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Respond, Don't React!

Respond, Don't React!
"But what if you have Celiac Disease?" one of my preschoolers asked last semester before I relocated.


I have another preschooler who has had a rash of food intolerances and reactions since he was a baby.  He is still gluten-free and dairy-free -- and then we read Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

The pancake slumped over an entire house loomed on the page, and Luke reached out a hand to keep me from turning it. He and I stared horrified at the enormous pancakes on the later pages, draped over houses and crumbling on pavements.  Or what about the raining hamburger buns pages before?



I've been staying with a host-family in my situation before I get my own flat.  They're a gluten-happy, four-kid household of 14-8 year olds who toss crumbs like confetti, and have a fave-food-fetish involving Eggo waffles.

How can something as normal as food be so dangerous?  

I know my preschoolers were trying to wrap their minds around this as we read Cloudy -- although any pancake large as a house, whether your gut appreciates it or not, is rather a perilous event. But I also know that a bleeding lot of people who are very much adults don't even try to wrap their minds around it.

"It might just smash me before I ate it," said one, of my students, "Then my tummy wouldn't care."

"Then you'd be a pancake," I told her.

"A gluten FREE pancake!"

Yes indeed. But o calliou-callay, what do you do when a pancake isn't house-size, and someone else doesn't acknowledge -- or just doesn't have time or room for -- the fact that that crumb can create a serious health conflict for you?

Maybe you give them Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Sometimes, I feel discombobulated, and think it's a mad-mad-mad-mad world when microscopic proteins in wheat can wreck my small intestine.

So I've begun -- sometimes -- to respond to people by mirroring their incredulity and awe.  Because bloody hell, disease doesn't make sense.  And Celiac Disease especially  . . . [ KEEP READING AT TUMBLING GLUTEN FREE

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