Don Staffin

​Author, Columnist, Entertainer

If I Ran the Maternity Ward

Who's Born First?

A Seussian parody of multiple proportions

Try to read this aloud - if you can!!!

I am Ira Ben-Yosef Stephanopoulos McCord
The undisputed King of the Maternity Ward
I come by that title, for those keeping score,
From siring twenty children by age thirty four. 

I know what you’re thinking
Shame, shame, shame on you.
I have only one wife
I do not need two.

She gave birth to them all in just 14 short years,
To my healthcare insurer I’m the sum of all fears.
There are three sets of twins, one of triplets, one of four,
Plus seven precious singletons ‘cause we just wanted more.

Incidentally, my name causes people to grin,
A Jewish-Greek fusion with some Irish thrown in.
I’m proud of the moniker, though I know it’s complex
And it takes me 5 minutes just to sign a few checks.

But now I’ve digressed,
This train’s still in the station.
I just wanted to establish
My supreme qualification.

I am planning a hospital entirely for birth,
All I need is a donor with very high net worth.
To pay for the gidgets and gadgets and gizmos,
So that parents-to-be will be shouting “Gee wizmos!”

All their needs will be met in this newfangled space,
They’ll ask “Who’s the genius who thought up this place?”
Why it’s Ira Ben-Yosef Stephanopoulos McCord
The undisputed King of the Maternity Ward

* * *

Enough of the bragging, let’s see some real stuff!
Else how will you know that I’m not full of fluff?
Come into my hospital, come one, come all,
I’ll show you the first room – it’s right down the hall.

When your wife is in labor and relatives abound,
There’s a universal truth (at least so I have found).
The one thing that no one in pain needs to hear,
“I’ve got some suggestions for the baby name, dear”

“I cannot stand Ezra, and I’m not fond of Mike,
The names of the two kids who stole my first bike.
Bertha’s old fashioned, McKenzie’s a fad,
And Ophelia’s the wife of my third cousin’s dad.”
“But you ought to try Marcus O’Barcus McDing,
A regal sort of name, with a very fine ring.
Or how about Trixie deBixie von Clymond,
A name that’s rock solid, like a beautiful diamond”

I’m sure you don’t care to hear ideas like those
Maybe you just want to name your girl ‘Rose’.
But these well meaning people aren’t trying to be rude,
They just want your little one to be a cool dude.

So in order to avoid this un-needed agitation,
My ward has a Relative Name-Giving Station.
They can share their ideas with some like minded folks,
And might even pick up some new family jokes.

* * *

Let’s proceed down the hall of the hospital’s first floor,
Great things can be found behind most any door!
On the left is the Insurance Advisory Room,
Where your little one gets coverage right out of the womb.
The shots and the checkups, the braces, the eyes,
And it’s done oh so quickly you don’t realize,
That you now owe us money – lots of lovely green cash.
If you don’t pay us quick you will catch diaper rash!

* * *

On the right is the Grand Baby Viewing Pavilion,
Where loved ones can go – the place holds ‘bout a million.
They can ogle and stare, they can glimpse, they can hover,
As they try to distinguish one babe from another.

* * *

Straight ahead of you now is my #1 feature,
The Bionic-Supersonic On-Site Lamaze Teacher.
So you missed all the classes?  Don’t worry, don’t fret,
This teacher is so good - he hasn’t failed yet.
You’ll be caught up in no time, a certified pro,
Just press the green button on his forehead marked “Go”.
He’ll leap into action, instruct you with speed,
Demonstrations and diagrams, all that you need.
In just 56 seconds you’ll be ready for birth,
Imagine what something like that must be worth!

Now off to Delivery, proceed with great haste.
The baby is coming soon, no time to waste.

Waaaaaah!!!!!

It’s a girl/boy (circle one)

You are a parent at last.
* * *

And finally to conclude our journey,

What do you know about baby bottles?

Well…

When a baby is first born she gets a bottle (let’s not start a breast feeding debate here).

