Just after we arrived at our destination (a four-hour drive) we got a call from my sister, who said that our son had been taken to the ER because of an allergic reaction to peanuts. My parents know about our son’s nut allergy. We do have peanut butter in the house, but after discovering this allergy a couple of years ago, we of course never give him peanuts in any form. Turns out that my dad decided to give him some peanut butter on a cracker “as a snack.”
We raced home, and by then everybody was home. My sister was at our house with our son. He was fine and in bed. My parents had gone back to their house.
I called them the next morning to hear what had happened and my dad told me he had given our son peanut butter. I would have been completely understanding if he had told me that they’d forgotten about the allergy, but he didn’t say that. He said basically that he “didn’t believe” in this allergy and he didn’t think this would be a big deal (I guess until our son’s throat closed and they raced him to the hospital).
My husband and I are livid. We don’t like to use access to our child as a way to punish our folks, but given that they haven’t apologized, we decided to “take a break” from having our son spend time with them. This included not seeing them on Christmas. We don’t want to overreact or make everything worse, and we’re both wondering what you think.
Appalled: So far, your reaction to this emergency seems proportional. I wonder why your parents are stewing in their juice, rather than simply admitting to having made a mistake and showing relief that your son is okay. I assume they are embarrassed and prideful. And now they are behaving like children — hiding under their blanket, rather than admit their mistake.
I suggest that you pay them a visit in order to clarify everything that happened. Give them the opportunity to take a step or two toward you. They really do need to demonstrate that they understand this risk and that they will never repeat their mistake. They should also apologize to you, your husband, and your son (“I’m so sorry — I didn’t mean to hurt you.”).
I don’t think your folks are competent enough to be with him overnight, but I hope you can move on.
Dear Amy: My wife and I recently went to a casual dinner party. We barely knew the hosts and we didn’t know any of the other guests (around 10). We introduced ourselves to the other guests and after we all ate, we gathered in little groups and were chatting. It was nice!
That’s when the host suddenly pulled out a karaoke machine and fired it up. He and a couple of other people then started singing, very loudly, into an amplified mic that he was passing around. It was loud and very abrupt. No one could maintain any conversation.
After the first song, I turned to my wife and whispered: “We have early workdays tomorrow, so maybe we should go.” She told me this was rude. We waited for two or three more songs and then said good night. I’m wondering if you think I was being rude?
Pitched: Enforced karaoke in this context is my idea of social torture, so I guess the question is how long you must tolerate something you loathe in order to exit politely on a school night.
I’d say that three choruses of “My Heart Will Go On” would do it.
Dear Amy: Like “Already Grieving,” I went to a birthday party for someone who had terminal cancer. Leading up to the party was a mix of emotions but once it was underway, everyone had a good time.
It’s important to live until you die and in my experience, people with terminal illnesses know and understand this better than anyone.
Grateful: This is beautiful. Thank you.
© 2024 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.