Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Allergies

Summy is a vegetarian, like Kiran and me. She knows that she is not supposed to eat meat at school, where they give her something meatless when everybody else is having meat or chicken.

She doesn't seem to mind it, though she probably gets curious sometimes. I had a lot of trouble explaining this vegetarianism to her.

First, I just told her we don't like to eat meat. By that, she must have assumed that it doesn't taste good. So when the topic of what others had for lunch came up, she would scrunch up her nose is say, "Yuck! Meat is icky, right?". I can't have her telling her friends their lunch is yucky while they're eating it.

So I expanded a little bit, carefully, and told her meat comes from animals. And we don't like to eat animals, even though there are others who do eat them. But it's still tough. And she'll probably still get in trouble if she tells her friends she doesn't like to eat animals. The kids might not be offended, but the parents might be.

It's actually the same dilemma that we grown-ups have, having to tell that we prefer to be vegetarian for "animal" reasons. From experience, it is hard to explain this without sounding uppity, without offending people, or without having them go defensive.

Luckily we have religion to the rescue. People will argue if we did it because we thought it was the right thing, but they'll let it pass if they think it's got anything to do with religion.

Summy has found an even better way. She came home one day and said "We are allergic to eat meat" as if she had it all figured out.

But this isn't just for meat - it's for everything that she doesn't like. For example, she now says she is "allergic to eat" bananas and chocolate (which, strangely, she doesn't like). The other day, her baby doll in her school cubby had to be replaced with another one, because the old baby doll was "allergic to being in a cubby".

How much before Summy becomes "allergic" to baths, to bedtimes and so on? I don't give it very long.

4 comments:

The Mad Momma said...

LOL!!! that was a cute story!

Anonymous said...

So you dont use leather products either?

Aparna said...

Nope, I stopped buying leather products a few years ago. Summy doesn't wear leather anything either, as long as I'm the one shopping for her.

namvor said...

hi. am here first time.

we are also vegetarians. to my great surprise i have found folks here (in london) very tolerant. like one mom in my daughter's school kept the entire menu for her son's party vegetarian so that my daughter would not have any issues with the food - this despite me telling her not to bother. another kid's dad got an eggless cake (i dont eat eggs either) so that *i* would be able to eat the cake at the party.

the 'allergic to meat' bit made me smile. kids are so smart!