Thursday, May 27, 2010

Breaking the news

I told the family today. I should have told them before I arrived because maybe then they would have had some food on hand for my arrival.

In the car from the airport, I asked my dad if there was any food in the house. Because growing up, there wasn’t much of it. I remember sneaking white bread with mayonnaise or processed American cheese as an after dinner snack. That was about the best thing available. We weren’t poor, we just didn’t have much in the fridge.

“Oh yes, I just went grocery shopping,” he said. Cool.

So I was doubly disappointed when we got there and my choices were something like salad dressing of my choice, a strawberry and a grape tomato. The few things they did have were either heavily processed or refined white carbohydrates – yogurt full of all kinds of additives, ice cream in the form of dots. I was so craving meat – chicken, meatloaf, something cooked. Nothing.

The best I could do was a frozen brat on a white bun. When I pulled out the ketchup, something looked wrong. I felt bad as I knew I was already being a food snob. But when I looked at the date, I saw it expired in December 2006. I pulled out the second bottle and that one had expired in 2007.

I’m never more hungry than when I visit the grandparents. When my mom wants to cook, she can make some great things. But their typical diet is filled with processed foods, chemicals, additives, and happy hour bar junk food. Yuck. My husband’s parents usually have a lot of deli meat, bagels and sometimes, ice cream, on hand. But if I want anything other than that, I’m hungry. Who would have thought that trying to return to things made with natural, more simple ingredients would so remove me from the older generation?

My mom made lemon Jell-O with canned fruit. When I asked for some, she said she’d made it for River. I said he didn’t need the sugar and the artificial ingredients.

“But it has fruit in it,” my mom said.

“Then give him some fruit.” He’ll never know he’s missing Jello. I don’t think he’s even had Jello before. I don’t mind him having a treat every so often. But I feel a lot better about it if it’s a homemade treat, made with real ingredients, rather than from a package with unpronounceable components.

So anyway, my parents, my sister-in-law and my nieces are excited and I think there will be a little more food, for the fetus’s benefit at least, when I swing by again. My niece is hoping for a girl, as am I, though I’m not expecting it.

Today River met my friend’s 11-week-old. He did well. He showed some interest, seemed concerned when he cried and gave him tickles. So I’m hopeful he’ll do OK with the arrival of a sibling. I think he’ll be beyond the age where he could be legitimately angry at having attention he needs taken away from him, and be ready instead to be a role model and then playmate. At least that’s my hope.

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