I took another pregnancy test in the bathroom at Friday’s while my husband sat at the table with the girls.
You know, just to be sure.
This time I opted for the bottom-of-the-line pee stick. Nothing digital. Nothing fancy. I didn’t read the instructions, but the picture on the box said it all. If I wasn’t pregnant, it would have two plain stripes.
Yes, I bought the store brand. Yes, I was being cheap because it was on sale. And no, my test didn’t look like the ones on the box. Not that I thought I wasn’t pregnant. But we needed to tell ONE before we slipped in front of her, or she eavesdropped with that “I’m not listening to you” expression and figured it out for herself. But before we told her, we both wanted to be extra sure.
And now we were.
• • •
That night before ONE went to bed, I turned to my husband.
“You want to tell her?”
“What, now?” He asked.
“You listed off three boy names for me to ‘add to the list’ on the way home from dinner.”
“She doesn’t know what we’re talking about.”
“Yes, I do.”
We looked down. She stood between us, hands on hips. She’s a slippery little ghost sometimes.
“What do you know, Pea?” I said.“What you’re talking about.”
“Oh yeah?” my husband said. “What are we talking about?”
“You and Mommy are talking about ga-ga.” She laughed and ran out of the room. We were safe. But we hated her “ga-ga” mode, which could go on for hours. In fact, we had been known to coax her out of it with chocolate or television.
“You’re right, we should tell her,” he said. “Hey Pea,” he called to her. “C’mere a sec.”
He led her to the couch and sat her down between us. I looked at him. He didn’t say anything.
“Well…” I said to him. “Aren’t you going to…”
He leaned in to her and whispered, “Mommy has something to tell you.”
I glared at him.
I put my arm around her and said, “Guess what, Pea? I have a new baby in my tummy and…”
She gasped and put her hands on her cheeks.
“Daddy! Did you hear what my mommy said?” She jumped off the couch and bounced around the room. “She said she has another baby in her tummy! I’m going to be a big sister again!”
ONE danced around the room for about five minutes. ONE loves to dance. LOVES it. And she looks like a short, blonde, serious Elaine Benes. I felt really good for the first time in a week.
“I love your dance, Pea.” I told her.
ONE paused for a breather and leaned on the corner of the couch. “I’m dancing because I’m so excited about the new baby.”
“This baby is so lucky to have you for a big sister,” I said.
“Yeah,” she agreed.
“Do you want a brother or another sister?” my husband asked.
“One brother and two sisters, I think.”
“No,” we both responded at the same time.
“Just one baby in here,” I told her. I prayed. I begged. Please God, only one. “What name would you pick for a brother or sister?”
“I don’t know. I think the baby comes with a name already.” She danced some more and then stopped suddenly. “Mama! I have to call Grandpa and tell him the good news about the new baby in your tummy!”
She called Grandpa, Nanny, Pop, and one of her uncles. She insisted on calling the other two, but my cell phone died and I didn’t have their numbers written down anywhere else.
Before bed, ONE said a prayer and thanked God for her new brother or sister.
“Mama? I can’t wait to meet my new baby.”
I kissed the top of her head and pulled her close. I was starting to get excited about meeting the new baby, too.