Sunday, June 10, 2007

An Open Letter to the Woman Perpetually on Mat-Leave in My Office:


It was great to chat with you the other day, as we hadn't formally met. I was hired just after your most recent mat-leave, and you were correct that every time you've dropped by the office I've been away from my desk. Since HR won't back fill your position, I'm actually doing your job and my own, which can make Bambi a very busy bee. I know! It is such a great opportunity for me to be able to get that experience on top of everything else I do.

It was very supportive of you to let me know that I can ask you anything, as you had a few moments to spare seeing as Junior just dropped a load and the only available counter space to change him was on the empty desk next to mine. That did work out really well. It was also sooo nice of you to notice how tired I look and to comment on how I may want to get more sleep. I felt very cared for.

I'm glad we had that chance to finally talk for a bit before everybody else you know in the office returned from lunch. It was fascinating to learn about breast-pumping, and the exact length of the scar stretching somewhere in your va-jay-jay to your bum. You're absolutely right -- being childless I had no idea that was even possible. I was in fact so taken by the discussion, that I didn't even feel like eating my own lunch for the rest of the day. Imagine that!

Once your former colleagues began filing in, I had to agree with everybody. Junior is a sight to behold. He really is something. I now see that it may have seemed out of line when I commented on the disproportionate size of his head, but I meant what I said in a good way. I did not mean to imply at all that your child has that disease that makes people's heads really gigantic. I simply meant that when Junior grows into his head, he will be a strapping young man. Boy. Child. Beautiful normal-headed infant.

It was lovely to see every woman in the office swoon with delight at the opportunity to hold Junior, and you looked so pleased to be able to share those special moments with your co-workers, for the third time in two weeks. It was also wonderful to be able to agree wholeheartedly with everybody who said that babies have a special smell. Without a doubt, Junior has a very, very special smell.

I do understand though, that when you asked whether there is any better smell in the world than a new baby's head, you were asking a rhetorical question. When I answered, "new car smell," I now realize my statement was unnecessary and we were really comparing apples to oranges. You must realize, I was very tired and you did in fact point this out yourself.

My exhaustion may also be the reason behind my comparison of the softness of Junior's skin to the smooth feel of the Prada bag I held in my hands when browsing at Holt Renfrew. It really was the finest compliment I could offer. That bag was worth three months of my salary! In summation, Junior does have beautiful skin. Like the finest leather.

Finally meeting you was a delight, and I look forward to the other times you'll be dropping in whenever you need adult conversation. I think we'll work well together during the months you'll be back at work, until you're ready for your third child.

Until then, I do promise to get some sleep, and don't worry about having to leave the dirty diaper in my wastebasket. As you said, motherhood is the most important job in the world! I'm sure you had better things to do than to take it with you.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have one of these in our office and she drives me nuts.
I have a kid but seriously, bringing your kid in at least once a week to remind us all how valuable you are is overkill.