Excerpt from Labor and the Remote Control, circa 1989
Working in a male dominated field has caused me to realize that women’s liberation is considered to be just a blip in the road to the engineering workplace. Every Monday morning was greeted with an official waddle check, what saved me was that I was an Amazon height among my male patterned baldness peers. Then came the questions of when I would leave prior to the birth of our little bundle of joy. When informed I planned to work to the bitter end I was greeted with horrified gasps of “but we just had the carpets cleaned”. Stop it, surely I’m not the first employee to have a baby. Oh but I was, I was like a weird science experiment that went horribly wrong. I kept on cooking, after all I was eating for two. Oh yeah, Big Tuna too, wouldn’t want him to be hungry. Maybe a salad, I was 187 pounds when I popped after all.
1 large head romaine lettuce, washed and shredded into bite size pieces
3 Anchovies, minced
2 cloves garlic minced
¾ cup parmesan cheese
1 egg, coddled
½ olive oil, don’t cheat and use vegetable
Croutons to suit
Assemble lettuce, garlic, anchovies and parm cheese and toss slightly. Bring a small sauce pan of water to a boil, place egg in for no more than one minute, crack and place slightly runny egg in bowl. Add olive oil and juice from lemons. The amount of lemon juice is a personal preference. I like it sour, so I may not be the best judge, you can always add more, but never take back.
Fortunately I went into labor over a weekend so I didn’t damage anyone’s delicate psyche. I nudged my beloved and whispered my contractions were 10 minutes apart. Without opening his eyes he grunted I should let him know when they were more like 5 because he needed his rest in the delivery room. After jumping up and down on his body and whining I wanted company he staggered from our snug bed. This resulted in the dogs leaping up for breakfast and walks, so much for a sympathetic back rub.
Settled into a cheerful labor and delivery our nurse offered the usual ice chips and hospital gown. She helped me into bed, fluffed my pillows and gave me the remote control. A look of confusion passed over the Big Tuna’s face. In our house, he is the remote control king complete with rechargeable batteries and Lazy Boy recliner. “I am having the baby! I should get to choose!” I proclaimed. With quivering lips he released his tug of war grasp on his real firstborn. But it was 1:00 AM and the only stinking thing on was the ESPN Sportcenter loop so it was still a win for him. (At this point I will point out this was pre HGTV, Bravo, and the Food Network so it was this or CNN)
I, of course, was one of those weenie woman who never considered anything but maximum drugs, problem was, even though my contractions were a minute apart, I was only one centimeter. “Sorry Mrs. Tuna, gotta be at least a five before your epidural, just keep breathing.” “Yes honey breath”, said my baby daddy as he fondled the remote and started idle flipping though the channels. Give me my f*cking drugs and I’ll breath, otherwise, I’m going to hyperventilate and do myself an injury and take your hands of the damn clicker.
No one here needs all the intimate details, we all have our own memories of our special moments, depending on the morphine haze level. Epidurals……are a wonderful thing….sigh. My teeth were numb, I was in my happy bubble. However, the hospital staff referred to the Big Tuna as a “fainter”. Needles in the back made him wobbly, needless to say he got a chair during delivery and his own personal spotter. But he survived that and more, sweet sixteen parties, graduations and someday he’ll walk Sheldon down the aisle. After all, she has been Daddy’s little girl from day one.