Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Out and About, Chocolate & Reasons to be Cheerful

On Monday, it was Monday Mum's. Baby and I love going - it's good for both of us - partly because it gives us something to look forward to on a Monday (especially when the weather has been so wet recently). Also it's held in a (warm) church hall, so Baby gets plenty of space to play in (something of which we don't have much at home) with other little ones whilst I get the chance to drink coffee, share some Bible, pray and socialise. I'm so thankful for the friendships I've built up there and the mutual support that we are able to offer each other. It's a real highlight of my week.

Although Baby has a problem with cow's milk, it doesn't stop us going out and mixing socially, but it does mean we need to go prepared. We're fortunate in that we don't also need to take an epipen or antihistamine with us too. I take a small selection of suitable snacks - depending on where we are going and the length of time we are going to be out. I may stick a (fun looking) label on her, to warn people about her milk problem, but if it is just a small group which we attend regularly and I am there too, I probably won't bother. If it's a new situation, with people we don't know and there's food involved, then I definitely will.

At Monday Mums the other mums know us quite well by now, so if I forget to label Baby before I go, it's not too much of a disaster. If they see Baby reaching for the chocolate or cakes left out (all too temptingly, I'm afraid) the other mums all know to step in - if I'm not paying enough attention. There are bananas left out too, but I'm afraid Baby only usually goes for them, if she's exhausted all the other options in my bag.

It was a bit hard though, the other day. I suddenly realised Baby was standing still, very near to me and giving me a 'look'. Her eyes were big and bright - full of meaning. 'Hmm!' I thought to myself, 'what's she trying to say?' Then I saw... and my heart sank. One of the other little girls there was sat on her mother's lap, right next to us. Delicately, the little girl was nibbling on a Wispa - savouring every little bit.

Baby's Buttons (and mine, if she's not careful)!
'Bother!' I thought, 'Baby's seen the chocolate - milk chocolate. And what's more that little girl is taking her time over it - extending the torture!' Baby has no idea what a Wispa tastes like, but she knows what chocolate looks like, and just like me, LOVES chocolate (dairy free of course). "Sorry Darling," I said regretfully, gently stroking Baby's face, "I'm afraid you can't have that chocolate - it's got milk in and it would make your tummy hurt." 

Baby is always so good about it. Whenever I say, "It's got milk in it, it would make your tummy hurt," she just accepts it. She doesn't beg or plead, or strop, like she would if she wanted the telly on at home. That's what kind of makes it worse, in a way. 

I'm not of course advocating that other people shouldn't eat chocolate near Baby. She's got to get used to the fact that we don't live in a dairy free world and that other people are going to be eating things that she (for now at least) can't have. 

Sometimes, I try to pre-empt such situations, by carrying a secret stash in my bag (it has to be secret or otherwise she'd empty it pretty quickly) such as Free From chocolate coins, buttons or lollies. Unfortunately, I was not prepared on  this occasion.

Of course I didn't leave it there, I couldn't! Not when she was being so good (or even if she wasn't). "You can have some of your chocolate when we get home - after you've had your lunch," I said.

It's times like these, when I am extremely thankful for Free From chocolate. The other times I'm thankful for chocolate, of course, are when I've got PMT! Chocolate was something I thought I'd kissed goodbye to, when I discovered I had to go dairy free. I was so, so glad that someone had found a way to make it without milk!

I am thankful not just for Free From chocolate, now I come to think of it, but the many  other different Free From products that are available these days. I do not know what we would do without them! 

I am taking part in the 'Reasons to be Cheerful' Blog Hop. For more reasons to be cheerful, follow the links below, and if you blog, why not join in too!

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