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Memories of Childbirth…or How My Hair Started to Gray…Part Two
Friday, January 18, 2002
Those of you that have experienced childbirth and I am assuming you are all women, know the pangs of cravings. Every year someone writes articles about women eating red dirt or some other freaky craving. Some women crave pickles and ice cream, and some crave dill pickle and peanut butter sandwiches; me, I craved clam chowder. Living in the Pacific Northwest its not a problem to obtain clam chowder at any time of the day and night but to get the right clam chowder is a problem.
We lived in a small town called Redmond near Seattle. The town is the home of the corporate headquarters of Microsoft and where they filmed the television program titled Northern Exposure. In the opening, you glimpse briefly the old hotel that served the best clam chowder in the world! As most women can attest, cravings do not happen during normal business hours; they happen at three in the morning when most restaurants are closed, with the exception of this one small café at the Redmond Hotel.
I remember many nights gently waking Dum-Dum (my ex-husband's pet name) first by whispering in his ear, then by nibbling his ear, and if that did not work, I shoved him with my elbow. As usual, he would wake up, grab his pants, my suitcase and ask if it was time. I usually said something like,
"No dear, I'm only five months pregnant, we have a while yet."
Then I would just happen to mention I wanted clam chowder, I needed chowder, and I had to have that big bowl of chowder! Since this was my first pregnancy, this ploy worked. He finished getting dressed, put on his boots minus socks, step on the cat, bump his elbow on the kitchen table and went get me my heart's desire. The restaurant was used to his nocturnal visits, and when they saw him park the car on the sidewalk, they fixed a large, takeout cup of chowder just for lil' ol' me. While they packaged it up, the cook usually gave my husband sage advice on the care and feeding of a pregnant woman. They did not charge him since it was closing time and they would just throw it out anyway. He then got back in the car and looked for his keys in the ignition, then in his jacket pockets, and then get out of the car, go back to the restaurant and retrieve them from the counter and drove home.
While my knight in tarnished armor fetched my sustenance, my reason for life; I snuggled under the warm down comforter with a good book waiting for his return. I turned on the radio to soft romantic music and waited… and waited; while my eyes got heavier and heavier until they drooped shut and I drifted back to sleep. When he walked through the door this time kicking the dog, hitting the refrigerator with his other elbow, and stumbling into the bedroom like a drunken sailor, he would find me peacefully snoring. Unfortunately, he would try to wake me up; as most women know, do not wake a pregnant woman, she get violent! Most of the time, I put an elbow in his solar plexus, which caused him to wheeze violently and double over. Hearing his noises, I usually woke up enough to tell him to put it in the fridge and roll back over and returned to sleep. He just sighed, put the container on the nightstand and fell back to sleep for another two hours. Then he woke up, dressed and went to work.
You know it has mystified me to this day, why he always got pale when I said I was hungry for clam chowder! Do most men react this way?