How not to use a pregnancy test

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The other day I took a pregnancy test. Since I know that little law of physics that says change in behavior occurs when something is being observed, I found a spot in a window sill high enough that the kids would not likely see it and I walked away.

I went into the kitchen for a cup of coffee and fretted over a positive result. What on earth would I do with three kids?! Then I agonized over a negative result too. Is my womb closed forever now?! I tapped the counters with my fingertips. I paced. I was really getting worked up.

The clock read precisely three minutes past the moment I laid the test on a flat surface so I raced back to the dining room to find out what my immediate future would hold.

It was negative.

(Insert a barrage of rational and also irrational emotional responses here)

I must have too busy with my response to notice that I absent mindedly put the test right back in the window. My five-year-old son was watching my little drama unfold. Not understanding any of it he waited until I walked off into another room to talk to Dad about the results.

Then he climbed up into the window and grabbed the test stick.

My husband and I were exchanging hushed words of relief and a little bit of disappointment when we suddenly heard, “MMMMOOOMMMM! THIS DOESN’T WORK RIIIIIIGHHHHHT!”


I walked into the dining room to find my son using the pregnancy test as a marker! With the cap off!

“Mom, LOOK! I found your secret decoder marker but it isn’t working. I don’t see a message yet…”

Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.