Thursday, August 11, 2011


Little one is off on camp today.

I know, I reckon it's way too young for camp. Year 3..... 8 years of age. Something to do with the "making of men".

Camps actually start in Year 2 at my boy's school. Both didn't attend their Year 2 camps. I'm sorry, but if they can't regulate the mixer temperature in the shower they are too young. I am reluctantly letting my little one attend this year. Big one went on his Year 3 camp so I can't very well stop the little one.

It's different this time though.....with an anaphylactic nut allergy and camp facilitators who cannot guarantee that the meals will be nut free!!!!! Can you believe that?.... in this day and age.... with the number of anaphylactic nut allergies out there. I feel this is a serious 'duty of care' issue.

If my little one wasn't so desperately keen to attend and if he didn't have such a dedicated teacher (who is prepared to put together all the meals I have to send along!) he wouldn't be going. I am forking out a camp levy that could fly me to Melbourne and put me up in a posh hotel and here I am preparing camp meals! So after issuing a brief tutorial to his teacher yesterday afternoon, on his menu and how to use his Epipen, he's off. We snuck Bun-Bun and Ted-Ted into our backpack too ... just in case........ "I think I might get a bit scared at night Mum".

The next few days I am going to be biting my nails. If you call me on my mobile, you can be sure I will be answering within one ring. Am I doing the right thing? Am I?


  1. Hello A-M

    ohhh you poor dear - your heart will be spent and exhausted with worry.

    I feel for you so much.

    I think you'll sleep with big one all week - or sleep in little ones bed.

    thank goodness for the teacher :)
    Is there a mobile phone number of the teacher (I'm sure there is), and I am sure you can check in once a day with this teacher.

    Making of men...... Phttttt! What a load of Phttttt....!

    You take care and I am sending you really big worry free hugs and strength.



  2. The hardest part about being a mom is letting them go even when you don't want to! I'm sure he will be fine as he takes these first big steps toward becoming his own person! Hugs to you as you fret the next few days away, I can so relate and mine are 19 and almost 24 years old!

    Kat :)

  3. I must admit I am a bit surprised re the anaphylactic issue. I was under the impression that all school tuckshops/camp providers etc. had pretty clear guidelines as to the products they were able to supply. In saying that however, I am absolutely positive that a responsible teacher would be monitoring that situation with his/her life! I always had mixed feelings about the Year 3 Camp. Ours were only an overnighter so that was a little more bearable (for me!) I'm sure he will really enjoy it. ;)Sharyne

  4. It is hard letting your baby go to camp. The oldest just seems so much more grown up. It must be tougher knowing they have medical issues but kids can be amazingly resilient and I am sure he will come home tired, but full of his new experiences. Here in NZ camp doesn't usually start until year 5, or 9 years old. It is quite incredible even at 9, how many kids have never spent a night away from Mum or Dad.

    My oldest (15) came home from school yesterday and asked if she could go on a trecking camp in Thailand and Cambodia next year. I told her to check it out, but I am worried!

  5. Oh A-M..... How brave of you. I know it's politically incorrect to be religious these days but I'll say a little prayer that God sends your boy an extra guardian angel to watch over him. I'm sure he's a sensible lad when it comes to his food and knows what to stay away from.
    Keep busy today to stem your worry :-)

  6. Gosh. I'd be a worry wart too under those circumstances. But I do think you've done the right thing letting him go.

    He will have a fabulous time - camp is such a fun experience and if he's keen to go then he'll be fine. xx

  7. What on earth is your school thinking? That's outrageous - raise all hell as they are not fulfilling their duty of care. I can't believe them! At the same time - good on you for sending him - he'll have a ball and love every moment - camp is great for them. Thank god for his teacher. xx

  8. eeek!!
    i would be a stressed mess also.
    sending good vibes out that he'll have a great time and that you will get through this fine also!!
    just don't hold your breath for the next few days - remember to breath!!!
    thinking of you.
    cheryl xox.

  9. Mate, dont stress too much. It will be OK.

  10. Oh that is very young:(. My DS went to his first camp in Grade 5. Some parents were allowed to go so DH went too. I did get a phonecall on one camp that your DS is in hospital. He got hit by a cricket stump. So nothing serious. I can understand your concern lovely. But with a big brother there to watch out for him I am sure he will be fine. The best part is when they come home dirty, tired and hungry - and say they never want to leave you again lol. Get some gel nails put on - you can't bite them lol:)

  11. When I told Saeger that your boys got to go to camp on an island, he got very jealous. Just wanted to let you know that as our country falls farther down, my husband is swaying more closer towards the Big Move. Fingers crossed. Our boys are growing up way too fast. Love ya, Heidi

  12. Thanks for your support lovelies. I am keeping busy. Working furiously on my inbox and invoices. Big son is not impressed that he also has to do little one's piano lesson timeslot this afternoon as well as his own! We are going out on a date tonight.....and will be eating lots of peanut rich foods!
    A-M xx

  13. Hi A-M,
    My heart goes out to you today. My 6 year old has an anaphlactic nut allergy and severe allergy to eggs as well. I put so much trust in her teachers everyday and hope to goodness that other mothers are careful not to include any nut products in lunch boxes despite the "NO NUTS" rule. You are doing the right thing letting him go but I can imagine how worried you must be. I'll thinking of you.

