If I were asked the question, I would be hard-pressed to come up with an answer. What is my favourite food in the whole wide world? I enjoy a wide variety of cuisines and food, and there is so much more out there I have not had the chance to sample.
To 6yo Matthew, however, the answer is crystal clear. It is without a doubt Har Kow (prawn/shrimp dumpling, a kind of dim sum). He loves Har Kow so much he can finish a bamboo tray of 4 at 1 go, and would have gone for more if there are more on the table.
That was before we pinpointed the source of his allergic skin reactions. Prawns.
Matthew has eczema since he was a baby. The red, angry patches of inflammed skin used to make my heart ache a lot, but I have grown used to his condition now. I have also built up a collection of barrier-forming, extremely-dry-skin preventing moisturisers at Matthew’s disposal, with nagging reminders for him to apply them over his problematic areas of the skin.
Having learnt how to deal with a child sensitive to allergies (Matthew also has other allergy-related conditions), my heart goes out to my niece Natalie, who has recently been diagnosed to be allergic to eggs and some kinds of fish. We’ll need to watch over her diet very carefully now. And from an adventurous foodie’s point of view, it sucks not to be able to eat anything I want, anytime. But it’s going to be okay, Natalie. You’re in PoPo’s good, protective hands.
If there is a wish that can be granted in the new year, I wish that Matthew and Natalie can outgrow their allergies. For to hear these words,
“Har Kow is my favourite food in the whole wide world. But I cannot eat Har Kow.” is painful to his foodie mother…