I got an invitation in the mail to a "prince or princess" party.

I wondered what in the world that was.

As I read on, I saw it was a pool party where an expectant local couple would reveal if they were having a boy or a girl -- a prince or princess.

I admit I didn't even know that the mom, my friend Dorothy Cohen, was pregnant again.

I quickly sought out a next-door neighbor for help. She explained that after all the eating and drinking at one of these "baby-Qs," a cake is cut and the color of the inside filling indicates whether a boy or girl is on the way.

I didn't know it at the time, but the answer would be a surprise even to Dorothy and her husband, Dave.

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What do you bring to a baby-Q? Wine would be cruel because Dorothy couldn't have any. I purchased a white teddy bear and crocheted a multicolored scarf, not favoring a boy or girl. In a note, I wished the little one a wonderful life.

At the party, guests wrote their predictions for a boy or girl on a "guess board."

While enjoying a glass or two of wine, making up for the mom's sobriety, I explained my reasoning to other guests: "Both Mom and Dad are absolutely lovely people, inside and out, both are intelligent, fun, loving and outgoing. They have a beautiful little girl, Maleeya. . . . They are perfect people. To complete perfect, they have to have a boy."

So, I proudly wore my blue prince pin.

My 46-year-old son, John -- who had introduced the mother and father some years ago at a hospital where they all worked -- selected prince also, but his deduction was made when he hugged Dorothy, asked her permission to listen to the baby and announced, "It will be a boy!"

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He said that when he put his ear to her belly, the little one high-fived him and said, "Dude!"

The guests argued the question throughout the afternoon.

The cake, which would settle the question, was white with pink and blue candied disks. A bow of noncommital pink and blue icing sat on top.

Finally, time for cake cutting by the expectant parents -- BLUE inner icing! Dorothy leaped into Dave's arms and we all cried.

So I wondered, how did the bakery know? Did it have someone in the sonogram room?

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It turns out the obstetrician gave Mom and Dad a sealed envelope to give to the baker.

Reader Penny Duggan lives in Massapequa.