Tis the season to eat lollies!

 Christmas is a great time of year. We just need to survive the lead up!

We have a daggy Christmas tree covered in decorations made in primary school. This year the eldest two were taller than the Christmas tree. That gave me the biggest lump in my throat. My role was purely supervisory. The requested musical accompaniment  was Michael Buble’s Christmas album. The vibe in the  house was good although interspersed with bouts of wrestling. Again, my role here was supervisory!

We are two teachers who have finished reports in a house with three boys who have been assessed to the eyeballs. We are tired!

This is also the hardest part of the year to help my son navigate his way through living with Type 1 diabetes. So many of our ways of celebrating Christmas revolve around food. There are chocolates everywhere. Class parties in multiple high school subjects ostensibly to celebrate Christmas but really to high five each other for surviving a year of school together.

During the past week, I’ve dipped my hand in several chocolate boxes, eaten numerous slices of cakes and had a few handfuls of crisps. Every time I do this, I wonder how my middle son is going at his school. Recently,  I had a French exchange student in my class and we would discuss the differences between  French and Australian schools. She had finished high school in France and said that during her time there was never fed once by her teachers. She marvelled at the amount of food placed before her in my school. Prizes for class quizzes, parties for birthdays, end of term celebrations, always with food. Isn’t that amazing? It made me realise the continual choices our kids with Type 1 may have to make.

This is going to be my boy’s third Christmas with Type 1 diabetes. He will have his fair share of chocolates and cake but it’s generally as part of a meal or snack when he has his insulin injection. He has chosen not to have a pump and I respect his right to make the choice that he feels is right for him. It does mean though that, for him, random chocolates and unbolused snacks are a no go.

I’ve always asked my three boys to be honest with me. As a parent, I totally accept and even welcome stuff ups. As a teacher, I sometimes worry about the perfect kids. Isn’t this the time to break out and mess things up occasionally?

Dishonesty is a big family no no! I tell my three boys all the time to tell me the truth and if something has gone wrong we can try to fix it together. They are not perfect but they generally fess up to stuff ups and we try and fix things as a team.

Secret Santa gifts! Now there is a potential diabetes disaster! Incredibly, my son managed to carry a box of chocolates around for a whole day and resisted the temptations to try a few even though they were his favourites! I’m not sure I could have been so strong! It was his Secret Santa gift which he then shared around with everyone after dinner.

When he then did his Blood Glucose Levels for his afternoon snack though, he was sitting at 24.5. He came and told me this. That afternoon, in a  class party there was a whole heap of goodies, he took three Maltesers and a few small jelly sweets – nothing in comparison to what all his classmates would have had. At least we knew he wasn’t getting sick or had some dodgy insulin.  He has inherited my sweet tooth and it’s a curse! My heart bleeds for him in these moments.

We will have a fantastic Christmas, our first without a believer in Santa! We will still leave out a beer, a biscuit and a carrot for Santa and Rudolph and we will help our son navigate his way through the sweet temptations.

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6 thoughts on “Tis the season to eat lollies!

  1. I’ll tell you that those choices don’t go away in adulthood, either. I have to navigate my way through coffee runs, morning teas, and treats that my work Mums bring in (and if I say no, then I’m obviously not feeling well!). Give your boy a pat on the back for me, he sounds as though he’s doing an amazing job!

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  2. You are the Canoli King after all!!! Wait until next week when my husband , a primary school teacher, will arrive home with multiple boxes of Ferrero Rocher (my personal fave) and Lindt Balls (which I really can’t stand – they are either an oily mess in the middle if you don’t put them in the fridge, or you almost break a tooth if you do!). Thanks for your lovely comment Frank!

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  3. As a parent that has a #T1D kid, my heart breaks for her every day and for all the kids & parents going through the same. Kelsey just celebrated her first year on insulin pump therapy & CGM and it has been such a life-changer for her and us. It took her five years, though, to make the decision. It’s a very personal one and had to be hers. We respected it. We still helped, along with her medical team, educate her on the benefits and drawbacks and discussed it and her feelings frequently. Now she wishes she would have done it a long time ago. But pushing her into something she wasn’t ready for and wanted no part of would have been disastrous. If you ever want your son to chat with her about it, or living with #T1D in general, let me know. That’s one of the hardest things for Kelsey about this disease – nobody understands what they go through, not even loved ones, not fully, except for others with the disease.

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    1. Thanks for your reply and kind offer. My son has five other students with T1 in his school so is ‘lucky’ in that regard. His mental attitude is generally really positive and he lives the life of every other 15 yr old boy. We are now two years in and despite a few small setbacks, he is doing really well. Have a lovely Christmas!

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  4. Does it make a difference what type of sugar is consumed? Your post got me thinking about all the common allergies out there such as gluten, dairy, wheat, nuts etc and how recipes can be easily altered to accommodate them.

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  5. Hi Nicola, with type 1 diabetes it’s all about balancing the amount of carbs you eat with the correct amount of insulin as your pancreas doesn’t work. Low GI foods are good as they give sustained energy rather than a quick hit. I’m sure you know all this but just in case. I modify lots of recipes (some are on my blog) and I’ve recently invested in a thermomix which is making this so much easier. I generally half the sugar in recipes and also try to use fruit (e.g. Berries or bananas). I’ve tried things like coconut sugar , agave syrup, rice malt syrup but they are so expensive and didn’t seem to make a difference. We do use honey and pure maple syrup. I love baking and cooking and this is a challenge to throw in but the upside is that the whole family generally eats really healthily. This time of year is just a tad more complicated with the myriad of temptations wherever we go! Thanks for reaching out. Your blog is beautiful and I’ll enjoy following it!

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