The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

The test I was oh-so-happy to fail

on November 17, 2008

I’m not a fan of failing anything – especially tests. But let me take you back to May 1995 when I failed a test and cried tears of joy . . . . . .

Tyler, Austin and I were on a family vacation in North Carolina. I say family vacation because my parents were on the trip, as were my dad’s two sisters and their families. We were surrounded by people at all times. We had driven from Florida to North Carolina and were doing some sight seeing in Maggie Valley, NC. Maggie Valley is nestled in the Smoky Mountains and one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

You’d think I would have been all relaxed-like, surrounded by nature’s beauty, the love of my family, the amazing canned greasy beans my aunt gave us (of which I downed nearly a quart on my own). But relaxed I was not. Why? Because my then 6 month old son was intent on killing me. Screaming when he was put in his car seat. Demanding to be nursed around the clock. Wailing for hours because after he went to bed his mom went out on the town with her cousin (I think he could just sense my presence leaving the house). And everything else he could manage to throw in at a moment’s notice. No, my son was not an easy baby.

I had begun to get increasingly worried about a certain visitor who was late. You know the one. And I was NOT happy. In fact, I think sheer panic would be a better way to put it. It finally got to the point that I had to know what was going on – meaning I also had to let Tyler in on my plight.

His reaction was one of, “WHAT? Just exactly how late are you?” I had no clue. I was barely surviving Austin so tracking that little thing on the calendar wasn’t happening. About that time my dad knocked on our hotel room door. He was going to get gas and wanted to know if Tyler wanted to tag along. Tyler said, “YES!!” just a little too enthusiastically. I told him, “Don’t you dare let my dad know what’s going on!” He just humphed and went out the door.

About 20 minutes later Tyler returned with a brown bag under his shirt. I asked him, “Did Dad see?” He answered, “No.” I started with, “How did you . . . ” and was cut off with, “Just take the test . . . .NOW!”

Folks, we were broke! Another kid at that time was the furthest thing from our minds. We knew we’d eventually have more, but to have them only spaced out 15 months? After having the worst infant on the face of the earth? I could think of about 500 better things to do with my life at that particular moment. All I could imagine was people saying loving things like, “Oops, that was obviously an accident.” “Don’t you know how that happens?” “Somebody had too much wine one night?” The things that make all newly pregnant women feel so good about themselves.

I took the test and we waited in gut wrenching anticipation. I think I never stopped praying for the entire three minutes, “Oh please, God, no. Oh please, no, no, no, no. OH. GOD. NO.” I was way past asking – I was into pleading and bargaining.

As most of you know, Amber is not 15 months younger than her brother. She’s 27 months. When the second line didn’t appear on the test I told Tyler, “I’ve never been so happy to flunk anything in my life.” We both laughed the laugh of very relieved people. And then Austin started screaming and our glee was interrupted and we were reminded why we were so relieved we weren’t staring down the barrel of the newborn gun again!

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