamin Franklin

There are days that I wonder, what am I going to write about? Maybe committing to three days a week and delivering a quality product would be too much. Little things happen during the day and I'd think, "that was funny, I should write a blog entry about that," but the funny thing would take a line or two and then what would I write about?  I felt that way this morning facing a deadline and no topic. Lucky for me, that was temporary. A topic was already in play, waiting to be expanded on.

#2, the aspy, is allergic to wheat, egg whites, and dairy. His allergies are not severe, but if he eats compound allergens, like baked goods or pizza, he will get a rash. He has had this condition since he was little, so his allergies are a matter of fact. We always have food that is just for him, though he still gets upset from time to time when the other kids are eating stuff he can't.

In my house, food disappears. That is the condition you have with five roaming locusts. You leave a bag of goldfish on the counter and by the end of the day, it is gone, a mere shadow of the bag it used to be. As if leaving the empty bag would fool me into thinking there were still goldfish in the bag. I usually credit #1, the stealth snack stealer, with the goldfish annihilation, but now, the twins know how to get the stool and take the things they want. So, when I saw the empty bag of goldfish on the counter on Monday night, I chastised #1 for eating all the goldfish and went on with the day. 

Wednesday morning, #2 wakes up with a face that is redder than normal and a slight rash. "Ok, #2 what did you eat?" That rash screams "I ATE WHEAT".  He then tried to deny it.  I told him, "biology doesn't lie, what did you eat?" I asked him several times before he answered me. "I had a few goldfish." Then I had to find out how many "a few" really is. I gave him the lecture again, for the millionth time, about him being allergic to certain food and the rash was his body's way of telling him that certain things make it sick, but it is hard for him to be rational when his impulsivity comes to stage.

Later that day, I got a call from school nurse telling me about the rash, which had gotten worse as the day progressed. I am glad this school nurse is a bit more relaxed that some of the nurses I have come across in my day. I told her that he had a compound allergen (goldfish) and he has a history of aggression when he takes Benedryl, (I know, I just can't catch a break here) and the rash is usually the only manifestation of the allergy. She let him stay and when he came home, I inspected the rash. I reminded him several times throughout the evening to be mindful about what he ate. I took his approved snacks out and told him the only way the rash would leave is if he didn't eat wheat, dairy or eggs. (I felt like we were in Dr. Wink's office in Pinkalicious. Only have read that book a million times to the girls, but I digress)

When he woke up this morning, the rash was worse. His face was like Pinkalicious and he had raised bumps all over him. "WHAT DID YOU EAT?' (ok, maybe that didn't come out as calmly as I needed it too.) He started to wail and I watched the tears run down his red, bumpy face. After he calmed down, I asked him again, promising he wouldn't be in trouble. I just had to know what we were dealing with. How the hell can I send him to school like this? He finally told me, "I ate half the bag of goldfish." Oye vey. freaking really?!?!? How can someone who is so freaking smart be so stupid? I was dumbfounded. I understand that his impulsivity over-rides logic in his world, but, WTF? I picked my jaw up from the ground and told him, "I am really confused why you would choose to eat the goldfish. You are in third grade. You are very smart and you logically understand that if you eat those things you will get a rash. So why did you choose to do that? I am really confused why someone so smart would make bad choices." Must have vodka in my OJ. Unable to provide an answer, he starts to wail. Awesome

That child is going to school. He has perfect attendance so far for a reason. I have learned over the years, communication between home and school is very important. Clear channels of communication prevent unwanted or unnecessary calls and conversations. So, in the midst of chaos, I sat down at the computer and wrote his teacher an email and cc'd it to the vice-principal, and the school nurse:

Hi Heather, J has a problem with Goldfish. His impulsiveness over-rides his logic. He knows he is allergic, but he can't help himself. The rash yesterday was a result of goldfish the night before. You'd think that him having the rash would dissuade him from having another goldfish, but last night, he ate 1/3 of a bag. (I thought the others had taken it) I now have to hide the goldfish.
   
So. today, his rash is more pronounced. I put allergy cream on him and gave him allergy medicine for any additional discomfort. He has a history of aggression while on allergy meds, but he hasn't had these meds in years and maybe, just maybe, he has grown out of it and will be fine today. 
    
Fingers crossed and I will hide the goldfish. Call me if needed. Thanks! Shari

So far, no calls from school. Just an email back from the teacher thanking me for the "heads-up". I will see how the rash is doing when he gets home from school.  I will now go hide all the wheat based snacks so I don't set him up for failure, and I will train the three younger children to be the snack police to let me know when #2 is eating anything. Might as well capitalize on their strengths. 

I've come to the conclusion, that as long as I live at Casa De Crazy, there will always be something or someone to write about. There is no need to panic because the topics always come. And down the road, there may be a list of "crazy shit that happened today". But today, I hear the soup Nazi saying "No Goldfish for you."

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