"Hey hon, can you exchange the baby at the clinic after work? The replacement should be done by now."
"So soon?" I turned around from the window. Coffee almost spilled from my cup, but I caught it in time.
"Yep," she said, struggling with an earring. "It's the slow season, I think."
I shrugged. "Well, if he's done, sure, I'll go. I just hope they got the gene right this time."
"I know, right?" she said, giving up on the earring and tossing it on the counter. "How can it take three tries just to get one dumb gene right?"
"Well, the first time was just luck. Accidents happen." I looked down at the toddler playing with his blocks near me. "Sorry bud. Nothing personal."
She snorted. "He wasn't the accident. He's just the third failure at correcting it."
The baby giggled nonsense as he toppled over a tower six-high of blocks. I smiled along with his laughter. He wasn't the original Jackson, but he was almost improved. The next one would be better. So they told us, anyway.
I looked back out the window. The villas down at the bottom of the canyon twinkled in the early morning dark.
My wife nuzzled up behind me, wrapping her arms around my belly. Together we gazed at the sunrise.
"Can we pay extra for the memory transplant this time?" she said.
I scoffed before I caught myself. "Do you know how much cash that'll cost for an 18-month-old?"
"I know, I know," she said quickly. "But do you really want to teach him to play with blocks all over again? And at 18 months old? He'll be the laughing stock at daycare until he catches up."
"But we're dipping into our savings already. And with the age-advancement? I can't believe how much they tack on for 18 months!"
She squeezed me with a drawn-out hug. "Please hon? Just think about him knowing who you are when he sees you the first time."
I grinned suddenly. "You just want him to remember how to call you 'mama.'"
She melted against me. "It was so cute! Do you remember when he said it the first time? Right when he was eating his peas? And he reached out for me to take him?"
I looked down at Jackson. He'd rebuilt his tower by now. I spoke my wife's unspoken thought. "And just think what it would look like if he finally says it with blue eyes."
She sighed. "He'd be gorgeous."