You know how pregnant women are always portrayed on television and in movies as sitting on the kitchen floor at 3 a.m. in front of an open refrigerator, polishing off the last of the pickles, cold leftover lasagna and scooping strawberry jam out of the jar with their fingers?
Well, as much as I hate to admit it, I think I’ve hit that phase.
I wanted to go the entire nine months and say it’s a complete fabrication. That pregnant women really don’t get absurd cravings in the middle of the night and certainly don’t have to act on them if they do get an occasional hunger twinge.
Now that I’m nearing the end of my third trimester, I wake up about once a week from a dead sleep, stomach growling and baby flailing inside me furiously. And let me tell you, dozing back off is a complete impossibility. I need food. Immediately.
The first time it happened, I couldn’t believe that I found myself getting out of bed after a few hours just to chow down a bowl of cereal. And uncharacteristically, I didn’t even flinch when I discovered the utensil drawer only had big spoons left. All of the regular human mouth-sized spoons were in the dishwasher and I didn’t even care.
The big ones are much closer to the size of a shovel, I reasoned. And shovels hold a lot of material.
Now to choose the material.
First of all, to say I am a cereal addict would be a complete underrepresentation of my love of crispy flakes, honey-toasted Os and whatever else happens to go into those fantastic colorful boxes. Dried strawberries? I’m in. Raisins? Absolutely. Almonds? The more the merrier.
If it can be mixed with milk and eaten in a bowl, I will consume it with gusto. It isn’t unheard of for me to have it for breakfast, lunch and an after-work snack. And now I’ve added “random nocturnal pregnancy craving” to my repertoire.
I’m not sure if my eyes are open while I’m eating (or if I take the time to turn on the kitchen light for that matter), but I can tell you that it is the best-tasting cereal I’ve ever eaten. It doesn’t matter whether I’ve had it a thousand times before, it just seems to hit the spot.
Of course, my dog has taken quite well to this new habit. He launches down the stairs with exuberance the second he realizes where I’m headed. If I wasn’t so tired, I’d probably laugh knowing that his renegade tail has more energy than my entire body.
Then he just sort of sits on the floor and waits patiently in the hopes that I overfilled the bowl in my sleepy stupor, ready to lap up anything that cascades overboard.
It always reminds me of the time I ate an entire pound of strawberries in my first trimester. I had been craving them all day and finally gave in, standing over the sink, coring and shoving them into my mouth one at a time until the entire container was empty.
My poor dog just sat there looking at me as if to say, “Hey Fatty, can’t you spare just ONE?”
But I couldn’t.
Fortunately, I haven’t quite gotten to the point where silverware is too much of a bother. I still attempt to eat like a human being when cravings strike.
Then again, I still have a little more than a month to go. At that point, using my fingers to scoop peanut butter and jelly into my mouth might seem completely reasonable.