By Beck

The Baby (and whenever I call her that, I feel the need to add that she is five now and NOT ANYTHING LIKE A BABY) just made some muffins, which are baking away in the oven as I write. And because The Baby has food issues, they’re gluten-free and so the chances of them turning out delicious are fairly low.

We don’t really have any choices about the gluten-free diet, regardless of how dire many things taste like – it’s either this or The Baby is sick and skinny and pale and fading. But the other day, someone we know dropped off a GIANT bag of gluten-free groceries at my husband’s workplace, saying that she’d tried it for a little while and she just couldn’t get used to the food. And while The Baby was totally delighted to get tons of granola bars and bags of cookies all at once, I felt a flicker of some darker emotion at the idea of other people getting to put down her burden, to not carry what she has to carry.

And this is REALLY stupid. Her burden isn’t that heavy! She has a FOOD ALLERGY – okay, not fun, but good grief, it could be so much worse. I think this feeling, this “nobody knows my pain” thing is pretty common, which is probably why I got an email the other day from a reader (probably a new reader because GEE WHIZ WHO THINKS THIS?) who told me that I “think (my) life is so perfect.”


The muffins came out of the oven too brown and weirdly shaped but actually tasted quite pleasant. I am trying to think of a final line for this, something about life being sad and sweet and imperfect and biting into the warm, sweet cake, at once not quite what I wanted and completely fine at the same time.

19 Responses to Muffins
  1. Justine
    June 3, 2010 | 12:25 pm

    I hosted a BBQ this weekend and a guest had gluten and dairy allergy. We live in a big city and have access to stores with readily available gluten-free products but even then, it was a bit of a challenge. I made everything on that table gluten-free and lactose free, but most of it were things I’ve made before and enjoyed anyway. It’s the baked goods that had to be specially made/bought, and I can see how difficult it is that something so ordinary as bread and butter to the rest of us, can be something someone may never have. It made me really understand what it’s like to have an allergy to common food items.

    It can be an isolating experience, especially when you’re surrounded by people who don’t understand the difference between an allergy (like gluten) and preference (veganism).

  2. Tessa
    June 3, 2010 | 12:31 pm

    My son is allergic to gluten, dairy and eggs. He just asked me the other day…”Mom, do you wish I could eat gluten and dairy?” I said “yes” and he said “so do I.”
    We don’t bake much, because taking out the dairy and eggs as well as the gluten just is so hard. If your daughter can have dairy and eggs, I suggest the Pamela’s gluten free baking and pancake mix. It is SO GOOD and has recipes online and on the bag….expensive though. Also the Tinkyada brand pastas are GF and they have great texture. If you’ve been GF for long, you likely know about these products already.
    I make my own GF granola bars…they’re yummy (Bob’s Red Mill sells GF oats) and coconut milk yogurt to offset the expenses of a GF DF diet.
    Best of luck!

  3. suburbancorrespondent
    June 3, 2010 | 2:12 pm

    I get it – my son’s dairy allergy sure beat having a kid in a wheelchair or a kid with brain damage, and I knew that. But, still, it made every day life a lot harder; and so many people couldn’t understand that.

  4. Hannah
    June 3, 2010 | 2:58 pm

    Excuse me. Just for a moment. Someone actually WROTE THAT TO YOU? (See? The Caps Lock key? Two can play that game!;-)) Does this person even read your blog, like, ever? Do they have you mixed up with someone — not naming some names here but thinking of some? I hope you were able to laugh off that cheap shot because it is, of course, CRAZY.

    You are very down to earth, and real, and undeserving of such criticism.

    Moving on. About the muffins, I second Pamela’s baking mix, which I get for cheap-ish by setting up a monthly order on Amazon. The muffins and everything else I make from it (for my own GF diet) turn out quite pleasantly. I know, though, it’s rough sometimes. Especially for a kiddo.

  5. Nicole
    June 3, 2010 | 3:15 pm

    What? You DON’T think your life is perfect? Well, sheesh.

    My kids don’t have food allergies. I do think it would be very difficult to live with food allergies – sure, not the worst thing in the world, not terrible – but very difficult and not fun at all. Certainly not perfect.

