We’ve had a pretty frustrating go of it at school lately, and I’m trying to figure out how to handle the situation. It seems like every time I turn around, there’s another party or birthday treat or some food thing at school, and I’m the last one to know about it.
So far, our arrangement has been that the teacher would tell me about any planned treats beforehand, so I could make arrangements to be at school to dose Kaitlyn during the party. We’ve chosen to have it this way because I want Kaitlyn to be able to participate in the party without needing to visit the nurse’s office. Sometimes I wonder at the wisdom in this choice—I end up making trips to the school ALL THE TIME! However, lately I haven’t found out about the food stuff until it’s too late, and then Kaitlyn ends up sitting there, not able to eat the special snack while all the other kids are. On the days that I do find out about the food, the time frame isn’t clear, so I end up going over there too early and disturbing the class with my noisy 3-year-old. Or I get there after the treat is served and keep Kaitlyn waiting.
So, what should I do? I feel like most of the time, it does more harm than good when people go into a situation with their “fists raised high,” if you know what I mean. I really want the school staff to like Kaitlyn and to want to help her with whatever she needs. This is why I try to go out of my way to offer support, express appreciation, smile when I walk in the office, etc. A nice gift at holiday time and at the end of the school year doesn’t hurt much either!
And you know what? Our soft-touch approach works amazingly well! The office staff and the nurses absolutely love Kaitlyn. It’s actually pretty hard not to love Kaitlyn, because she is pretty darn loveable, but these people are amazing! Not only do they give her excellent medical care, but they’re always bringing her little gifts, heating up things in her lunch, giving her hugs, and making sure everything is going well at school that day. It’s like having a bunch of fairy godmothers at school every day.
This is the kind of stuff that really makes a difference to me, so I’m frustrated with figuring out how to handle this current situation with food in the classroom. I will not hesitate to demand a change if it’s necessary for my kid’s safety or emotional well-being at school (and I definitely have done that in some situations with my other kids). But I’m hoping I can do it without burning bridges or making things worse. Luckily, this isn’t a situation where Kaitlyn’s safety is in jeopardy. She’s old enough to know that she can’t eat without getting insulin, and I’m really lucky that she is exceptionally patient and easy-going.
For now, I will continue to remind the teacher to tell me when food will be served. I have also solicited the help of our district nurse who comes to our campus to take care of Kaitlyn on a regular basis. Wish me luck!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.