And since she is very small, you need a bitty baby bottle, And…

If you have twins you need a bitty baby buddy bottle, And…

If you have triplets or more you need a bag of bitty baby buddy bottles, And…

Since babies can’t have bottles when their bottoms are un-swaddled,
And they won’t enjoy the feeding if they aren’t feeling coddled,
You need:  a bitty bottle baby swaddle coddle, And…

Since the father is in charge of things while mommy gets some rest,
And he wants his wife to know that as a dad he’ll be the best,
We call him:  a bitty baby bottle swaddle coddle daddy, And…

When daddy needs advice and help, on us he can rely,
My staff will send a friendly aide to see that he gets by,
We call the aide: A bitty baby swaddle bottle coddle daddy caddy, And…

When your baby drinks her bottle in that swaddle coddle thing,
And the caddy that we sent you feels the need to start to sing,
This is what they call:
A bitty baby bottle swaddle coddle daddy caddy yodel.

And… 

“NOW WAIT A MINUTE MISTER MATERNITY WARD!”

Uh oh!

When the mother finally rises due to all the grand commotion,
And sees this swaddle coddle stuff that has been put in motion,
She’ll start to give directions like she’s done it all before,
And that is when I have my cue to find the nearest door.

I’m off to greet the next guests in my hospital of fame,
And when you leave I hope that you will not forget my name,
It is Ira Ben-Yosef Stephanopoulos McCord
The undisputed King of the Maternity Ward.

* * *

I am patenting this design,
Let’s hope it all comes to fruition.
Because there’s just no other way
To pay for college tu
ition
!

​​Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" meets triplets.

Note:  For some real fun, find your special someone and read this aloud as a dialog.

The Scene: A hospital room just after the birth of triplets.

Mother:  Hi honey.  I think I passed out on the way to the hospital.  I guess I missed everything, including the C-Section.  Are the babies OK?

Father: Yes, everyone’s doing just fine.  How are you feeling?

Mother: Better than I expected.  Was it boys, girls, or mixed?

Father: Three girls, all cute as can be.

Mother: Wait – I never gave you the names!  What did you tell the doctor when they were born?

Father: Well, I wasn’t sure, so I asked the nurses for some help with some of the more popular names these days.  But some of them seem kind of peculiar.

Mother: You mean funny?

Father: Strange names, odd names, like Shakespeare’s fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  You know, Peasblossom.

Mother: And her sisters, Mustardseed and Cobweb?

Father: Weren’t there four fairies?

Mother: Yes.  Something about a bug.

Father: A bug?

Mother: Moth.

Father: Right, Moth. Well, as far as our triplets, we have in the cribs, Who's born first, What's born second, I Don't Know is third...

Mother: That's what I want to find out.

Father: I say Who's born first, What's born second, I Don't Know is third.

Mother: Are you the father?

Father: Yes.

Mother: You gonna be the head of the household, too?

Father: Yes.

Mother: And you don't know the babies' names.

Father: Well I should.

Mother: Well then who's born first?

Father: Yes.

Mother: I mean the baby's name.

Father: Who.

Mother: The baby born first.

Father: Who.

Mother: The first baby.

Father: Who.

Mother: The baby born...

Father: Who is first born!

Mother: I'm asking you who's born first.

Father: That's the baby's name.

Mother: That's who's name?

Father: Yes.

Mother: Well go ahead and tell me.

Father: That's it.

Mother: That's who?

Father: Yes. PAUSE

Mother: Look, we got three babies? 

Father: Certainly.

Mother: Who's born first?

Father: That's right.

Mother: When you got the first wristband, who did you put it on?

Father: Yes.

Mother: All I'm trying to find out is the name of the baby born first.

Father: Who.

Mother: The baby that got...

Father: That's it.

Mother: Who got the wristband...

Father: She did. But of course the nurse had to put it on.

Mother: Who's nurse?

Father: Yes. There was one nurse for each baby.  PAUSE

Father: What's wrong with that?

Mother: I wanna know, when you told them the name for the wristband, how did they write her name?

Father: Who.

Mother: The baby.

Father: Who.

Mother: How did they write...

Father: That's how they wrote it.

Mother: Who?

Father: Yes. PAUSE

Mother: All I'm trying to find out is what's the baby’s name that was born first.

Father: No. What was born second.

Mother: I'm not asking you who's born second.

Father: Who's born first.

Mother: One baby at a time!

Father: Well, don't change the children around.

Mother: I'm not changing anybody!

Father: Take it easy, honey.

Mother: I'm only asking you, who's the baby born first?

Father: That's right.

Mother: OK.

Father: All right. PAUSE

Mother: What's the baby's name that was born first?

