"Happy Birthday Mummy" says my little boy as he enters our bedroom riding on his dad's back. No better way to start the day. My dear husband has booked a massage for me followed by a family lunch at a lovely cafe up in the nearby Dandenong Ranges.
I lie down on the massage table and then remember to ask the masseur whether by any chance they have any nut free oils. "We only have one type of oil - it is almond oil. I don't think that's a nut." What planet are you from?? I politely respond, "Um, yes, almond is a nut." It's not all their fault - thinking back, I should have brought my own sunflower oil or something - but who thinks of that? The last time I had a massage, they suggested I have a shower afterwards, and that was a lovely alternative. Anyway, with no shower on offer this time, I ask her not to massage my head or hair, and try and relax, and try again, and relax. I start debating whether we would call an ambulance or drive down the mountains ourself to the nearest hospital if there's an emergency. Best to call the ambulance - I've only got one epipen with me... Ok, try and relax again... Actually, the massage was lovely - nothing beats a good massage... well, it's definitely up there on my list at any rate.
When the massage is over I go to the bathroom and try wiping off some oil left on my neck and tie my hair differently to make it less likely my son will touch my hair. I wash my hands thoroughly with soap and am grateful it is a cold day so I have long sleeves on and don't need to worry about my arms. It's the best I can do... when hubbie and son come back to pick me up, of course the little guy wants to be picked up, wraps his arms around my neck and into my hair. Sigh.
By the time we're at lunch, he's got a red cheek, probably from remnants of almond (nut!) oil on my neck. I try wiping it off with some baby wipes. It's still red, I get another wipe. By the end of lunch, we've used close to 10 wipes. Everytime I inadvertently touch my neck or hair, I reach for another wipe. I'm sure the people on the next table think we're crazy... oh well.
When we get home and put the little boy to sleep, I'm finally able to take a good shower, scrub myself free of any nut oils, and wash all the clothes I was wearing. So there you have it, a birthday in the life of a mum with a son with multiple food allergies.
But it's the end of the day now, and on reflection, it really was a lovely day. Our son had no lasting rash, we had a lovely outing, I had a rejuvenating massage, and I am afterall surrounded by a loving loving family near and far away. Next time I just have to remember remember to bring my own massage oil and the whole day will be completely enjoyable. Or who knows, maybe next year our son will not have any more allergies... THAT will be a day of true rejoicing...