Monday, October 29, 2012


DangerMouse loves my mom's cooking. Clearly, she already has excellent taste and a refined palate. We've been feeding her "table food" (versus baby food from jars, or separate food specially prepared for her), and witnessing her culinary development is nothing short of delightful.

My amazing, independent daughter LOVES to feed herself. She has manages to wear as much as she eats (from what I can tell), but it's important to let her grow and learn to do things for herself. None of us are instant experts, and watching her learn reminds me of how incredible all the things we take for granted are. (Parenting bonus: if she's feeding herself, guess who also gets to enjoy a hot meal?)

Okay, so her palate isn't *entirely* refined yet.
We have been responsible; no sugary foods, and we've introduced foods slowly. Even so, sometimes things happen.

Last Monday, Mom, Genevieve, and I were having lunch together. We had leftovers, and Mom had gently convinced me to let Genevieve feed herself for the first time. Genevieve reveled in the meal; a tomato and eggplant stew, and it looked fetching smeared across her face.

Mom noticed something red on Genevieve's face; so we got out a washcloth and started to clean Genevieve up.

"Is that a hive?" Mom asked.

"It can't be," I said, "She's had everything in this dish before."

A few minutes passed, and there were more hives on her face, and on her chin(s). While Mom held on to Genevieve, I packed the diaper bag quickly, and got on the phone with the advice nurse.

The advice nurse asked the usual questions, and Genevieve was cheerful and not having any sort of breathing issues (or hives or a rash anywhere else on her body). After consulting with the doctor, she told me to give Genevieve some children's Benadryl and bring her directly to the emergency room, just in case.

We didn't have any children's Benadryl in the house. Mom dashed out to the drugstore and was home in a flash, we medicated Genevieve and got in the car promptly. I called Andrew to let him know to meet us there, and with Mom in the backseat (making sure that Genevieve didn't stop breathing), we got to the emergency room in excellent time.

At that point, the hives were completely gone. Genevieve was positively *giddy* from the Benadryl, and had her charm dialed up to eleven. We were in and out of the emergency room in under two hours, with some guidelines as to what to look for and when to worry. (For the record, I am a professional worrier these days.)

Genevieve took a supervised, and yet, disturbingly long nap (courtesy of the Benadryl, of course), and all was well in the world.
O.G. and Lil G
After speaking with a friend (who is also a childcare professional), and Dr. FTW, it turns out that the acid in tomatoes can cause hives on delicate baby facial skin. We were instructed to clean her up promptly after meals, and Dr. FTW praised our prompt action and quick recognition of what could have been a serious allergic reaction.

I'm usually pretty good in stressful situations, and while I was a little shaky and terrified of the worst case, I held it together until the car ride home. If I have learned anything from my mother, it's that you hold it together during a crisis. Once the crisis is over, you can scream, cry, throw up, whatever you need to do. But when you're in the thick of it you Hold. It. Together.

"I'm ready to go and cry now," I told Andrew, "This parenting thing is harder than I ever thought it would be."

It's true. As a parent, you selfishly hope that emergency rooms are for strangers' children, that you can bubble wrap your kids, and keep them in a safe embrace foreverandever. But children have a pesky way of growing up and seeking their own experiences and answers, no matter how much you want to keep them safe.

It's a hard road, full of lots of small steps. Or in our case, small bites.


  1. This maxim (panic later-handle the crisis first) still applies and my children are all grown now!

  2. Palette=painting. Palate=food. Glad she's okay.

  3. My youngest had the same reaction as a baby...even now at 13 she can still get a little red if she doesn't wipe tomato or tomato sauce off her face quickly.

  4. Glad she's doing okay and it was nothing serious. I've been to the ER with my kid twice, most recently just last month, and it was definitely a situation where I had to hold it together so that she wouldn't freak out. It's never easy when it's your kid, though.

  5. I'm so glad she's okay, and I never cease to be amazed at what excellent moms you and Gigi are.

    I, too, am a deal with the crisis and emote when it's over kind of girl. When I had an emergency a few months ago I was amazed that I had the presence of mind to comfort my husband, drive myself to the E.R., talk to the staff, deal with the pain, and then emote a few days later once I was out of the woods.

  6. I am glad she is ok. I think being a mom is a learning and growing experience just like how our babies learn and grow. We do it together. I know I have learned LOTS in the first eight months of my baby's life.

  7. I had the exact same issue when I was a kid- no problem eating tomato products, just had to be tidy with them or I got a rash. I grew out of it some time around puberty, so it's not necessarily a forever thing.


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