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Monday, May 01, 2006

back to work!

today is the last day of the first end of the beginning of the rest of my half life.

i go back to work tomorrow. back to the adult world. back to actual conversations with my peers. back to complex ideas and exciting new challenges. back to halogen lights, recirculated air, industrial carpeting, padded cubicles, turf battles, hoop jumping, all-day slouching, desk lunching, deadlines, subway commuting. back to work.

dutch was wondering how i managed to score leave for, essentially, the first year of my daughter's life. well. i asked for it. the family medical leave act stipulates that eligible employees are allowed to take 12 workweeks of unpaid leave after the birth of a child. some workplaces are more progressive than others. some bosses are more awesome than others. at my office, it so happens that people are allowed to take up to something like a year-and-a-half off and be guaranteed a job at the same level and same pay when they return. so i got my time off by simply asking for it. and the lord saw that it was good.

and, lo, i am grateful. this has by far been the most fulfilling, rewarding, fun, maddening, crazy-making, and shirt-staining year of my life -- even more so than that year in Nha Trang, when i was taught french and soup-making by a vietnamese hooker (i still think of you daily, Ngoc).

and so it is with a heavy heart that i return to a job that i am lucky and grateful to have.

luckily, my workweek spans from tuesday to saturday, so i will have every monday at home with the wee sproutling. mrs nice guy is home on thursdays. the other three days el nina will be in the care of our baby-blind nanny, the caribbean helen keller, who through strategic negligence will teach our child to entertain herself by eating rat droppings she finds near the tot lot trashcans.

who am i to complain when she'll have four out of seven days spent with parents? really. it's an embarrassingly good arrangement. we are lucky. i am not at all depressed.


Anonymous JustLinda said...

I hear rat droppings are high in protein AND they bolster the immune system!

(hey, if you're going to go back to work, you'll need to get good at this 'rationalization' thing the rest of us have mastered...)

5/01/2006 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Alison said...

Good luck returning to work mr nice guy. Just thought I'd rub it in that California has a Family Leave Act too, but it's PAID! Neener, Neener.

5/01/2006 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please remember, that when at the water cooler, not to refer to it as "getting a drink of wa-wa". Also, if someone has a dirt smudge on their cheek, DO NOT under any circumstances, wet your thumb and wipe at them. This will lead to many an uncomfortable encounter and you will inevetibly be dubbed "The Wa-Wa Drinker and That Fella Who Licks People".

5/01/2006 12:47 PM  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Oh, stop it! She's a perfectly nice woman and a good nanny, and you know it. You're just jealous. (Naturally enough. It's your baby. But still.)

5/01/2006 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Sheryl said...

Aw, I think it's so great that you made the choice to stay home for a year. I'm sure it was a hit in the wallet, but you are one awesome daddy!

5/01/2006 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

may the transition go smoothly for the lot of you

5/01/2006 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

My husband also took a whack of time off and took care of our now three year old for a full year. He will do the same when I calve this summer too. I'm looking forward to treating him like a slave boy.

5/01/2006 10:41 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Best of luck returning to the real-ish world!

Mr.Q can't wait to leave it - he wrangled things (politely asked) to have 37 weeks off after my impending mat leave is over and is practically drooling over the prospect. (and guess who will get to clean up after a drooling baby and a drooling husband...)

5/01/2006 11:52 PM  
Anonymous marian said...

When I first returned to work my son was already talking and I found myself referring to people with whom I disagreed as "poopheads." Out loud.

5/02/2006 8:45 AM  
Anonymous JGS said...

MNG, I know this is hard. Leaving my kids every morning is the hardest part of working. But one thing I did might help. My son had a harder time with my leaving than my daughter so I gave him something of mine, that he associated with me. Every morning, I would give him a hug and kiss and leave him with the object (a towel). At least it made it easier for him and made me feel a little less guilty.

5/02/2006 11:24 AM  
Anonymous MoFo said...

I have a question; if, as you say MNG, your salary is all but going to Nanny, why don't you...not work? Stay home? Be with your baby whom you love and want to raise?

5/02/2006 2:23 PM  
Blogger turbatus.animus said...

I went back to work 2.5 months after having my baby. I think my son sees ME as a nanny who comes to take care of him in the evenings and weekends.

Wait till you come home every evening and get a "I'm going to strangle you with my puny little arms" hug! =)

5/03/2006 1:41 PM  
Anonymous ed bacchus said...

How has the transition back to work been?

5/21/2006 12:38 PM  

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