My son recently went to his first (non-family member) birthday party. My dear friend gave me the heads up that there would be birthday cupcakes that were not William-allergy-friendly. No problem. I'll just make a batch of fudge to take along.
The birthday cupcakes looked delicious with their blue frosting and sprinkles. I felt a moment of panic when I saw them, and worried that the fudge we came with as his alternative would not be enough. That my son would pine over not being able to have the cupcake that everyone else was having. That we would end up with a melt down at the table, a tug-a-war of will power and in the end, a crying, unhappy child. I needn't have worried though. He dove into the fudge without any apparent thought to eating the cupcakes. Gigantic sigh of relief.
At two and a half, his preferences and experiences are still being shaped, so he really didn't miss that cupcake nearly as much as I did. Perhaps it will get more challenging as he gets older. Or maybe, it will get easier as his comprehension increases. It's one big learning curve. However, there is one thing I feel sure of: I have to be careful not to let my food hang-ups become his. If I make a big deal about his not being able to have a certain yummy cupcake, then it will certainly become a big deal. Alternatives abound, even if they aren't entirely traditional birthday fare. Traditions can be changed and birthdays can become reasons to eat lots of fudge instead.
And so, I let him eat (almost) as much fudge as he wanted.
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