The Joy of Cooking… A Baby

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings, Pregnancy

I was making dinner tonight for some macho men as a payment for their furniture-moving assistance. (Thank you Brian and Michael for your brains and brawn). I’ve never really been much of a Martha or Julia in the kitchen and have thought of myself more of the Swedish Chef, throwing equipment around, speaking to myself in foreign, frustrated tongues, and blindly tossing my unmeasured ingredients awkwardly with confidence that it’ll be just good enough.

So, it was no surprise when I found myself hobbling around the kitchen preparing some of my own version of BORK BORK BORK when I realized, “I am even more helpless than usual!” As usual, blame goes to Baby.

Cooking a baby has its joys: the flutter of tappy kicks and life inside me; the thick and lustrous locks of hair; the femininity that grows with every inch of my belly; the ability to wear horizontal stripes; the smiles and pleasant conversations with strangers; the dreams for the future. Yes, all of these things are wonderful and I gladly bask in this glow.

So as I whipped up dinner for the boys, I glanced over at my recipe books in the kitchen and spotted the canon of the kitchen, The Joy of Cooking. I snorted to myself, “Ha! There is no joy right now. The joy of cooking what? … a baby? I’m just a vessel of cliches and myths-come-true!”

These cliches are the reason for my newly discovered discomfort. First and foremost, I really do literally hobble now. After 5:00 p.m., my feet, which now resemble Fred Flintstone’s, become stiff and swollen, beginning with an attractive cankle that branches out to a tree-stump like block with sausagey appendages. Foot model, I am not. Well, I never had a chance anyway, but pregnancy does not look good on my tootsies.

Because this is a personal blog, I am about to get, well, personal. I have never been a pee-er. This is probably because I am not much of a drinker (I know, bad Alison, bad!), but I can’t help it! I’m never thirsty. So imagine my surprise when I feel the urge to pee 82789374913408 times a day. However, not one of these 82789374913408 times are ever satisfying. With a rush of “ohmygoshmoveoutofmywaybecausei’mgoingtoburst!” I run to the nearest ladies room, prepare for Niagara Falls, and instead, experience a flow like a cold pipe that’s frosting from condensation in a dark and lonely basement. Drip. Drop. Drip. All done. A whole lot of bladder build-up for nothing! Literally! Thanks, Baby. Hope you’re comfy and cozy, leaning on my pee sac!

Then there’s the grunting. This is not that dissimilar from the noises the Swedish Chef releases in the kitchen. Getting up from a chair? Grunt. Rolling out of bed? Grunt. Picking up an object off the floor? Grunt. Attempting to put on pants? A grunt for each leg. I am 872 years old. At this rate, I feel more like my fetus’s great, great grandmother than mother. And that doesn’t feel so great. Or grand. This is probably due to all of my back pain and lack of core strength. I am determined to get back into shape after the baby.

I should probably rephrase that sentence as “get back into shape” implies I was actually in shape prior to the baby. That would be a lie. So fine, I plan to get into shape. Although, I suppose I’m currently in shape — a round one — but feeling ancient at 28 is not my idea of being a hot mom.

All in all, I have had a very boring and uneventful pregnancy, which is just how the doctors like them. I’m extremely pleased with that, but I’m also just now finally experiencing the “joy” of cooking a baby, which means I’m right on track and par for the course. And even though I feel like the Swedish Chef in the pregnancy kitchen, I also know that “it’s a good thing” and I’m a Martha after all.