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Compartment 14B

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Thirteen months of Biscuit.

2009-07-04 - 5:51 p.m.

Dear LORD this week has been a karmically awful one to know me. Your sister’s daycare provider’s mother in-law passed away very unexpectedly; a good friend announced that he had “good and bad” news – which would have been better titled “best and worst” news – because he proceeded to let me know he and his wife are expecting their first child… and he has colon cancer and will be starting chemotherapy in a couple of weeks; and you, my beloved little Biscuit, had a nasty stomach flu that saw you lose well over a pound and make visits to the doctor twice and CHEO emergency once. And baby, you weren’t exactly a huge bruiser to begin with. You were off the bottom of the growth chart before, and at 13 months you weigh exactly what you had weighed at 6 ½ months, i.e. at half your current age. Your family doctor is freaked and sending you back to the paediatrician because she says your growth chart is “just awful”, “horrible” and “the worst she’s ever seen.” She has admitted to running out of advice to give me and thinks, worryingly, that “something’s going on.” You’re starting to creep down the charts for length and head circumference too, for the first time, and have started to miss the odd milestone such as, well, saying anything other than the occasional use of mama or dada or mimicking us with a couple of syllables when we point at a turtle. You don’t exactly say “turtle”, but you do kind of throw a “t” or two in there.

And yet, since finally ceasing to throw up just over a day ago, you are alert and lively and crawl with the speed and smoothness of a little hovercraft. You smile, you try to get into everything, you just this morning climbed up three stairs and then safely climbed back down all by yourself (well, okay, I was hovering right over you to make sure you didn’t fall, but still, you didn’t fall.)

I confess that I’ve made the observation to your father that you seem more “babylike” than I remember Grommet being at this same age. By 13 months she’d been at daycare for a short while, and she really did seem more on the cusp of toddlerhood, what with the cruising and the talking and the nursing less often because I was back at work. You, however, seem like the quintessential baby most of the time, minus the normal baby pudge (and we’re working on that. Again.) You crawl and babble and smile and love nursing (that last is exactly like your sister, actually). You refuse to trust our loving hands enough to walk holding our fingers and will only walk behind a short plastic chair that you push before you like a walker. I know your father talks optimistically about the NHL in your future, but you, like me, aren’t exactly the daredevil type it takes to master a fast, dangerous ice sport.

You have a paediatrician appointment tomorrow. I am not worrying because there is no point in borrowing trouble from the future. I suspect strongly that he’ll just say that, yes, you’re light and we’re working on that, but that it is totally normal to lose weight when you vomit for an entire week. In other words, this latest weight loss is expected and independent of your previous lack of heft, and since he wasn’t particularly worried about you then, I don’t think he’ll worry much more about you now, other than encouraging us to continue to try to fatten you up. I mean, we did manage to put a pound on you in the 3 weeks following the discovery of your love of yogurt, so it’s not like we have nothing at all in our “fatten-up-baby” arsenal.

I’m sure this is just a minor bump in the road, and hope that a couple of years from now we’ll be saying, “Remember when Biscuit gave us that scare by being so skinny?” “Hm. When exactly was that again?” and then we’ll have to look up this entry to remind ourselves.

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