I left the pottery shop still trying to find a cute a memorable way to tell my husband the good news. After all, this would have to go in a baby book wouldn’t it? Suddenly I realized that I would need to buy a baby book! Maybe I could swing by the bookstore, buy a baby book, and use that to tell my husband. How cute would that be? With this adorable idea half formed in my mind I ran by the bookshop in our shopping center.
It was closed… for good. I sat outside the door blinking in surprise. I had seen the woman who owned it yesterday at the tenants meeting; she hadn’t said anything about closing. I stared through the dark windows and saw the bare bookshelves. Boxes of books sat on the floor, and a note to customers explained they would be closed, permanently, on the door. The now familiar stress and anger inside me bubbled to the surface. Why wouldn’t the landlord understand that if they didn’t bend during this horrific economic time, there would not be a shopping center left! We had already lost the child-friendly pizza place and the children’s fitness center within the last two months. The client base for the whole center was dwindling. We were all mostly small businesses and we exchanged customers frequently. The pizza place had provided pizza for our painting parties, and we had often exchanged campers and shared campers and students with the children’s fitness center, now it looked as if our “paint me a story program” would be circling the pipes.
My phone buzzed, my husband was home from school early, and starving. He wanted to know if I had already gone to lunch. I sent a text message informing him I would be home in a minute, and snapped out of my angry/sad/stressed mood. I couldn’t be upset right now! I had good news darn-it! I’d have to go by the grocery store and pick up a cute daddy card. I had briefly considered some article of baby clothing, but I didn’t know if the baby was a boy or a girl yet, and if I went to the baby clothing store in this center I’d be letting the cat out of the bag before I had a chance to tell my husband.
Still I didn’t care for the card idea. How weird would it be waiting for him to open a card, read it, understand what it meant, and then tell him the news anyway? It was the sort of thing I would appreciate, but he didn’t even like getting cards on his birthday. The cuteness would be lost on him.
Why did I have to tell him in a cute and memorable way anyway? I had to find out by peeing on a stick, why should he get special treatment? I’d just tell him. Difficult decision made, I went by the doggy daycare to pick up my puppy. She was not happy to be picked up early; apparently I interrupted some dogs’ birthday party. After making small talk with the overenthusiastic pet parents, and thanking them for Meggie’s treat bag, I packed the puppy up in the car and headed home, still trying to figure out what to say to my husband.
My townhouse was five minutes from work. Not nearly enough time to plan a speech. When I got home I stood outside for a moment while Meggie visited her favorite bush. My husband came outside, surprised to see I had brought the dog home. I explained that I was off for the day, and wasn’t going to class. “What’s that?” He asked, pointing to the gift bag in my hand.
I had forgotten all about that, “One of Meggie’s friends had a birthday party today.” Meggie, hearing her name, returned from her business in the bush, and looked expectantly at the gift bag. I brought her in, and set the bag on the counter as my husband lamented on the insanity that was doggy birthday parties.
I love doggy daycare, don’t get me wrong. A shopkeepers discount is nothing to sniff at either. Meggie plays with other dogs and exercises, and often gets a bath for very little a month while I’m off at work. It’s a good trade-off. The owner of the doggy daycare has a few dogs that are always there for the full paying customers to play with, and I don’t have to worry about Meggie sitting in the house or shop all day, but I am amused and disturbed by the doggy birthday parties.
Why was I rambling on about doggy birthday parties? I had way more important things to talk about.
“What do you want to eat?” My husband asked, “I think we’ll have to pick something up, there’s nothing here.”
“We should go somewhere nice.” I said, trying to discern what my stomach was in the mood for.
“We can’t afford to go someplace nice.” He reminded me, “We’ve got that Valentines thing later this week.”
“Someplace medium then, I don’t want fast food.”
“We could grab something from the grocery store.”
“Then we’d have to cook it.”
Silence as we considered this.
“What about Zaxby’s?” My husband suggested.
Zaxby’s would work; I nodded my agreement, mind still trying to find the words I needed to tell him about the baby.
“Are you ok?”
“We need to talk.” I told him, “I need to tell you something.” Noting the look on his face I rushed to add “It’s nothing bad.”
“Well… what is it?”
“I’ll tell you when we get home.”
“Can you tell me now?”
“No, I want us to be able to talk about it.”
He looked worried, “Well we can talk about it in the car.”
“Why don’t you tell me now, we can get the food afterwards.”
“Um… ok.” I stared at him for a moment; sure my face was turning bright red.
“What is it?” He asked alarmed.
I giggled, smiling so wide my face hurt. I am such a dork! Give me the best news ever to tell my husband, and I stand in the kitchen, grinning and giggling like a fool, completely unable to get a word out of my mouth.
“You should sit down.” I managed finally.
He walked to the living room and sat on the couch, eying me cautiously. “What?”
I perched next to him, “Well...,” nervous gasp, “Um…” giggle, “I –uh” oh my gosh this was painful!
I stared at him for what felt like a solid minute, mouth working, trying to spit out those two words.
“Alright… let’s go grab something to eat.” He said after an endless silence.
“I’m pregnant!” I blurted. Nice job, I told myself exasperated, that only took ten minutes.
“No you’re not.” He said instantly.
“Yes, I am.” I said grinning maniacally.
“You always think you’re pregnant.” He reminded me.
This is true actually; poor guy has had to listen to me talk about how I think I may actually be pregnant this time for the last three years. You would not believe the money I have spent on pregnancy tests. Funny thing is this was the first month in a long time I didn’t actually think I was pregnant, because for the last week I’ve had the flue. No increased sense of smell, nausea was a given, and everything was sore, the flue masked every single pregnancy symptom. I even figured my period was late because of the stress the flue had put on my body.
“I took a test.”
“So? You’ve gotten a positive before. You’re not pregnant.”
Yes, the year we got married I got a false positive on my pregnancy test. We bought another, and got a negative, then went to the doctor and got a real negative. Since then, I’ve stayed away from the digital tests. Pink lines work clearly. All it takes is for one word to short on a digital test and you have a false positive.
I smiled “I’m pregnant.”
“I’ve taken more than one test, I’m late, I’ve been sick, and false positives are a statistical anomaly.”
“Really?” He asked again.
I nodded. “I’m pregnant.”
He sank into the couch, looking shocked, and then he gave me a grin, “No way.”