With Child With Child

Russian Nesting Doll: So, doctor? Am I...am I, you know?

Doctor: (looks upset) Yes. Yes, you're pregnant.

Doll:  Oh, that's just wonderful! That's just the most wonderful news. What’s wrong?

Doctor: (glances at his chart) Well, there's more. Would you like to have a seat? 


Doll: I can't. I can't sit down.


Doctor: Oh, right. Well, I want you to brace yourself.


Doll: Oh God.


Doctor: I don't quite know how to say this.


Doll: Oh God.


Doctor: So I'll just say it. Your baby is pregnant, too.


Doll: Excuse me?


Doctor: It's mind-boggling.

Doll: Doctor, what are you saying? I’ve heard of teen pregnancy, but...

Doctor: There's more. Dear Lord, there's more.

Doll: Oh goodness.

Doctor: Your baby's baby is...well, pregnant, too.

Doll: If it could, my jaw would drop.


Doctor: It's truly mind-boggling!


Doll: <Russian expletive>!


Doctor: Exactly. Before we can know anything for certain, we must unscrew your waist and empty everyone out until you are completely hollow.

Doll: (small voice) Will there be pain?


Doctor: Of course.


Doll: Will there be side effects?


Doctor: (nodding) Absolutely.


Doll: Will there be drugs?


Doctor: There is always vodka.


Doll: My husband is in the waiting room. He needs to know about his child, and his child’s child, and his child’s child's...


Doctor: Yes, I think he should come sit down and talk with us about the situation.


Doll: But he can't...


Doctor: (opens door to waiting room, takes a good look at husband) Oh no!


Doll: Sit down.


Doctor: Okay. I'll sit down for the both of us (collapses on exam table). 


Doll: And my three sisters are parked outside with their kids, waiting for the good news.  


Doctor: Good God -- it must be a clown car!


Doll: Actually, it's a hybrid. They're all very compact. My mother fits in the trunk. Should we write that down?


Doctor: I think you need to consult a specialist.  


Hilary Leichter teaches in the undergraduate creative writing program at Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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