I have had some questions about how I live in a house of a bunch of gluten eaters. I recognize that making the whole family eat Gluten Free would be easier for day to day life. But I don’t think it would make things better in the long run.
Co-existing is one of the most difficult things we humans do. Despite what I would like to think, my kids aren’t going to live with me their whole lives. They are going to have to navigate the world alone and that means learning how to function with other humans around. Who knows, they might have a roommate one day that eats only ginger snaps and guava juice and walks on one foot on Fridays. They are going to have to live with that. I would like to think that I am teaching them how to adapt and accept others for who they are. Also, I don’t want to spend 9 bucks on bread twice a week. BARF!
This is how we Co-exist so Mommy is safe:
1) The kids know I have Celiacs – they understand what I in general can and cannot eat. They can be militant about this. Julia often points an accusatory finger at someone who is offering me food and demands “Is it Gluten Three?”
2) I have two of everything – serving and cooking spoons, cutting boards etc etc – there is no wood allowed – only plastic
3) MY items are red. Red means stop – don’t use my shit or I will kill you
4) We wash everything in the sink with hot water then use the sanitizing cycle of the dishwasher every time – I KNOW this uses more water than a small Taiwanese village. I would apologize to the polar bears myself if I weren’t sure they would rip my head off.
5) When I have a party or a dinner, I make everything… like everything. My friends have come to the conclusion that when I say “Bring nothing but wine” I’m not being coy or cute, I need you to not bring stuff and put it on my Gluten Free buffet for it to contaminate everything else.
6) If someone brings a special treat for my husband (AKA butter tarts from Saskatchewan) they have to bring them in a container and they are put away for later or put on a side table away from the GF food.
7) Most of the condiments in our house are GF – Soya sc, etc. I Use a squeeze bottle for everything that is at a risk of cross contamination (ex mayo)
8) I have my own peanut butter and butter that no one else can use
9) My pantry is labeled GF or NON GF items.
10) We wash our hands A LOT and the kids are not allowed to share a water bottle with me
11) Most of the kids gluteny snacks are pre-pkged (aka goldfish in the little bags)
12) Meals I make for the family are GF - I don't make two meals
That’s pretty much it really and it’s all become a part of our lives – how we co-exist. We have involved the kids in my safety and by doing so, teach them so much more.
Family isn’t about control and judgement, it's about having a place where you feel important. It isn’t about getting your own way and bending others to your will. Our children learn so many things from us, how to compromise is one of them. I have always wanted to make sure that my kids understand that our home is a safe place to be, that nothing bad will ever happen to them here.
Trev and I provide that safety for them and I think it’s only fair that they return the favor.
And that's how we live...