Valentine’s Day is very special for kids in school. My children were armed with valentines and mini Tootsie Rolls to share last week. My 10-year-old celiac knows not to eat treats that she’s not familiar with until she gets home so I sent the kids off to school confident there would be no major diet troubles.

But then-Emma’s teacher had a pizza party! This was completely unexpected on my part. No warning was given.

Emma came home from school and I asked how her day was the first thing that came out of her mouth was that her teacher ordered pizza for everyone. She was bummed out but handled the disappointment with grace. There were no tears, no grumping around the house, she just admitted she was disappointed and got over it pretty quick. I smiled as I asked her if she “stuffed her face with candy instead” …she nodded yes with a sly smile.

While I did email her teacher to ask her about what happened, I did not give her a hard time, but rather reminded her about Emma’s dietary restrictions. She apologized to me and again to Emma on Tuesday when the kids got back from their President’s Day break. I reminded her teacher to always feel free to tell me when these things happen so I can plan ahead. My daughter doesn’t even like pizza. But it’s the mere fact that they had something that she couldn’t have which was disappointing for her. I told her teacher I probably would have sent her along with something “way better than pizza”.

My daughter’s teacher is very conscientious, but things like this can get overlooked. In part because her teacher is trying to keep track of 30+ 10-year-olds (yikes), but also she probably hasn’t had time to read the “gluten-free diet guide” I gave her in the fall.  When it comes down to it, the teacher is respectful of Emma’s disease,  her teacher takes me seriously, and as long as she doesn’t tell Emma she can eat something that she can’t, and  keeps the communication lines open with me, there should be no problems – even if there is another big event – with gluten.

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One Response to “Disappointment Handled with Gluten-Free Grace”

  1. Being 24 years old, I can still relate to your daughter’s situation at school.
    I feel this way when I go to a party or over to a friend’s house and everyone is drinking beer, or especially when beer is the only thing to drink.
    I can’t really say I have something “way better than” beer. Either, I have to drink nothing, or bring my own. It is tough to be left out, but even tougher when everyone is offering you something that you really like but can’t have.

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