Monday, April 13, 2009

Introducing Tony and the Beavers

I'm kind of jumping into the middle of this blog without introduction. So, let me back up a little and do the formal introductions. My name is Tony, "wenat" is my wife, and Andrew and Geoffrey are our kids. My wife asked me to start contributing here because some of my experiences could help the allergic parents community. Among other things, I'm a Beaver leader. You've read about our experiences with Andrew's and Geoff's allergies, and I can say as parents, we trust one another to check the ingredients.

I've read some posts, primarily from Moms (sorry guys but it's true) where Dad, a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle is in denial or just plain oblivious and thinks the child is "a picky eater" or "it's not that bad...s/he'll learn to eat it". Hmmm...projectile vomiting, wheezing, hives and total change of personality...I WISH I could have mustered half of that when I was forced to eat brussel sprouts or liver as a child. My mom resorted to battering and deep frying strips of liver with the french fries to get us to eat them, but that's another story for a different blog.

Andrew came home from Kindergarten in September with a flyer for our local Scout group.  Why put Andrew in Scouting? The usual two reasons...I was in it, and I think I'm a better person for it, and most importantly, he asked.   I guess a 3rd reason would be how adorable he looks in his uniform, but I will admit my bias.

(I was in Scouting for 12 years, starting in Beavers at age 7 and I have been looking forward to the time when Andrew was old enough to enter Scouting and I could re-enter as a leader.)

"This looks like fun Daddy, could I do this?" he asked from the kitchen table while studying the flyer.

Yes! {cue the Tiger Woods fist pump}  It turned out that the group in our area didn't have a Beaver Colony last year; it would be starting from scratch this year, and with my experience growing up, I was the "head" leader. Fortunately three other parents have volunteered to be leaders too, and we have a fantastic dynamic within our leadership team and seven five year-olds, nine 6 year-olds and three 7-year olds; that's 19 kids full of energy and curiosity and questions that MUST be answered. (Little did I know how many of them would have food allergies too.)

One of Scouting's sayings is "putting the 'out' in Scouting". "Out" means day trips and camping. Day trips and camping mean food; food brought by other kids, food prepared by other parents, food prepared by other kids later in the older sections of scouting. Trail mix was a staple of the diet when I was at camp with Cubs and Scouts...trail mix has peanuts and often chocolate chips...from the bulk food aisle.

I need a TUMS just thinking about this.

So, that's part one of the story of me and the Beavers - stay tuned for part two of this series on camping and allergies -- and the "meat and potatoes" of our camps (rice milk and lactose-free margarine in the mashed potatoes of course).

1 comment:

Elisabeth said...

Hey Tony -

Thanks for posting from a "dad" perspective. I have an allergic 2 1/2 year old boy and it will be nice to read about "boy stuff" from a guy.