    Kel x

  14. Oh, I hear you A-M. If it were up to me, mine would never have gone, but they had a ball so I think he'll really enjoy himself. Bit of a worry about the whole allergy thing - what a joke. My son just got his P's, so we really just swap one worry for another, no matter how old they are. Be brave A-M, he'll have so many fun stories to tell when he gets home...if he can stay awake, that is :) K xx

  15. The part about the nut allergy and explaining to his teacher how to use an epipen really rings true to me. As the mother of a Type 1 Diabetic I completely understand the hesitation of letting someone else care for your child. Sending hugs and prayers for you over the next few days!

  16. My 8 year also experienced his first school camp this year and like you I was worried, really worried!

    He had an absolute ball, loved every second of it and came home full of joy and stories!

  17. I have to confess that I steadfastly refused to let my girls go on trips. I had very valid reasons. Apart from anything else, schools bleat on about how there are not enough hours in the day to teach the curriculum and yet take chunks of time for these jaunts. I also felt that I and my contemporaries never went on these things and it strikes me that we were/are a perfectly well-rounded contented bunch of people (more so than many of the youth of today). My girls are well rounded and contented too, despite being denied these trips. It does take determination to fly in the face of authority however.

    I think your son will probably have a whale of a time and to have stopped him going would have made him an odd one out, which isn't necessarily a good idea, especially amongst boys.

  18. The youngest I've ever taken on camp were a class of Year 4's and they seemed so little!! I thought all schools these days were nut free - we had to be so vigilant about this on our camps as we self-catered. I'm sure with the run down you've given his teacher who sounds like she's a lovely teacher, all will be fine. I know it's easy for me to say that when you're the one with the little man away from home but he'll come back saying what a ball he's had, wait and see :) xx

  19. Nut free is VERY hard, especially when most products say "made on equipment that might have processed nuts."

    Does he regularly check food labels? Are you able to eat at restaurants with him? What advice can you offer for other parents who have a similar problem? (sounds like it would make a great post!)

  20. Yes Kathy, he is a label detective and generally gets his brother to validate/double check his assessment. We all cross check, synchronize watches, etc. Checks for 'contains nuts', 'may contain traces of nuts' and 'made on machinery that may have processed nuts'. Restaurants are hard due to contamination. Chef may guarantee no nuts in recipe but what else has been prepared with utensils etc. We pretty much just treat ourselves to sushi if we eat out. That's about it. If we do do a restaurant, you can usually find us in the kitchen reading icecream labels and cornflour packets. A-M xx

  21. Hi A M I know what you mean about camp its scarry times isn't it? My Son is in year 3 he is going on his first camp too, they have 3 nights away thats long enough I fee,l he has never been away from home on his own before & I feel sick thinking about it but I guess if he dosn't go then his fellow students will make comments & I don't want to put him through that. I feel for you & what a worry about the eatting I thought that would all be organised in this day & age :( Hope you gets some sleep i know you will not rest till he is home big hugs.

    Also thank you so much for your lovely comment & for following my new blog it means so much to me as you are such a great blogger :) x

  22. I have read your blog since 'the house' and have never commented but I have read this and I have to post. I'm across the river at Indooroopilly with 3 boys and my eldest (9) is in his first camp tonight and he is anaphylactic to egg,dairy and nuts. I agonized over the decision but decided to let him go. He has gone with all his food and Four epipens and his teacher has already text me twice to say he is ok! It is so hard but it's a great experience for them and gives them some empowerment over their allergies. Grey hairs for their mums though! His brothers (6 and 4) are so cute as they are missing him dreadfully. Cannot wait to see him tomorrow afternoon. Best of luck, JD

  23. Oh I felt your pain here A-M, what a decision to make!!! At least you didn't have to exclude him, you got a choice. One of the worst things about allergies is that terrible feeling of missing out on everything.

  24. btw, I'd be hopeless and probably stalk him or find an excuse to tag along!!! Stay strong x

  25. You are right! Always we think our children do not manage to care for of themselves. But far from us, they defend very well ( This is my experience with my kids!)And he will be care and protected. Be strong!
    Kisses from Brasil!

  26. Thanks JD! I feel much less alone now! and vindicated in sending him along. Thanks for making the time to comment. It's lovely to know you are following me.

    Siobhan, I tried... I tried to weasel my way into the camp. It's a 'no go zone' for parents. Although I distinctly remember a peanut allergy boy's father attending every one of my elder son's camps. I think the teacher maybe felt my anxiety on camp would not be productive. After our tutorial she told me to go home and soak in a hot bath!

    Calico child, I so know that sick feeling. I am going to try settle mine now with a morning coffee!

    Thanks for your comments everyone. I am a basket case this morning and missing him terribly. No phone calls though so he is doing ok. Big son is holding my hand! A-M xx

  27. My son is also anaphylactic to peanuts/nuts/sesame/shellfish/,mango and peas so I understand about the worry of school camps. We lived in Asia where it was a nightmare. He only went on 2 when his teacher could cook his food and there was medical help within 30 minutes (not on a remote island). Since being back in Brisbane his school has been great about his allergy. He is now 16 and just went to the USA for 2 weeks to NASA for Space Design competition which was very stressful (for me). He is super diligent about reading labels, has restaurant cards and 5 epipens. He had a great time, returned home very thin but alive :) Best of luck, champagne helps and warm baths!


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx