Pregnancy Test                       Miriam N. Kotzin and Bill Turner

I told Christine that she looked great.  Sure, she looked tired, but guys
are supposed to lie about stuff like that.  Just when I think the rules are
set, she changes them.  This smells like a disaster.

“I look terrible,” my wife says. She’s leaning up against the kitchen
counter.  The fluorescent light doesn’t do her any favors.

Right now is when I should find a good place to hide. I even take a quick
look around, to see if there’s a way to get out of here and make myself look
good at the same time.  But no, the trash is already out, and we did the
laundry yesterday.

Christine is looking for sympathy, and who can blame her?  It’s been a hot
summer and she’s nearly nine months gone.  She’s carrying as big as though
she's having twins, but the ultrasound says he's one boy.

Christine’s hair is flat and damp.  She has pale blue circles under her
eyes; she hasn’t slept well for weeks.  Neither have I.

“You look fine, sweetie.”  There should be a law against using the word
“fine” in these situations.  Her eyebrows just went down at least three
notches.  That means that I am either dead, or I will want to be shortly.

“I look like a balloon,” she says.  “You’ve always been a terrible liar,

Fine is out.  She does look like a balloon.  Honesty won’t score bonus
points here.  Not direct honesty, I need a plan.

“It’ll be over soon, sweetie.”  There.  That’s nice and safe.  Facts are not
in dispute on this one.

“Over?  Over?  It will just be beginning!" her voice rose into that register
that reminds me of chalk on a blackboard.  "Didn't anyone ever tell you
about midnight feedings?"

"You don't have to breast feed, you know."  She's been going to La Leche
meetings since we set the date for our wedding.

She’s in no mood for consolation.  Her brown eyes are staring at the wall,
right behind me.  I’ll give it one more go.

“Nobody cares how you look, Sweetie.”  As soon as it’s out of my mouth, I
realize what I’ve just said.

Assuming she forgives me, maybe on the next kid I’ll do better.  But if I
don’t get it right soon, Junior’s sure to be an only child.