It was great seeing our friends from Panama over the weekend.
Haven't seen P since we all lived in Liberal back in the day. She now has a few more PhD's, a new career, a terrific husband and two amazing sons.
Her oldest son is the same age as our 4-year-old daughter, so we though it would be fun to take them to the Robots exhibit at Union Station. I was happy to see so many people there on a Sunday afternoon. It wasn't packed wall-to-wall by any means, but there were enough people that you had to wait in line in several places.
Anyway, we took the kids through the Robots exhibit and then, since it was the same ticket, through Science City. After a few hours of exploration and education, we decided it was time for a break and a snack before heading out to our next stop.
We grabbed a couple of tables at the downstairs snack bar. I bought a bottle of water and some of those roasted candied almonds. I knew my kid had never had them before and thought she might like to try something new.
So I sit down, open the package and my daughter immediately grabs an almond. At the same time, her new friend also grabs an almond and pops it in his mouth. Thinking I have a hit here, I offer some almonds to my Supermodel Wife sitting next to me. Then I offer some to the boy's mother who politely declines, and adds to make sure I don't give any to her son.
Wait a minute, he already grabbed one. "Are you serious?" she asks.
"Yeah, he grabbed one as soon as I opened the pack."
"He's very allergic to almonds," she says, as she bolts for the prescription-strength Benadryl.
Now I'm thinking, HOLY CRAP! Here's this family who has been traveling for a week with two young boys all the way from Panama, like they need any more stress, and I've just sent their son into a potentially life-threatening anaphylactic shock. I sit stupidly by, offering my bottle of water to wash the boy's mouth while his mother expertly doses him with the Benadryl.
"Usually his mouth swells and starts to itch really bad, then he vomits," P said as she cleaned his mouth. She has obviously seen this before.
Almost immediately, the child begins to rub the inside of his lip. His mother urges him not to scratch it, that the itching will pass soon when the medicine kicks in.
Luckily, possibly because of the sugary coating on the almonds and certainly due to Mom's rapid response, the reaction is mild. No vomiting, no ambulance, no vacation-ruining visits to the ER, only some slight swelling, redness and itching.
I continue to apologize as profusely as I can until I get the sense that I'm starting to annoy P and that I should just let it drop.
But I make a mental note in ALL CAPS, bold face and underlined:
NEVER OFFER YOUR SWEET NUTS TO STRANGE KIDS WITHOUT FIRST CHECKING WITH THEIR MOTHER!
tagged: Union Station, Robots, Kansas City, Panama, allergy, almond, Benadryl, anaphylactic shock