Thursday, June 22, 2006

We had a big adventure yesterday, as at the last minute I found out about a leaving lunch for a work mate going on maternity leave.

We drove in with Mark in the morning, who was going to be spending the day at Ealing train depot. So Oliver and I took the tube from Ealing Common to Piccadilly Circus (his first time on the underground), and then I found us a Starbucks to have breakfast in.

This was fine, except when I needed to change him. I will do it on the floor if the bathroom looks reasonably clean (he’s on a changing mat anyway, it’s not a big deal) but the one there was completely disgusting and there was no way either of us were going to use it.

So we trekked up Regent Street trying to find somewhere I could do the job. Eventually I came across an incredibly posh Mamas and Papas store, but I had to wait outside for 10 minutes like some eager shopper for it to open. As he had also thrown his teething toy on the floor of the train and had nothing else to chew on to keep him happy, I also used the opportunity to buy him new toys that could attach to the straps on the pushchair. It’s another learning point – tie everything down that you can or it will get chucked out of the pram.

Then we continued our walk up past Oxford Circus to visit some colleagues on Newman Street – but I hadn’t told anyone we would be around, so we only visited with one person briefly. I had a shirt to return to a shop that I had bought in Milton Keynes, so we returned in the direction of Oxford Circus and did a bit more window shopping. I would have gone shopping crazy but I didn’t really have any capacity to carry anything as I was carrying him in a pushchair and a giant nappy bag up and down flights of stairs all day at underground stations (with some help, but not a lot). Around this point, 11am or so, he actually fell asleep on his own for a few minutes (almost unheard of) but he had been awake since about 6:30am.

We then took the bus down to Victoria, and walked to the building where my old office is. On the way we passed a guy who was about to beat the crap out of a Westminster traffic officer, so that was fun to see. We then sat in the canteen so I could feed Oliver lunch, and ran into lots of colleagues who were asking after the both of us. Tried to visit my desk but no one was in my actual office.

There was a staff meeting going on about the restructure, so we waited until that was over and then Rubina came down to meet us, looking glorious at 8 months’ pregnant. A few others joined us and we headed down to a pub for lunch. As usual, Oliver charmed them all. And I got to dispense some very helpful assvice (thanks Jamie for that wonderful word) like ‘go out and do whatever YOU want for the next few weeks ’cause that ain’t going to happen for a while’.

Actually, I have to say how excellent he was yesterday as we ended up pounding the pavement for a good 4 or 5 hours yesterday and he didn’t have anywhere near his normal amount of sleep – but he still had smiles and laughs for everyone.

After lunch, we walked to Sloane Square tube to get back to Ealing Common for our ride home together. One of the things that does make me sad about moving away from here is when I see little Chelsea school children walking home with their mums (hmm – nannies, perhaps, not mums) in little immaculate and cute school uniforms, including straw hats with ribbon, and posh little accents. And then I think of Oliver in a rough and tumble Canadian public school ground. Oh well.

On Tuesday, we went to the clinic and I finally managed to ask my health visitor about his skin. He’s had red patches on his body, mostly on his back but other assorted places too, for a while now which I was treating as boring old dry skin, but they seem to have gotten worse. I’ve been thinking that it could be an allergy but there isn’t any food except milk that he has consisently (e.g. if it was a particular vegetable, wouldn’t it have gone if he didn’t have it after a few weeks?) and no other symptoms seem to be associated with the rash. We also wondered about allergy to washing powder though I only use non-bio. Anyway, she says it’s baby excema and he’ll grow out of it, and we’ve now got some prescribed cream and bath stuff.

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