  6. Alison
    June 3, 2010 | 3:44 pm

    I stuck it out on the gluten-free, dairy-free diet for 3 weeks hoping it would help my baby in some unmeasurable way. Not sure what I was hoping for… So while it was daunting at first, I soon realized it wasn’t that bad to do without wheat and dairy. But since it didn’t have a significant impact on his little life and certainly didn’t make him sleep through the night, I gave it up. And now I feel guilty for giving up. Just because I know some (many?) people HAVE to do it and maybe I should stand in solidarity with them or something. However, I didn’t eat eggs (anywhere, any format) for 26 years of my life and never once do I remember someone else passing up birthday cake because I wasn’t able to eat it…nor would I expect them to. So I guess we all have ‘burdens’ to bear: some of them small and some of them larger but all of them framed in the context of how victimized we feel by them.

  7. Kyla
    June 3, 2010 | 5:33 pm

    Yeah, I know this feeling…it relates to something totally different, but I understand the sentiment.

  8. Laura
    June 3, 2010 | 8:30 pm

    I’ve started eating a GF diet for an obvious intolerance (though it isn’t Celiac) and I hate it. 🙁 But I hate feeling bad more, so I eat a lot of soup. I recently discovered though the Betty Crocker GF desserts and they are almost as delicious as the regular stuff! Seriously – they have yellow cake, chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies (which aren’t quite as good, but still satisfy the craving) and brownies (which are AMAZINGLY close to the “real” stuff). They are my lifesaver during holidays and cravings.

    As a side note, my kids have medical issues that do not at all compare to some of the more serious cases of the same disease or even cancer for goodness sake and I threw a pretty big pity party today anyway. I think it’s ok to have moments of grief where you let go of what you thought should have happened – of what feels fair and give room to accept what is and move forward. I’m just not that big a person to just accept such road bumps in life without a bit of whimpering about the knot on my head (or even worse, my kids’ head) from hitting the ceiling of the car…okay, I think my analogy is breaking down, but there’s how I think you should feel. 😉

  9. tracey
    June 3, 2010 | 9:05 pm

    Yay for free food! I think it’s great that she remembered that your daughter could use them.

  10. Kirsten
    June 3, 2010 | 9:12 pm

    You know, this is so interesting. If your kid has issues, there is always someone who will pity you. At the same time you always know there is someone who’s worse off than you. Funny thing, a few years ago my “baby” had to have ear tubes put in. As we were getting her ready, another kid entered the waiting area. She had Down’s. I felt pity for the family when I noticed the mom looking at my daughter’s heart surgery scars with horror. Then I realized that I was just being pitied by the mother of a child with Down’s. Kind of funny, but life is just life, everyone has their cross to bear. Now I will get off my little box and tell you that my husband has developed delicious recipes for all kinds of gluten free baked goodies – including waffles, pancakes, muffins, breads…. email me if you’re interested! We can do gluten now, but still bake these to mix things up and because they taste great.

  11. Jenifer
    June 3, 2010 | 9:42 pm

    Not only are you great, the people who comment are pretty great too. Ideas, suggestions, recipes and the general consensus that we all are entitled to feel how we feel. Some of us have huge crosses to bear and no matter what we recognize that in others too.

  12. christine
    June 3, 2010 | 10:50 pm

    um, why would that person write that? what gives them the right to say anything like that to anyone? i work for a kind older lady who must be gluten free so that muffin recipe would be greatly appreciated.


  13. JoAnn Hallum
    June 4, 2010 | 10:06 am

    your life might not be perfect, but your muffin analogy is.

  14. Painted Maypole
    June 4, 2010 | 7:37 pm

    gee, you manage to find beauty in everyday things and therefore you are stuck up about your perfect life. makes perfect sense to me.


    i have yet to get a troll. I guess that means I’m not popular enough. I’m cool with that.

  15. PastormacsAnn
    June 7, 2010 | 2:36 am

    Trolls be gone! Have mercy.

    Beck, I love reading your posts. So lovely, so poignant, so honest.

  16. erin
    June 8, 2010 | 10:50 pm

    You always manage to wrap things up so nicely.

    I’m sorry the Baby has this food allergy thing…at least now more and more stores have a selection of gluten-free products (well, here they do, assuming Canada is waaaay ahead of us w/ all that)….

  17. Sue
    June 10, 2010 | 10:56 pm

    My youngest son grew out of his gluten allergy and now eats it without consequences, as an adult.

    Hope that happens to your little one, too.


  18. … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: […]…

  19. Para Ma
    April 15, 2012 | 9:13 am

    Websites we think you should visit…

    […]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[…]……

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL