Play-date Dilemma

With JT now in Kindergarten and making his own friends (rather than just playing with the children of my friends), the subject of play-dates is coming up all of the time. Of course, we have done play-dates before but I’ve always been there. Now that he is 6 we are entering the world of the “drop-off” play-date. I’m sure for lots of parents this change is downright blissful.  While for some, including myself, the idea brings on instant anxiety. A few free hours of unpaid child care while your child plays and has snacks with friends actually sounds really great. But, I tend to be a little on the nervous and overprotective side anyway, now throw in JT’s allergies, asthma and medications and the thought of dropping him off leaves me a wreck.

Let’s just say Molly was old enough and going to a “drop-off” play-date. With no medical issues to think of I would still be nervous about plenty of things. Will this family supervise my child like I would?, Will they be in a safe place?, Is the family reliable?,  If they are gun owners, do they store them safely?, Are they good people? Now add in JT’s medical complications and I’m adding questions like: Is this family clean?, Do they have pets?, How do they handle food?, Will there be exposure to peanuts or eggs?, Will they recognize an allergic reaction?, Do they understand how serious this can be? On top of that is the responsibility I would be putting on another parent. In order to drop him off I need to teach that parent what foods to keep away from JT,  what signs to look for if an allergic reaction is starting , how to use an epipen and how to give JT his inhaler. That’s a lot to ask someone I’m not paying!

For now, we are laying pretty low on the play-date front because I’m not feeling ready for it to evolve into the “drop-off” stage, but I don’t think it’s doing JT any good. I know I need to think about that next step, but how?

So, parents who have been through this, how did you do it? Or did you not do it? What advice do you have for a little-bit-nervous, maybe-slightly-overly-protective Mom?

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April Vacation Muffins (Allergen Free)

I woke up on this first day of April vacation wanting to bake some muffins with the kids. It’s not something we get to do very often with school all week and the weekends busy with soccer and chores and family. So before even heading to the kitchen I was promising the kids banana muffins and they were just as excited to help with the baking as they were to eat the muffins. I knew I would have to do a little research for an allergen free recipe or a “normal” recipe that I could adapt. But I also knew I would need the bananas so I went to the fruit bowl…to find it empty. No bananas!! You can’t make banana muffins without bananas. Luckily, I’m good at improvising. (actually…I lie. Usually when I try to improvise while baking I end up with a huge flop, but not this time, so let’s just pretend)

So here is my recipe for “April Vacation Muffins” or “Strawberry, peach, a little applesauce and a tiny bit of banana muffins” They were delicious and moist and not too sweet. If I had thought I would have any success with these I would have taken some pictures of my adorable little bakers. Oh well, next time…I’ll definitely be making these again!

April Vacation Muffins

6 Tablespoons of Olivio coconut oil spread (you can use any dairy free “butter”)
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1 (stage 3) jar of baby food bananas
6 Tablespoons of applesauce
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 Tablespoons rice milk
About a cup of diced peaches and strawberries (I used pre-chopped frozen fruit, thawed)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease muffin pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl cream together “butter” and sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together all other ingredients except for the fruit. Once mixed add creamed “butter” and sugar to the mix and mix some more. Now gently fold in the fruit. Pour into muffin pan and bake about 25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins. Enjoy!!