Thomas requested peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. A pretty mundane, kid-friendly, unexceptional request, right? Ha! If you think that, you haven't lived in urban Canada recently. I don't know what it's like in other places, but around here, peanut butter is next thing to a toxic substance. Peanut butter has moved from a simple, inexpensive, and nourishing food for children to a probable poison, to be treated with utmost caution. If I were to feed these children peanut butter and then take them to the Tot's Time at the library, no matter how thoroughly I washed their hands and faces, an Earnest Mommy who smelled it on their breath would be appalled at my willingness to put other children in such clear and immanent jeopardy. (People honestly believe that smelling peanuts on someone else's breath can cause a deadly reaction in allergic people. Urban myth, according to allergy specialists at CHEO, our local and highly-regarded Children's Hospital.) I do take it seriously when needful. I've had at least one allergic, or potentially allergic child in care at any point over the last seven years, and so it has been seven years since I have been able to serve peanut butter to the tots. Seven years! Suddenly, it seems, there are peanut-allergic kids everywhere; nuts and nut products are banned from all the local elementary schools; everyone knows someone who carries an epipen. (An automatic injector filled with epinephren, an adrenaline derivative, I think, to be used in case of serious allergic reactions.) At one point, four of the five children in my care had epipens: three for peanut butter, and one for beestings. In truth, despite all the hullaballoo about peanut allergies, the beesting one worried me more. Peanut butter sandwiches don't fly. George's mother has a strong peanut allergy, and so had asked that I not give any to him until he'd been tested. He was tested a couple of weeks ago, and was declared a peanut-safe zone. So, today, when Thomas asked for peanut butter sandwiches, I decided we'd take a walk on the wild side. May not seem like much to you, but me? A restriction has been eliminated. Daring daredevil that I am, defier of social conventions, risk-taker par excellence, we're having peanut butter sandwiches for lunch!