Father: No. What was born second.

Mother: I'm not asking you who's born second.

Father: Who's born first.

Mother: I don't know.

Father: She’s third born, we're not talking about her.

Mother: Now how did I get to the third born?

Father: Why you mentioned her name.

Mother: If I mentioned the third baby’s name, who did I say is born third?

Father: No. Who's born first.

Mother: What's that?

Father: What's born second.

Mother: I don't know.

Father: She’s born third.

Mother: There I go, back on third born again! PAUSE

Mother: Would you just stick with the third baby and don't leave her?

Father: All right, what do you want to know?

Mother: Now who's born third?

Father: Why do you insist on putting Who as third born?

Mother: What am I putting third?

Father: No. What is born second.

Mother: You don't want who born second?

Father: Who is born first.

Mother: I don't know. Together: Third born! PAUSE

Mother: Look, did we have an obstetrician?

Father: Sure.

Mother: The obstetrician's name?

Father: Why.

Mother: I just thought I'd ask you.

Father: Well, I just thought I'd tell ya.

Mother: Then tell me who's the obstetrician.

Father: Who's born first.

Mother: I'm not...stop with the babies!!! I want to know what's the guy's name that was the obstetrician?

Father: No, What was born second.

Mother: I'm not asking you who's born second.

Father: Who's born first!

Mother: I don't know. Together: Third born! PAUSE

Mother: The obstetrician's name?

Father: Why.

Mother: Because!

Father: Oh, he's the anesthesiologist. PAUSE

Mother: Look, we gotta pediatrician?

Father: Sure.

Mother: The doctor's name?

Father: Tomorrow.

Mother: You don't want to tell me today?

Father: I'm telling you now.

Mother: Then go ahead.

Father: Tomorrow!

Mother: What time?

Father: What time what?

Mother: What time tomorrow are you gonna tell me who's our children’s pediatrician?

Father: Now listen. Who is not a pediatrician.

Mother: I'll break you're arm if you say who's born first!!! I want to know what's the doctor's name?

Father: What's born second.

Mother: I don't know. Together: Third born! PAUSE

Mother: Gotta head nurse?

Father: Certainly.

Mother: The nurse's name?

Father: Today.

Mother: Today, and tomorrow's the pediatrician.

Father: Now you've got it.

Mother: All we got is a couple of days taking care of our children. PAUSE

Mother: You know I think maybe the painkillers have me a bit fuzzy here.

Father: So it would seem.

Mother: Let me see if I can get this straight.  I tell you we need to go to the hospital, but I pass out and miss the whole thing.  Now I wake up and we have three babies.  Tomorrow's their pediatrician, and he tells me the babies need their diapers changed.  Me, being a good mother, I'm gonna grab a diaper and the first baby. So I pick up the diaper and put it on who?

Father: Now that's the first thing you've said right.

Mother: I don't even know what I'm talking about! PAUSE

Father: That's all you have to do.

Mother: Is to put it on the first baby.

Father: Yes!

Mother: Now who's wearing it?

Father: Naturally. PAUSE

Mother: Look, if I put the diaper on a baby, somebody's gotta wear it. Now who has it?

Father: Naturally.

Mother: Who?

Father: Naturally.

Mother: Naturally?

Father: Naturally.

Mother: So I pick up the diaper and I put it on Naturally.

Father: No you don't you put the diaper on Who.

Mother: Naturally.

Father: That's different.

Mother: That's what I said.

Father: You're not saying it...

Mother: I put the diaper on Naturally.

Father: You put it on Who.

Mother: Naturally.

Father: That's it.

Mother: That's what I said!

Father: You ask me.

Mother: I put the diaper on who?

Father: Naturally.

Mother: Now you ask me.

Father: You put the diaper on Who?

Mother: Naturally.

Father: That's it.

Mother: Same as you! Same as YOU!!! I put the diaper on Who. Then I put down Who and pick up What.  Put the diaper on her.  Put What down and pick up I Don’t Know.  Shazzam!  Three babies diapered.  Next morning the babies and I need to get checked out by everyone who helped with the delivery.  In comes Because.  Why?  I don’t know.  She’s born third, and I haven’t a clue!

Father: What?

Mother: I said ‘I haven’t a clue!’

Father: Oh, that's our new nanny.

Mother: (makes screaming sound)