DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have two children, ages 13 and 6. Our older son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year. Because of this, we must carefully watch everything he eats. We're struggling to deal with it, but lately we have other issues we need help with.
We were out one evening and our younger son wanted ice cream. My husband told him he couldn't have any because it would be unfair to his brother. I, in turn, said that it's not fair to punish the younger one. This has become a huge deal for us lately. Can you tell us who is right, and what's the best way to handle this? -- TRYING TO BE FAIR IN HAWAII
DEAR TRYING TO BE FAIR: This is something you should discuss with your older son's doctor. It is my understanding that years ago, diabetes was treated more with diet. But with the advent of glucose meters and better insulin, most people with Type 1 diabetes, while trying to eat healthfully, do not completely deprive themselves of treats but accommodate them by adjusting their level of insulin. If your husband refuses to budge on the "treats" issue, then your younger child should be given something else to compensate.
The American Diabetes Association offers a free kit that can be sent to you. It can be ordered by calling 1-800-342-2383 or logging onto www.diabetes.org/families. The kit contains a parents' guide, a card game for your kids, a paperback book, "The Diabetes Dictionary: What Every Person With Diabetes Needs to Know," and more.
If you haven't already done so, please contact the ADA. It will be a terrific resource for you, your husband and your son in managing his diabetes, as well as keeping peace in your household.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I threw a party for which we hired a bartender, so we could spend more time with our guests.
We figured that, in addition to his hourly rate, we would tip him at the end of the night. Without consulting us, the man placed a plastic cup out for our guests to tip him. My wife was appalled and demanded that he remove it. He actually argued with her, but finally put the tip cup away.
My wife and I asked friends to weigh in on the subject. The men had no problem with the practice, while every woman found it offensive. Were we too harsh? Should a bartender at a private, in-home party be allowed to solicit tips from the guests? -- BAR NONE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
DEAR BAR NONE: Absolutely not! When you hired this person, all the details should have been agreed to in advance -- and if the compensation your bartender was being offered wasn't satisfactory, he should have refused the job.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married six years and have two wonderful children. Lately, my mother-in-law has made several comments in front of family members suggesting that one of our kids bears no resemblance to my husband -- implying that I have been unfaithful.
At first, I took it as a joke. Now I'm wondering if she really believes it. My husband isn't concerned, but I wonder if I should set her straight. What would you suggest? -- NO LAUGHING MATTER
DEAR N.L.M.: I would suggest you set your mother-in-law straight. To say that her remarks are tasteless is an understatement. Either she has a warped sense of humor or she has been watching too many soap operas. Talk with her privately and, if necessary, offer to have both your children DNA-tested to prove their "authenticity." That may be the only way to stop her snide remarks once and for all.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)