Bedrest keeps me from going to church. I hate missing helping teach the kids, getting to fellowship with other believers. However, a bigger problem presented itself: How would Wren go to church?
D and I help out with the kids’ classes at church with D staying in Sammy’s class and me teaching Wren’s. It probably sounds like overkill, but the Celiac diagnosis changed a lot of things in our lives we didn’t anticipate. How do you teach young kids about cross-contamination, that they can’t touch playdough, that their friends’ animal crackers, which are served for snack, will increase their risk of cancer for the next four years if they get even a crumb into their system? And how do you put that kind of responsibility on another adult while they are also managing 14-16 other kids? We just couldn’t figure it out, and our church was kind enough to let us step in and deal with this our own way until the kids are old enough. We’re hoping to see signs of that soon.
My bedrest threw a kink into a plan that had been working flawlessly for the last year. D and I did not want Wren missing out on Sunday School, the fellowship with her friends, the songs she gets to learn with Mr. Mike, and the lessons she learns and repeats to us every week. Plus, this seemed like a good time for her to have some time away from me and D, for her to get to establish some personal space and patterns without being under our watchful eye. We are homeschooling, and I think the family being the ones to influence children more than their friends is important. (I also think that can happen regardless of a homeschool or public school choice). However, it’s good for everyone to know they can function as autonomous creatures. Wren needs that.
So, the new plan our church has generously agreed to is that Wren goes to class on her own. Since snack time is at the end of class, one of the class helpers walks her to D and Sammy’s classroom where she has snack with them before heading home. This was the first week, and it was awesome!
It’s a small thing, but it feels kind of huge.
Also, if you wonder why a group of 3 and 4 year olds can’t break bread, or animal crackers, together without cross contamination being an issue, let me present you with an image: Cookie Monster ingesting a whole box of animal crackers and then sprinkling what isn’t already on the floor or table everywhere else. Even when everyone eats in a fairly graceful manner, there have been many times where people have been curious about Wren’s food, so with a handful of animal crackers in their hands, they have reached out and grabbed her apple or banana or whatever she has brought. Still hard to understand? Check out the visual and information from The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center:
A safe limit of gluten intake for most Celiacs is less than 100mg per day, though some do react with as little as 10mg.