from An Actual Baby Person by Barbara Lindsay

Genre: Drama

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Squishy is a very goth, very pregnant teenager.  Fearing she doesn't have what it takes to be a mother, she does her best to teach her irresponsible, good-hearted husband Dagger to fall in love with their unborn baby.

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Remember?  You taught her how to talk.  You taught her how to read before she even got to school.  You used to brush her hair when it got all long and curly.  Remember?  You’re the one who got her interested in chess.

I got you a chess set for Christmas and the two of you learned together, so you were always a good match for each other.  You helped her be smart, because you’re the smartest person I ever knew.  And you taught her how to give snappy answers to people who pick on her so they laugh and don’t bother her any more.   

hey always pick on the smart ones.  Plus she’s kinda small.  But only at first.  And then later she’s  
gonna get long long legs and get really tall, and she starts wearing contact lenses, and every guy who sees her is going to think she’s the most beautiful girl they ever saw.   Everybody’s going to call her Angel because she’s  beautiful, but she’s also nice and sweet to everybody, but she’s sincere about it, not, like, all fake and phony.  She really means it.  But you’re her favorite.  You and her have a really good friendship, right from the start.   

When she’s a baby, sometimes she cries and cries and I can’t do anything to make her stop, until I think I’m about ready to throw myself out the window.  But then you pick her up and she right away starts smiling.  That  
big baby smile with no teeth at first.  And then one day, oh my gosh, there’s just this tiny little bit of tooth poking through, and it hurts like crazy and she cries and drools all the time, but even so, when you pick her up, she gets this big smile all over her fat little face.  She grabs hold of your finger, and her hands are so small, they don’t even go all the way around.  But she holds your finger tight, like she knows you’ll always be there when she  needs you, and you’ll teach her everything she needs to know so she can grow up and be totally  herself and totally independent and totally cool.  Can you see her, Dagger?