A couple of mornings ago while waiting for my steeping tea, J said something like, "You know, you end up learning from the most unlikely experiences." That wasn't exactly what he said, but whatever it was, I was instantly preparing for him to recall some moment that made me/us feel foolish, unwise, or unfit to be a grown-up.
But no--instead it was about one of our recent prenatal visits, and the fascinating visual aids.
Our regular doctor visits (actually, midwife visits) are a group affair--about eight or ten pregnant women and our spouses/partners get together for educational programs and the regular check-up. They take two hours, and they have been "less productive than what we'd like." Most people arrive late. A good bit of time is spent on "classroom management." It's a bit chaotic. And because these appointments fall on Thursdays, one of my two afternoons off work, I'm a little impatient. Last week I brought my knitting, figuring I'd at least get something accomplished.
The session to which J was referring to, however, was the food and diet talk. A dietician had come to explain the importance of a healthy diet, prenatal and otherwise, and she had brought visual aids: rubber food. But this wasn't just your garden-variety fake food (and, as the mom of a toddler, I've recently begun shopping fake food; there's plenty of unrealistic plastic garbage out there.)
This stuff was rubber. Jiggly, tacky-surfaced rubber, the kind of rubber that will pick up all the lint and dirt on the floor if you threw it down.
Our jaws dropped when we saw the stuff, and for the rest of the session we had a hard time paying attention to the dietician. We just wanted to TOUCH THAT FAKE FOOD, which looked tired and pale, the stuff of a school cafeteria's daily display du jour. Slackjawed, we wanted to handle the translucent cubed watermelon, the sickly chicken breast, the cool baked potatoes that would never enjoy melting pats of rich butter. Every time the dietician picked up a piece of food, showing us good, nutritious foods, we had to fight the urge to chuckle as the food wiggled in her hand.
And so our underwhelming prenatal check-ups will be anchored by that Day of the Rubber Food as we still long to touch it, flop it around, throw pieces against a wall or floor. It's childish, I know. But come on, who among you would pass up the opportunity to pretend to eat a rubber sandwich, or provide your family with a fascinating preview of the evening's fare?