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.