ah, the sacrifices of parenthood.

Oscar has had diarrhea for almost three weeks now, poor wee beastie. no, this is not another post on poop. but when one’s newborn is miserable for weeks on end, the desire to seek out the root of that misery and rout it out grows with each passing sleepless night. so after a few calls to the public health nurse, a few sheepish am-i-just-being-a-paranoid-mom visits to the family doctor, and a Friday referral to the children’s clinic at the hospital here, we finally have a potential answer to the mystery of how our sweet baby turned into a leaky, tortured screech owl. lactose intolerance, says the specialist of the moment. blame it on the cows.

since i’m not quite ready to give up this breastfeeding thing Oscar and i’ve worked so hard to master, i’m giving up cows instead. or at least their milk and its byproducts…for the next two weeks or so, to see if it makes any difference in the little guy’s comfort and bowels.

one does not realize how much one owes to the poor cows until one goes to give them up. i’ve gone off the hoof before…i was a fairly strict vegetarian for a number of years. but even then, it was the beef i missed. i could go years and not look at chicken or pork or seafood…but…however much i’d like to be more politically and environmentally noble and avoid mad cow disease and all those fine things, i like the taste of cattle. a lot. in all their myriad forms.

now, as a decidly fallen vegetarian, i can eat as much steak as my postpartum anemia might clamour for. which i thought would be more of a consolation in the rest of this cow withdrawal, until i realized that giving up milk doesn’t just mean switching to soy milk on my cereal. that part’s fine. but ditching yogurt – and thus tzatziki? and cheese – and thus those little frozen pasta lunches i’ve been subsisting on! and butter – oh poor naked popcorn and wax beans. i grew up on margarine. i only discovered butter in my twenties. and while i don’t eat it on much, those few things i eat it on i really eat solely for the butter…what good is corn on the cob without it? all baked goods made with milk are also verboten, as are any whey byproducts flavouring my snack foods. and Dairy Queen. no Dairy Queen hot fudge sundaes. no blizzards. not a single slice of the Dairy Queen cake i was going to buy Dave for Father’s Day next Sunday. as we happen to live right next door to the local Dairy Queen, this whole ice cream prohibition is a particular hardship, as i can’t step outside my door without the temptress staring me in the face. ach, what one endures for one’s offspring!

if poor Oscar really does turn out to be lactose intolerant, i think we’ll have to move to a different neighbourhood…imagine growing up next door to the town’s major purveyor of ice cream and not being able to eat any? cruel, methinks.

ah sweet Dairy Queen, parting is such sweet sorrow.

and i suspect Dave is getting a nice tie for Father’s Day instead of that blizzard cake. wouldn’t want him to feel guilty having to eat it in front of me. :)