Umbilical Cord Stumps are Underrated. And Super Versatile. [Photos]

My goodness. What a difference a babe makes. As in baby. See, the triplets were my first ever exposure to babies and looking back, it’s astonishing how clueless I was. Take the whole umbilical-cord-stump deal for example. The first day home from the hospital (well, the first day home with the boys — Kirby was still in the NICU at that point…) the sight of rough-looking black extensions of dead skin that protruded from my sons’ belly buttons took me aback. [Cue the dipshit music.] When I first noticed it on Sam I actually thought that one of the blue corn chips I had been eating must have somehow fallen in my shirt pocket before finding its way to my son’s stomach during a diaper change. Naturally, I was embarrassed by the gaffe. So this time around, I vowed to make up for it by being more in touch with the matter from word go.

The good news is that I’ve been just that — more in touch with Grand Finale’s umbilical cord stump thingie. But the bad news is that I got so in touch with it that now that it’s gone, I’ve found myself mourning its loss. Seems so unfair, no? You’re all aware of it like never before. You gently clean it each and every diaper change with the help of a Q-tip and a trusty bottle of rubbing alcohol. You enjoy checking up on it, inspecting it — even when it starts to separate from the belly button a bit, thus giving it the appearance of ET’s dick (ooooouuuuuuuch). Then BOOM. It’s gone. Just like that.

Well, call me weird, but I’ve decided that I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to the little thing just yet. So I decided to keep it around, safe and sound inside a zip-lock bag. And boy am I glad I did. Because there’s not a single day that goes by without me thinking of an application for the umbilical cord stump. It’s great for art projects. Look how perfectly it completes this portrait I drew of Mr. Bill.


You can also turn it into a tiny portobello mushroom. Or one of those little Japanese tree deals that you prune. Though this can’t exactly be eaten or pruned. Still, it can really spruce up a room quite nicely.


You know, with Grand Finale around, I’m not getting out quite as much as I used to so my leisure activities often have to be things I can do inside my home. Which is why this mini shuffleboard game I created was such a great call. Good thing I kept the stump. Not sure what we would have done without it.


But it’s not all fun and games around here. Everyone (except Grand Finale) is back in school which is a-okay by the umbilical cord stump. Because it’s got scientific applications as well, as the picture below would attest.


I think I’ve even figured out a way to incorporate it into my writing. I have a great new book idea I’m about to pitch. Note the dot on the second “i” is a particularly nice touch. Marketing genius, no? (Sure wish I’d kept the triplets’ stumps for this one, though…)


OR, we could always use the stump to create the ultimate monogram for Grand Finale, aka Luke Fiser Osborne: (I somehow forgot to put this one in the original post, so here it is via update one day after this originally went up…)

You know, I actually meant to put this post up a week or so ago. And now that I’m finally almost done with it, I’ve thought of yet another application for Grand Finale’s umbilical cord stump.

Trash. Ta ta umbilical cord stump. I simply couldn’t run the risk of mistaking you for another blue corn chip. Hope you understand…

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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • Debbie

    I would love to see what Caroline thinks of this post!!

    • John Cave Osborne

      when i asked C what she thought, her response was typically crisp and curt. “only you (meaning me) would come up with such nonsense.”

    • John Cave Osborne

      @Debbie — breaking news — an update on Caroline’s thoughts. she just called me (honest to God) and said “i thought about it more and I want you to make sure that you tell that person (you, Debbie) that i think you’re weird.” so the post makes Caroline think that i’m weird. in a related story, water’s wet, fire’s hot and the earth is believed to be round. have a great weekend!

      • Debbie

        Oh, I liked your answer!!!

  • Beth Sumner Lowe

    You had me at blue corn chip!  I would have loved to see your face when you realized that ain’t no stinking corn chip!

    • John Cave Osborne

      yeah, that whole clue corn chip deal is not my proudest moment. it’s not like i tried to pick it up and eat it… more like what is that? possibly a blue corn chip?

  • Danielle

    You are a complete nutcase, I love it!

    • John Cave Osborne

      totally. i have legitimate issues. and i’m glad someone loves it. thank you!

  • Cindy

    First thought in my head was “what a Goof!”  Then I read the other comments pretty much saying the same things.  Love it!

    • John Cave Osborne

      goof, perhaps being a euphemism for idiot?

  • Rob B

    I had my suspicions before, but now I can confirm – there is something wrong with you :)

    • John Cave Osborne

      there is something wrong with me. i blame this boss i used to have… (ha)