Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Kindness of Strangers

Today was officially day three of the gluten-free diet.  It's going fine so far, I guess.  Staying gluten-free hasn't really been a problem, but I know Jacob is annoyed by some of the things he can't eat, we're a little thrown off by trying to not eat it around him, and we definitely miss the convenience factor.  That said, we survived two parties this weekend, so that's gotta count for something.

The party with my family was a bit of a challenge since there were pretzels everywhere, but Jacob loved caramel and pumpkin dips that Lori made, and spent quite a while dipping apples and pears into both of them.  He also enjoyed veggies and dip, and eventually we pulled out the gluten-free pretzels.  He filled up on enough of that stuff that he didn't actually eat dinner (not much he would have liked anyway), and he didn't want dessert either.  Too bad he missed out on the apparently tasty (and gluten-free) cheesy potatoes I made!  He had a PB&J afterward, which worked out fine. 

The happy story of the weekend was Saturday morning's birthday party.  Earlier last week we got an invitation to a birthday party for a little girl in Jacob's class.  It wasn't much notice, and we already had plans in Buffalo this weekend.  Still, Jacob really wanted to go, and knowing that it hasn't been the easiest for him to make friends, I decided we'd make it work.  The kicker is that the party was at Chuck E. Cheese.  Let's just say that pizza and cake aren't exactly ideal for a Celiac, so I was trying to figure out our best option.  I decided we could leave early, which would get us to Buffalo on time and help us avoid the food part of the party.  When I called the mom to RSVP on Thursday, I told her that she probably shouldn't count Jacob in the food count since he couldn't eat any of it anyway, and said we'd probably be leaving early since we had other plans.  She seemed sympathetic and genuinely concerned, which was nice.

Well, when we arrived at the party (a half hour late, thanks to Jacob's usual antics, last-minute packing, and being on my own with both kids), she said that surprise--Chuck E. Cheese offers gluten-free pizza!  She had ordered some for Jacob, and she even stopped at Wegmans and picked up a bag of cookies for him!  How sweet is that?  She was so nice about the whole thing.  So, we ended up sticking around for the rest of the party (and ditching my carefully laid plans--ahhh, the things we do for our kids), playing a few games, enjoying the mini-pizza (came sealed in its own bake-in bag with a plastic sealed pizza cutter), and snacking on cookies while everyone else ate cake.  I even turned down a slice myself (and if you know me, you know how hard that was).  Jacob's friend loved her gift (we got her a bunch of crafty items--coloring pages, sparkly crayons, construction paper, watercolors, and a book that uses water to practice letters), and we had a nice time.  Jacob wanted to stay longer, but we did need to get on the road so we said our thank yous and left. 

I still can't believe the mom went out of her way like that for a kid she'd never even met.  It really meant a lot and made Jacob's first gluten-free event so much better.  I warned him that not all would be like this, and explained how nice it was that his friend's mom did that.  She even kept an eye on what was in his goodie bag.  So nice! 

On the mom end, I did talk to the birthday girl's mom a lot, and tried to get in on the conversation with four other moms, but I think they might have all been teachers so it definitely seemed a little cliquey.  The one mom (of the only other boy there) did introduce herself at the end, which was nice.  It was weird not being in the same group we've been used to with all the daycare parties we've had there, but a girl party was definitely different on its own!  It was a totally different vibe.   Not sure how often I'll see these moms, but I guess it's a start.

I'm still working on the gluten-free thing at home, trying to find good options and fill holes.  I found some condensed cream of mushroom soup, which is good to have.  I have a running list of meals we can have, meals I have to fix, things I should look into, etc., and I just need to keep working through that.  If I can get a solid two-week rotation, I'll be OK with that.  But it's going to take a lot of planning, for sure! 

But it's been a busy weekend and I'm exhausted.  All of that will have to wait another day...right along with a million other things on my to do list.  Yawn.

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