My husband is obsessed with a box of cereal. It is a very healthy kind, whole-grain and filled with 100% of the recommended daily value of many nutrients. Ever since we found out that I was pregnant, he has made it his life’s work to get me to eat this cereal. Which basically tastes like cardboard flakes, or at least how I imagine cardboard flakes would taste.
“Honey, I poured your cereal!” he cheerfully announces when I wake up in the morning.
“Honey, I put some cereal in a bag for you to take to work!” he tells me as I leave for my commute.
“Honey, do you want some cereal?” he asks before we head out on weekends for errands.
“Honey, you need to eat more cereal!” he reminds me as I drift off to sleep, the new kind of sweet nothings he whispers to me in bed.
Yes, it is really sweet how concerned my husband is that me and the baby are getting top-notch nutrition, especially since he’s not usually the detail-oriented type. Of course, I also want this baby to be super-healthy, and I’ve been doing my best to eat right while trying to keep my potato salad cravings under control. A little coddling and concern from Dave, I wouldn’t mind. But his attention is starting to bug me, both because I’m feeling like he sees me as one big (and getting bigger) eating machine and because it’s as if I am living with the pregnancy police.
I am desperate to have a conversation with my husband that does not involve the words “folic acid” and “nutrients.”
“Have a hard-boiled egg!” he’ll say after I polish off a meal, like that’s exactly what I was craving for dessert. “Want me to sprinkle chia seeds on that?” he asked as I dug into some chicken tandoori the other night. (Ugh, no thank you!) The other week, Dave walked in the door hauling a gigantic carton of snack-size bags of popcorn (a whole-grain). I have gotten really sick of popcorn, and keep envisioning headlines like, “Pregnant woman gives birth to popcorn clusters!” That would show him.
Dave wasn’t like this during either of my last two pregnancies. I think he’s gotten older and wiser about nutrition; he’s been Googling best pregnancy food articles nonstop, and signed up for all of the pregnancy apps so he gets regular updates about what I should be eating. Perhaps he’s more paranoid about this baby because this one’s our last. The only food fight we had during my last pregnancy was when he swore he’d bring me sushi after I had our daughter, and then decided it wasn’t a good idea because I was breastfeeding.
To pre-empt the pestering, I started texting photos of my lunches to show off how admirably I was eating:
But that didn’t stop him. Throughout the day, the text commands came:
When he asked me to starting texting him what I was eating throughout the day, I flat out refused.
One afternoon, after he reminded me what to eat yet again, I couldn’t take it anymore. So I texted back:
And the next day, my evil inner pregnant woman texted this:
After I zapped this message, he pretty much started ignoring them:
Except every day, he still texts me a reminder to eat more of that dang cereal.
I adore my husband. But he just needs to trust that when it comes to what to eat during pregnancy, I’ve got this. I’ve been making some pretty good decisions in my 12 years of parenting, and can do without babying (yet another reason his nutrition nagging is irksome — don’t doubt this mama bear)! If, however, he would like to join me in overly obsessing about what kind of stroller to get, I’d welcome that.
Meanwhile, the kids are super-psyched to have a new sibling. Last night, I treated myself to a couple of Girl Scout cookies. My daughter walked into the kitchen.
“Are you supposed to be eating that?” she asked.