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Compartment 14B

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Finally, I have time to breathe. And write.

2009-09-09 - 1:35 p.m.

Itís certainly been an interesting couple of weeks. And by ďinterestingĒ, I mean ďbusy as all-get-outĒ.

My 15-month maternity leave is at an end and today, my friends, I am sitting at a desk in my new office. You would not believe the magnificent view I have of our Parliament buildings, though the trade off is blinky, watery eyes when the sun shines too brightly (i.e., when itís shining at all). People have asked if itís hard to go back to work and I refrain from clicking my heels and yodelling, but instead rather cautiously reply ďnot reallyĒ. Lest they mentally tag me as a bad mother, I then hastily go on to explain that itís because Iím so newly back that it feels like Iím on vacation from my ďreal lifeĒ.

The truth is though, I enjoy being at work. Oh, I miss my little Biscuit and Grommet, and I donít necessarily enjoy all the aspects of this particular job, but I like working with my head again. I like dressing in nice clothes that remain un-smeared by crackers and yogurt all day (well, unless I happen to have crackers or yogurt myself; letís face it, Iím not the tidiest eater). I like having a boss and co-workers that value my work. I like eating lunch and being able to devote my entire attention to the adult conversation in which Iím participating, instead of monitoring every little bit of food that is being placed in front of a small, underweight child who is just as likely to toss it on the floor as eat it. I like Ė glory be! Ė that Iím earning an income again. And itís not like Iím working for pin money just to cover the cost of daycare: Iím the chief wage-earner in the household and my salary is what really keeps us solvent. Weíve missed my paycheques these last three months.

So no, I havenít cried when I left my howling child in someone elseís arms in the morning. I feel bad for him and miss him and would definitely spend more hours of my day with him if I could, but I know that work is a necessity and not a terribly difficult-to-take one at that. Plus I am told he really only howls until Iíve been out of sight for a couple of minutes.

As an added bonus to assuage my guilt, he seems to be eating more food now that heís at daycare, and I mean both in terms of variety and volume. The latter might be attributed to the new regimen heís on (short story: the gastroenterologist has him on Prevacid every day, plus thinks dairy might be causing him problems so weíve been cutting back on it), but the variety is largely due to being introduced to the eating habits of a new household. And this household contains vegetarians from a different ethnic background so heís starting to eat things like lentils and roti. While his family doc will no doubt be less than impressed that heís gained no weight in the month leading up to his well-baby visit next week, we can at least attest that heís starting to eat more, and that we are taking action by going to doctors and dieticians and following their recommendations.

Biscuitís dietician appointment will be on the 24th. Iím already trying to do some preliminary work like recording the kind of stuff he will and wonít eat, plus looking for ideas on what else I can try to do. Anyone else got any ideas? Iím not just looking for recipes that are egg- and dairy-free, Iím looking for insight on how to get a picky almost-toddler to actually eat the foods he needs to, plus any words of wisdom on pitfalls to avoid/kinds of things I might be overlooking. Or maybe even just some commiseration and sympathy? Iíll take what I can get folks.

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