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Babies, Bunnies and a Bucket of Chicken

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It was a week before Easter. Suffering from an insatiable sweet tooth, my husband broke into the Easter Bunny’s stash early. He unwrapped a chocolate bunny and took a bite out of its ears.

I immediately started to cry.

“What’s wrong?” my husband asked.

“Why would you do that?” I asked through sobs. “You can’t just bite his ears. He can feel that. You’re hurting him. You have to break his neck first.”

Convinced I was messing with him, as I so often am, my husband took another bite of the chocolate ears.

“Stop!” I cried, my face now wet with tears. “Don’t you care? Break his neck before you hurt him any more! Stop being a monster!”

My husband, one eyebrow slightly raised, broke off the head of the hollow chocolate bunny. I inhaled a deep breath of relief. My husband then came over to hug me, laughing, as he continued to gnaw on the now-severed chocolate ears.

Perhaps now is a good time to mention I’m pregnant.

Other than relentless vomiting, there were not many typical pregnancy stereotypes that plagued my first pregnancy, but shedding tears over nonsense was one of them. More than three years ago, when I was pregnant with my son and not yet telling people, I went to dinner with friends. We were deciding on which dessert to share, and no one was interested in the one that appealed to me. But then the waiter came out with free sorbet, the dessert I had been eyeing, for everyone at our table — an apology for making us wait to be seated after our reservation time. It was a magical moment.

“It’s exactly what I wanted,” I cried, trying to hide the tears rolling down my face. I made joyful eye contact with my husband, who looked around at our friends, terrified the jig was up. Luckily, they were still so immersed in the dessert menu they didn’t take notice that their often stoic and sarcastic friend was crying over mango sorbet.

My current pregnancy has kept the tears, kept the relentless vomiting and added a whole other host of crazy. Now I understand why they say men have it rough when their wives are pregnant.

Very little food has been appetizing, so when I had a craving last week, it was a big deal.

“I want a bucket of chicken,” I declared.

“You’re a vegetarian,” my husband offered quietly, as if reminding me, fearful pregnancy brain had wiped even that knowledge away.

I glared.

“Dude! I’m starving.”

“OK,” he said. “I’ll go to KFC.”

“No. I want food from Roy Rogers.”

“Roy Rogers? I’m pretty sure the nearest one is on the Pennsylvania Turnpike,” which is more than 2,000 miles from where we live.

“Yeah, but you don’t know that, do you?” I snapped.

My husband looked up the tiny chain of fast-food restaurants. He was right. But when he showed me the website with proof of the absurd distance, I just stared back and said, “I don’t understand why you’re not getting into your car right now.”

Pregnancy does weird things to you. It plays tricks with your eyes. It plays tricks with your mind. I’ve stared longingly at a candle, licking my lips, because it looked so delicious. A candle! I’ve developed an obsession with smushing jelly beans between my fingers. I associate weird smells with different people for no apparent reason, and that dictates whether I want to be around them or not. My neighbor smells like pickles. A co-worker smells like recently cut grass. A friend smells like carrot juice. My pet rabbit smells, well, delicious. Maybe with a little seasoning… Gah! What’s wrong with me?!

This, too, shall pass, my mom reminds me. And luckily, during both my pregnancies, the moments of both rational and irrational thought seem to pass quickly. This can be annoying when I have finally found an appetizing meal but am over it by the time the microwave dings that it’s done. However, the quick change of mind has also kept me from ever biting into a bucket of chicken, a candle or my beloved rabbit.

People say that your crazy hormones are a sign that you are cooking a healthy baby and that’s always something to be grateful for. Perhaps it’s also a sign that this kid will be full of tricks, both in the womb and out of it. The due date is Halloween, after all.

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