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Field trips in the days of email

Posted Feb 10 2009 10:05am

Remember the good old days of permission slips and advanced notice?

I’m not knocking my kids’ teachers, but sometimes email just isn’t much of a help for the allergy mom. Why? Because the messages don’t always get delivered to the inbox. Why they’re suddenly spam, or delayed by servers, I’ll never know…

And, honestly, although Sam is now 7 and getting more and more responsible for handling his own food, I still don’t totally trust his classmates or their well-intentioned parents. I just can’t be 100% positive that they know not to give Sam food–there’s a “no sharing” rule in class, but what about when they go out for a field trip?

So, today I’m trying to figure out if Steve or I can go on a field trip with Sam–for half a day TOMORROW morning.

If we didn’t work for ourselves, could we do this? I mean, seriously. What do parents who work outside the home do when things like this happen?

It’s not as if I can say “Oh, just let Sam stay at school with another class,” because then we’re talking about a diff. teacher who might not know what’s going on.

And like it or not, I just get tired of talking to teachers over and over again about his needs, and I know they think I’m being over-protective if I ask them to educate the parents who are planning on going along.

Ugh, ugh, double-ugh!

I think we’re going to survive tomorrow–I’m pretty sure Steve can go along. But this also shoots my work day in the foot, big-time. We will lose a combined 8 hours of worktime between the two of us.

How much income have other allergy parents lost? How much credibility with their bosses? In the long-term, how much do food allergies affect families?

I’m frustrated right now, but also grateful that we can be there. I just think about all the kids out there going on trips outside their normal routine with parents who might not even know about a field trip–perhaps their kid is offered a Snickers because no one remembered to “train” the chaperones. Or maybe the child is not responsible yet for asking about labels. It bothers me.

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