Oh, Panera, how I will miss thee

March 7, 2006 at 5:43 am (Blog & Websites, social issues)

Yesterday I met a client at Panera for coffee, a chat, and to pick up her materials for processing.  This time last year, the German Chocolate danish was safe (or at least, it had no nuts in it, so it was safe enough for *me* if not 100% safe for my kids).  I ordered it, I took a few bits, and bit into a walnut.

I know that places change their menus, but I wanted that German Chocolate danish, and it didn’t occur to me to ask.

That was the first time in about three and a half years that I have bitten into a nut or nut product.

Let me tell you, they are not all they are cracked up to be.  Judging from Panera’s online pastry menu, they are so nut-crazy that I don’t think I can eat there anymore, anyway–and that’s too bad, because they’ve been one of my favorite places to eat since I discovered them back in 1999 upon the occasion of my move to civilization, from the wilds of rural Indiana.
I got home, I washed my hands, I brushed my teeth, my kid didn’t react–but my legs itched all the way home in some sort of sympathy reaction–and everything is okay.

A little bit of nut protein got into my milk, I’m sure, but hopefully it won’t affect Sean negatively.  Hopefully we can go the next few years without him being exposed again.

I hate even typing that, because somewhere out there (probably not that far away, in my experience), someone is reading that thinking “how in the hell could it possibly hurt the baby for the mom to eat nut products?”  I hate the way I  know I am being judged an overprotective mother.  I hate the way some people will think I’m an idiot because they don’t believe in the connection between a mother’s diet and a nursing baby’s allergies, despite all the science that documents it.  I hate having to be this uptight Food Nazi instead of being able to freely eat a German Chocolate danish while I talk to my girlfriend.

Keeping my kids safe is worth it, but I really, really look forward to the day when keeping children safe from accidental death doesn’t make me a “stick in the mud,” even if that judgemental voice is sometimes only the voices of others as I perceive them in my own mind.

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