We were eating dinner last night and Catherine, in an unprecedented act of kindness, gave William one of her apple slices. I told her how nice it was of her to share her food. Then William started telling me that he wasn't allowed to share his food with his friends at school. He said the teacher wouldn't let them share. He seemed upset by it.
So I told him that she wasn't trying to keep them from being nice, she was just trying to protect anyone in his class that might have an allergy. Thinking it was a rather big word for a 4 year old, I started trying to explain what an allergy is.
"You know how our friend Dylan can get really sick if she eats peanut butter? Well that's called an allergy. And there might be a little boy or girl in your class who could get sick from eating something that you brought for lunch, even though it doesn't make you sick. So if someone in your class has an allergy, the teacher can't let you share your food. Can you say allergy?"
He just looked squarely at me and said, "I know what an allergy is, Mama. It's like when the house falls on top you."
I squinted my eyebrows and before I could say "Huh?" he corrected himself and said, "No, wait a minute. That's called an e-mer-gen-cy."
You don't say.