6.12.2005

The Cherry Episode

This evening Miriam was fussy, which is unusual. We thought it might be gas as a result of an otherwise uneventful bottle feeding, and soothed her best we could. But at 9:30 tonight, well after she's usually zonked out, she awoke in tears, and it was so obvious she had a tummy ache that Robert and I nearly crumpled in sympathy. She was gassy and so unhappy, and then it hit me: cherries!

Cherries are my absolute favorite fruit, every year I buy enough to give myself a stomach ache at least a few times -- and it doesn't take much, cherries are potent stuff. But this year I've been careful, knowing from the Great Radish Incident that what I eat can effect MZ. Plus, truth be told, the season has been terrible and I haven't had time to visit the Farmers Markets.

But on Saturday, Robert and Tante Judy watched and waited as I combed the Alemany Market for Perfect Cherries. I found them, at literally the last stall in the market, three nearly-empty tubs of dark, sweet, juicy Bings, and I carefully culled a pound of the best. I didn't offer to share them, I took them home and washed them and dried them and nibbled them slowly, spacing my cherries over the course of 36 hours.

I wasn't careful enough, clearly, and her cries were enough to make me swear off my favorite fruit for the season. I felt like the vilest creature, to have inflicted such pain on this little person. I was practically renting my clothes as I watched Robert try to soothe her. It's immensely sobering to be able to affect another person so dramatically, and it's the aspect of motherhood I was least prepared for, this very immediate but fleeting cause-and-effect related to something as basic as eating. Yet The Cherry Episode stands as an object lesson in Motherhood, not just that my actions can and will impact MZ, but that something so unintentional can create such a ruckus.

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