Monday, July 17, 2006

What the fuck is a playard?

For those of you unfamiliar with the Min-o-Prop or, more formally, the Minister of Propaganda, he is the man who creates those crazy images you find in this blog. Well, it turns out the Min-o-Prop and Mrs. Min-o-Prop are expecting a Mini-o-Prop any day now. That said, there's some shit I have to say in one of my favorite art forms, the open letter.

Dear Min-o-Prop,

WHAT THE FUCK IS A PLAYARD? When you become a new parent, there's lots of shit to learn...sometimes literally. There's the miconeum. That's the first shit you have to worry about...even before they're born. Turns out that infants will start taking dumps right there inside of Mommy (quite R. Kelly, if you ask me!) and then will eat it (quite Chuck Berry, if you ask me!). So, as it turns out, with no prompting some kids try to eat shit and die right off the bat.

Read lots of baby books and you'll have a list of shit like that as long as your arm or my -- well, not that long...but pretty fuckin' long -- that they will give you to worry about. Rest easy, most kids turn out fine. Chances are that your kid won't be afflicted by some condition that only impacts .01% of the babies born in the Caucus Mountains. And no, your kid probably won't eat shit and die. It is their destiny to make YOU deal with their shit for years to come.

So, more than likely, the first shit you deal with will be miconeum. It looks like wet tar. You'll think it's cute. Having a new baby makes you fuckin' loopy like that. Nobody else thinks your kid's shit is cute. Trust me. I'm still not allowed within 50 feet of Roscoe's for making that mistake.

After that you'll head into garden variety baby poop. Milk in. This shit out. Doesn't stink too bad. And as long as you can keep it contained in a diaper -- by the way, not a given I have learned the hard way -- you should be alright.

But there's other shit. All this shit. Car seats...and strollers...and baby carriers, which you may also hear called a Baby Bjorn. Beware: the fancier the name sounds, the more you will pay for the same shit.

Which leads me to playards? What the fuck is a playard, you ask? So did I. See, here's what happened. A well-intentioned, more experienced mother came by the house to visit/commiserate/thank God she didn't have a newborn anymore just after we brought the niglets home. As we talked, she asked what must have seemed a very simple question. "Do you have a playard?"

A little panic bubbled in my guts. I was scared, scared that she would tell others that Cedar Sinai had allowed that "ign'ant muthafucka out the hospital with not one, but two babies, and he don't even know what the fuck a playard is." I tried to think. My mind scrambled. But, alas, I knew not of the playard of which she spoke.

See, when I was a kid we had these things called play pens. It was named a pen, because after all if you sit in a pile of your own shit, you live like an animal. The name was appropriate. But as time went on, I guess some White mom felt that little Johnny would be scarred by having to sit his ass in a pen. Or some Black mom was too scared to utter the phrase, "Antwan's in the pen." Either way, I had heard during Mrs. NMN's pregnancy that they now called a play pen a "Pack n' Play."

So, I knew what a Pack N' Play was. But what the fuck was a playard? Turns out a "Playard" ain't nothin' but a fuckin' "Pack N' Play" which in turn ain't nothin' but a fuckin' play pen. But if Babies r' Us called it a play pen, you would expect to buy it for a price similar to the one your father paid all those years ago. And they can't have that. They have to bend you over the counter -- after you've waited in the checkout line for the entire third fucking trimester -- and have you pay "Playard" prices for a fucking play pen which, if your kid is anything like my niglets, won't get no fuckin' use, because they will believe that it is their God-given goddamn right to be held all fucking day long. If you can't tell, I'm a little bitter about that shit.

So much shit! You'll see. It can be classified by color and texture most simply. On occasion, you'll also want to acknowledge quantity. This is particularly handy if you and the Mrs. are playing a late-night game of "Not It" when a diaper change is needed at 3 o-fuckin-clock in the fucking morning. If you can say, "Come on, man. I changed him/her earlier and it was a dump the size of a fucking Prius," you give yourself a fighting chance. Of course, you would then have to weather some onslaught about the rigors of pregnancy -- Hint: You have no answer for that. -- or childbirth -- Hint: See first hint...and multilply by one million. -- to win the debate. It won't happen. But you will have been competitive. And sometimes that's the best you can hope for, my friend.

