Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Inner Sponge


UPDATE: 1/1/2011 Same trimester and same craving. The mysterious "sea sponge" craving has resurfaced two years later(the baby is due in early march). Here's what happened last time:

My wife has had an unusual craving recently which coincided directly with the beginning of her third trimester of pregnancy. She has had an intense urge to drink water using a sea sponge as a filter. As far as pregnancy cravings go this is one of the more unusual ones, however a simple Google search revealed that the urge to chewing on sea sponges is actually one a small population of people around the globe shares.

There are plenty of potential reasons why she may be craving sponges, but none of them mattered as we headed out in search of a place that sells sea sponges. Emma had been chewing on synthetic sponges for a few weeks but began to crave the real ones. "We'll find one" my wife assured me as we headed out in search of the elusive sea sponge. Being that we live in Minnesota I was not optimistic that we would, but America has instilled in my wife the sense that anything is out there for purchase, you just have to look hard enough. My first bright idea was to stop and Wal-Mart and Target. They have everything....everything but real sea sponges of course. Damn. "The pet store, they sell fish supplies, I'll bet they have sponges." I said. Emma reluctantly came in and looked around. We found lots of coral and things to make a fish tank look good except of course sea sponges. "Let me have the keys," she said. "You don't think I can find a sea sponge." I replied. "It's not that, I just want to wander." she said as she hopped into the drivers side. She seemed uncertain of exactly what direction she wanted to go, but suddenly took a turn east. We were driving through Apple Valley, a local city with numerous big box stores and mini mall shops. Suddenly she took a left, "There, there's where we'll find my sponge." She was heading toward Bed, Bath, and Beyond. "It's here I can feel it." she said to me as we parked and headed inside. She seemed to know exactly where she was going and went directly to the section where she found her real sea sponge for $14.99. I had to laugh at the fact that we had really found one, and we had done so by wandering.
Now that she's had it for a week the craving has been satisfied and perhaps because of the sea sponge and perhaps coincidentally the baby has undergone a huge growth spurt this past weekend. I don't know why. I also don't know the exact reasons for the craving. Some ideas include:
1.Sponges have medicinal potential due to the presence in sponges themselves or their microbial symbionts of chemicals that may be used to control viruses, bacteria, tumors and fungi

2. The sponge is consumed for calcium as Calcerous sponges are made of calcium carbonate

3. The sponges is used to filter water as early Europeans used soft sponges for portable drinking utensils and municipal water filters

4. 1,2, 3 are all wrong and I have no idea why my wife craved sea sponges

I tend to think 3 is the most likely and that perhaps the craving is a memory of a past strategic use(she is of European ancestry).

Our lives at many moments can become occupied by cravings, simple ones for sea sponges, or more complex. The strange thing is we live most of our lives in ignorance. We seek something out on a whim without knowing the "why" or the "how". We are only given the signal by our bodies, that may have a purpose and may not. My inner sponge is a representation of my survival through ignorance. Maybe it's better I don't know, as I'm not needed for chemical reactions anyway. I'd probably mess the whole thing up like my high school chemistry experiments(and in the body you can't just screw up and fudge the numbers at the end).