It’s a What?

Dee with Laura in GlassesI had a delightful conversation with my daughter-in-law the other day about waiting for babies to be born and what she is doing to prepare for her own first child who is due in a few months.  I happened to mention a little incident that had happened before our first child was born when I had followed the advice in an old wives tale to try a special  test to determine the sex of our child.  Our son interrupted the conversation to ask in amazement, “You mean, you didn’t know if you were going to have a boy or a girl?”

“Honey,” I responded.  “We didn’t know if we were going to have a boy or a girl for either of you.”   At which point his wife added that ultrasounds were much less sophisticated BACK THEN.   That’s right, Sonny Boy, you’re getting old!

At any rate, I had to share my story about the Draino fiasco.  You see, some well-meaning friend had told me during my first pregnancy that you could predict the sex of your child by adding Draino to your urine, first thing in the morning.  So I had gotten some Draino and a cup and stashed it in our bathroom and one morning, I slipped out of bed, being careful not to disturb my slumbering hubby, and went off to find out what we were going to have.  I put the urine in a little plastic cup….one of those disposable ones, like Dixie Cups, but made out of plastic and not paper and then I poured some Draino in.

Immediately, the darn cup started to smoke, spewing out noxious fumes as the base of the cup started to distort.  It appeared to be melting away before my horrified eyes.  “Honey”, I yelled.  “Come here quick!  Something’s happening!”   My poor husband leaped out of bed and ran into the bathroom, expecting to find who knows what, and was greeted by a crying pregnant wife who was pointing at a distorted, melting plastic cup that was belching out stinking smoke.  Being ever practical, he knocked it into the sink and poured water on it which stopped the smoke and the chemical reaction.  It didn’t stop the interrogation which followed as I tried to explain what I had been hoping to achieve.

“Darn, Honey,” he said.  “You should have at least known to use a ceramic cup.”

By this time, I was really blubbering.  “Aw, it’s ok,” he assured me.

“No, you don’t understand,” I said.  “I was so scared that I forgot to see what color it turned so I STILL don’t know if weGeorge with Laura are having a girl or a boy.”    And truth be told, it had been such a traumatic experience that I don’t remember to this day which color was supposed to mean what sex.  It completely flew out of my head, which is probably a good thing.

The only other “test” I can remember friends recommending to me when we’d wonder if my pregnancies were going to produce a girl or a boy was a much more sedate one.  They’d offer to do a “pencil” test where they’d dangle a pencil from a string over my belly, holding their hand completely still and if the pencil twirled one way, it meant it was going to be a boy and if it twirled the other way, it meant it was going to be a girl.  I never could keep it in my head which direction meant what so that test never meant much to me.

By the time I was expecting our second child, I had come up with my own method of figuring out what I was going to have.  I’ll share that with you tomorrow.  As to the Draino test, I guess the one thing it DID accurately predict was that our firstborn, Laura, would be completely unpredictable and a real ball of fire.  On THAT, it was 100% accurate.


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