Ahh yes, you've got "green runny." You've got your "red clay pellets." I've recently discovered "camouflage mound." And sometimes you get the "classic brown overflow." I've stood in a restaurant bathroom wiping shit from my shirt, arms and hands. (I called Zagat to share my experience, but no one has called back.) But the most memorable shit I've encountered will forever be known as a "Code Red."

There I was innocently bathing the niglets, when I peered past the bubbles looking for a toy so I could play with them. "That's odd," I thought, "I don't remember buying a floating Mr. Hanky." My eyes widened as the realization thudded against my skull. I sounded the alarm. "Mrs. NMN, CODE RED! We have a CODE RED!" She came running. Though we had never discussed the eventuality, she knew exactly what I meant. Yes, one of the niglets had shit in the tub.

Bet that's not what you had in mind when you and the Mrs. started "trying." I bet you weren't thinking about shit like babyproofing. That shit never ends. You can read lots of books about it, but here's my thumbnail on how you should babyproof. Get on your hands and knees and crawl around your house. Every few feet ask yourself this simple question: What is the dumbest fuckin' shit I could do at this very moment?

(Special note: Kids will put anything in their mouth. ANYTHING!!! Except, of course, the food you feed them which they will promptly spit on you.)

Then all you have to do is close off that particular path to the emergency room.

So, in conclusion...

Congratulations! And good luck!

Welcome to the fraternity, brother. And I mean that shit!

Not sure that you're ready? I sure wasn't. I guess I'm still not sure. But don't worry babyproofing. Don't worry about diaper sizes. (Just relax and read the box.) Or if you're bonding correctly. (If you're bonding, that's correct.) You'll figure all that shit out. In the end, who gives a fuck what a fucking playard is?

If you really want to know if you can be a father, here are the questions I think you should be thinking about:

So I ask you, do you give a shit? Do you know what love is? Do you know what selflessness is? Do you know what it is to see all the goodness in the world in something that weighs less than a big bag of rice? Do you know what it is to see a first smile and have all the troubles and bullshit of the world recede so far into the background that they basically disappear? Do you know what it is to give your whole self to someone thankfully? and to realize that they are giving even more to you just by being? If not, you will. Fatherhood is some serious shit.

Exhaustedly Yours,
A New Millennium Nigga


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another tear-jerker, bro. Except for the picture at the end w. the guns. Irony?

2:25 PM  
Blogger spoken609 said...

Ok...folks at work think I'm crazy becaue I am laughing at my computer screen. No way in God's Great Earth could housing contracts be that funny. You are about to blow my cover as a diligent state employee...gotta stop reading this stuff at work...

Great stuff once again "O" ~ tasha

5:38 PM  
Blogger ceymick said...

A "playard?" That's horseshit. Chicken wire and tin foil, my friends, that's all you need - it was good enough for me, and it'll be good enough for mine.

-- Seth

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Justin said...

How the hell does tinfoil stop a kid?

9:21 PM  
Blogger Kitty X said...

First time reader. That is some funny shit. My best friend, who is infinitely more mature than I has been married for four years. They're "trying". She's going to love this.

On another note, although I have no children, I am familiar through years of young cousin with the varying levels of shit. I was surprised the "creamed peas shit" wasn't covered . . .

Also, I regularly refuse to hold friends' children by using the time-honored, and very, very truthful excuse, "No thank you. I'm afraid I'll kill the baby." Will that go away when I have my own, do you think?

5:33 AM  
Blogger Santi said...

Brilliant. ;)

2:12 PM  
Anonymous bob said...

great stuff.

fatherhood IS some serious shit.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are brilliant!
just reading the thing about "Code Red" made me spit coffee all over my keyboard.
no disrespect and i know you love your child, but that shit makes me glad that i made it to menopause with no children.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Dr. Kim said...

Like your POV mostly. But have problems with you calling your kids niglets. OK if you want to call yourself a nigga, but don't do that to your kids. Sorry if you only wanted positive feedback. Yes, I am a real dr.

8:33 PM  

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