On the weekend, I was fortunate to see my husband Dazzling Dan perform at two birthday parties, held at private homes. It was a unique opportunity to be a fly on the wall and provide feedback about aspects of his birthday magic show which are unique to each setting. One thing that became quite obvious was that each birthday party was allergy friendly. As children arrived they went straight into the backyard to run around. Then the magic show began and the food was warmed up and put on the table. At the end of the show, Dan began making the balloon sculptures, half of the 20+ children went straight to the food, while the other half lined up and waited. As each child received their balloon sculpture they went over to the table, one by one, to collect food and eat it. This process made supervision easier, and while Dan was amusing the children with the balloon sculpturing, one little boy excitedly told me he was allowed to eat the cake, but not anything else. He reminded me of our daughter, who is always so grateful and excited if she is allowed to eat the same cake as everyone else (often we will take our own cupcake for Lily, and one for her to give the birthday person). Parents started arriving to pick up their children as “Happy Birthday” was merrily being sang. I was amazed at how Dan was the focus of the whole party not the food which made it inclusive for all of the children.
At the second party, while Dan was performing I assisted the mum get the food onto the table. She told me she was just given an Epi-pen and how scary that was. I asked about the foods as we plated them, and she explained how she had made it all herself, and specifically kept it basic to cater for everyone. The lounge was sectioned so that no children had food until the end of the performance. She put together a terrifically allergy friendly spread to include the child with severe allergies to nuts. Unfortunately, a different child had a mild reaction while playing in the yard. No one had any antihistamine and the parent of the child stayed for the show. By the end of the magic show the child had a persistent allergy type cough. She explained it wasn’t usually this bad and he had recently developed it occasionally after playing outside.
While I attended the birthday magic shows to give Dan some feedback and ideas, I want to praise all the families that host parities, and are allergy aware. These are the only two birthday parties of primary aged children I have attended and I was blown away by the understanding of both the children and parents. Even at allergy friendly parties like these, a child antihistamine in the house and contact number of all parents is always a good idea.
Author: Lisa Bingham
WAHM of two creative and active girls (2 & 4yrs), both of which have severe allergies.
Wife of Dazzling Dan the Magic Man.