Tammy and Jim had been dating for fourteen months, which was enough time for Tammy to become convinced Jim would make a terrific father. She was thirty-nine and wanted a baby by her fortieth birthday. After watching Jim more than once with his dog, Banshee, she couldn’t help but imagine Jim crawling around on a floor with their future toddler. Jim would kiss the baby on the cheeks before tossing him or her (but they both wanted a boy!) in the air. He’d sing him nursery rhymes like Hickory, Dickory, Dock. Their kid would be the smartest, strongest, happiest around.

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