Monday, 13 September 2010

Resuming a normal life

My husband and I went yesterday to visit Older Daughter at her boarding school as she had an admissions ceremony in the cathedral for her scholarship.  Waif did not want to come.  As she is now 14 and has plenty of friends around, and we know all our neighbours well, I left her at home for the day.  I think that she is still quite jealous of OD's successes even though she will, I am certain, do as well herself in time, and even if she doesn't then I know she will do her best which is all you can ask for.

It occurs to me that this is the first day for 15 months that I have left Waif to feed herself.  I made a bolognaise on Saturday with plenty of veg (lots of carrots, celery, leeks and tomato) and left it in the fridge for her to heat up on Sunday.  A reasonable portion was gone when I arrived home (hubby went straight to Heathrow for a business flight) and the dog still seemed hungry so my fingers are crossed.

Waif is taking more charge of her meals now - making her own packed lunches and providing me with a weekly menu for suppers.  i am backing off as much as I can and not checking every day what she is packing although I do remind her that she needs a milk drink and a snack as well as her sandwich  She is trying to eat more vegetables now and less chocolate which seems like a healthy move now she is nearing her more ideal weight, as long as she still has enough main meals.  A banana instead of a kitkat for instance, is a better long term plan for a mid morning snack.

She told me the other day that they had all had to weight themselves and calculate their BMIs at school at the end of last term.  Hers was 15 point something.  She said lots of the girls were 16 or 17 and the teacher had told them not to worry if it was under 18 as they were all young (13 or 14 years old).  Hmmm...Waif now has it in her head that the Maudsley are aiming too high for her ideal weight.  We will need to talk this through on Thursday when we go.

My personal view is that Waif looks great as she is...and would look great at anything between her current weight and 2 or 3 stone more.  I can see she is at a minimum.  I can also see that had she never been anorexic, I would not find her current weight worrying so I empathise with her difficulty with the last few kilogrammes that she needs to gain  BUT, and this is a big but, I have read the research which all indicates that the higher the normal weight achieved in refeeding, the better the long term success.  If Waif were told she could ease off where she is,  she could consider her current weight as some kind of MAXIMUM and not a minimum on which to gradually add as she matures.  45kg would definitely not be enough for an adult of her height.  

Whatever, I am just so relieved at the progress we have made over the year and can now begin to think about plans for my own life in the coming months.  I am considering taking a Family Law masters at university and then practising as a family lawyer (I am already a qualifiied lawyer but have always practised commercial law until my sabbatical a year ago).  This would give me another year or two of being generally around after school for Waif before I launch back into proper work when Waif hits 16.

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