My child loves chocolate.
Now, yes, I know, most kids like chocolate, this is really not big news in the grand scheme of things, but Nine's relationship with chocolate started even before he was born.
Ours was a complicated pregnancy. From 26 weeks on, I had weekly and then daily NST (non-stress testing) done. For those who don't know, NST is a "simple, noninvasive way of checking on your baby's health. The test records your baby's movement, heartbeat, and contractions. It notes changes in heart rhythm when your baby goes from resting to moving, or during contractions if you're in labor." They strap monitors on your belly and watch the readout on the screen or paper for a few minutes and then your done.
Except when you are me and my little fetus dude. Because of our various complications, he wasn't overly active in utero. I didn't feel the flutter of baby kicks until I was very far along in the pregnancy, and we often had to wait up to a half hour or more to get an NST readout that the perinatal clinic staff was happy with.
Until one day, one of the nurses had a brilliant idea. Someone had brought in cake for a birthday in the clinic and she asked me if I wanted to have a piece. Asking a pregnant woman if she wants cake is like asking someone who was lost in the desert if they want water. "Umm... DUH, HELLS YES! Please."
She left and a few minutes later came back with a giant piece of some kind of Triple Fudge Chocolate three-layered monstrosity of a cake. It was glorious!
By this time, I had been at the clinic for a good 45 minutes with little to no movement from our little bean, and I knew the nurses were getting antsy, and on the verge of calling in the neonatologist.
I took three bites of the glorious cake, and within five minutes, Nine started doing what felt like back flips inside my uterus. And the more cake I ate, the more he shimmied and shook around. We passed that day of Non-Stress Testing (really, such a dumb name for it, because HELLO - it is totally STRESSFUL!) and from that day until he was born, I made sure to have some kind of chocolate in my bag for all subsequent tests - also because I was pregnant dammit!
Thus began my child's intense love affair with chocolate...
His next full experience ingesting chocolate was for his first birthday. I made this all my myself and was so proud of it. As you can see, he is about to dive into it and totally destroy my masterpiece in 5 seconds flat!
When I was tandem nursing him and his younger sister, he would often tell me that Seven's breast had regular milk and his side had chocolate milk. (Yes, for some reason they each had a preferred side. I assume it was the chocolate factor.)
Nine has always been on the wee side of growth charts, and my Mother-In-Law took it upon herself early on to be the one to fatten him up and sneak him as many Lindor Chocolates as possible without me knowing. He has her wrapped around his little chocolate-fanangling little finger, knows where she keeps her secret stash, and bats his ridiculously long eyelashes at her, and asks for a couple every chance he gets! She's contributed to this creation of a chocolate monster and really can't deny him anything at this point.
All this chocolate-inspired reminiscing has been brought to you by our most recent family date night. Something we do at least once a month. We try new restaurants in the city for dinner and afterwards, head to our favourite spot for dessert and chai lattes.
This is Nine REFUSING to share his beloved chocolate cake with me, his Mama! The one who introduced him to the wonderful world of chocolate, who buys the big bag of Brookside chocolate covered berries at Costco and keeps it hidden for just the two of us, and who still tries her best to make him the chocolate cake creation he requests for his birthday every year.
Little ungrateful bugger!