Yesterday was our annual "block party." We have a lot of kids on our block and they had a great time, breaking a pinata and playing "Ghost in the Graveyard." (Anyone remember that one? It's so retro but apparently kids still play it!)
Last year, my family and I were new to our block. At last year's block party, we encountered a "Peanut Hunt" where the kids searched for peanuts in the grass. Also, the pinata may have had some peanuts in it, I'm not sure.
At any rate, peanuts were everywhere so we really had to keep an eye on my daughter. Being new to the neighborhood, we didn't know about these activities in advance. I'll admit that I felt that I was in a difficult position this year. I still didn't know most of the block party organizers very well and many had lived on our block for several years. I did casually mention skipping the Peanut Hunt to one of the moms and had planned to contact the main organizer to confirm.
Well, a couple of weeks ago, my next door neighbor (and longtime resident of my block) approached me as I was walking the kids home from school. She told me that she had seen my column in a local newspaper "OnLagrange.com" and the link to my blog. She then brought up the block party and said she hadn't known about my daughter last year and that she would see to it that no peanuts were present at the party.
I was so grateful and I thanked her profusely. Sure enough--no Peanut Hunt, no peanuts in general. And, best of all, nobody seemed to miss them.
As we approach the holidays and parties, I thought this was a good story to bring up because it shows you that many, many people will accommodate you if they understand the situation. (Of course, it also helps if you have great neighbors!) Don't be afraid to ask for a few tweaks to a menu. In a lot of cases, it's not a big deal and you'll have saved yourself and your child a lot of needless stress.