Friday, July 18, 2014

Life with Pets: Baby - A One-Act Play

Because Juju was unemployed*, one of Three's friends in need of a babysitter brought his child, M, for her to watch while he and Three spent their day working. JUJU, having spent the entire previous night cleaning the house - or as she called it, "unfucking her habitat," is both wide awake and loopy, but determined to provide a safe and friendly environment for a nine-month-old. M sits on the carpeted floor, holding her blanket silently and eyeing the four non-human creatures - ZOLA, BINA, KITKAT, and BITSY - that seem to be, at worst, vaguely interested in her existence. 

KITKAT: My environment has changed and I'm not too happy about this. I'm going to hide in the bed-closet. (scampers off stage)
BITSY: Does it bite? Wait, Tyrannical Not-Friend is not here? Freeeeee!
BINA: She smells funny.
JUJU: Zola, back up. Seriously. You're going to scare the baby.
M: Eeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhh??

Zola cocks her head to one side, confused by this new sound.

ZOLA: Is she hurt? Is she hungry? Does she need comforting puppy kisses? Does she need to poop? Are we going on a walk? I LOVE WALKS. She will love walks, too.
JUJU: No, she just got here, and her dad says that he's already changed her diaper. Calm the fuck down.
ZOLA: (pouts) I'll go get on the couch.

While Zola hops on the couch, Juju picks up M and places her on her hip. The baby seems rather comfortable with the goings on, for which Juju is grateful. 

JUJU: I'm not sure if I could have handled this if you were crying.
M: (blank stare) Pbthththth.
JUJU: I feel ya.

Juju knows essentially nothing about babies, except what she previously Googled earlier. She takes the plastic toy bag, which holds pretend doctor utensils (stethoscope, complete with sparkly lights, one of those knee-thumper things, a thermometer, and a syringe) and chewing rings. M seems unaffected when Juju dangles one of the rings in front of her and simply sticks the edge of her blanket in her mouth.

JUJU: Do you watch TV? I have Netflix, which apparently has a kids' section. You know, I've always wanted to watch that new My Little Pony show. What do you think?
M: (nothing)
JUJU: Sounds good to me. Zola?
ZOLA: I don't know what TV is.
BINA: I am curious about this small human thing. It is a human, right?

Bina approaches the baby cautiously and sniffs her hand. M reaches out for the cat and starts to kind of stroke her fur. Bina purrs and inches a little closer, and M grabs her ear, pulling at it slightly.

BINA: This too shall pass? What do I do? Mommy? WHAT. DO. I. DO.
JUJU: Alrighty, little one, you probably shouldn't hurt the kitty.
M: (with delight) Eeeeeeehhhhh!!

The baby lets go of Bina's ear.

BINA: That ... wasn't so bad. It was kind of like petting?
JUJU: You are such a good cat.
BINA: I often think so.
BITSY: I don't trust it.
ZOLA: I want pets!
JUJU: Zola, stay on the couch.

Juju checks her phone for the time.

JUJU: Well, it's nine o'clock. Your dad said that you were supposed to be fed every four hours, so I guess it's time for second breakfast for you, M.
M: (no reaction)

Because Juju wanted to corral the baby in a safe area, she had placed a barrier of plastic bins to block the way to the kitchen and the rest of the apartment. She is hesitant to carry a baby as she tries to climb over them, so she puts M down and heads toward the fridge.

JUJU: Well, you should be okay if I set you down for a second, right? I'll have you in my line of sight, and the animals don't really seem to be intimidated by you.
BITSY: So you say. Is she taking my place?? I AM THE BABY!
JUJU: Oh, hush. She leaves at the end of the day.
BITSY: I have no idea what that means.

M keeps staring at Bitsy, who is perched on top of the counter. As Juju fetches one of the bottles M's dad left, Bitsy jumps down to investigate the intruder.

JUJU: Bitsy, be nice. She is small.
BITSY: She is bigger than me, so she has the advantage.
JUJU: (rolls eyes) Well, her motor skills are far below yours, so I think you're safe.
BITSY: Whatever.

Bitsy creeps toward M, who has suddenly decided that this white kitty is worth her full attention. She crawls toward Bitsy with unprecedented interest.

M: Aaaaahhhhh!!! (smiles)

Bitsy's tail floofs out and she dashes like a madman around the living area, simply exciting the baby even further.

JUJU: Bitsy! Seriously! Just jump back up on the counter! She can't reach you there.
JUJU: Yes, I do! She is a baaaaabyyyyy.

Bitsy follows Juju's instructions and nervously keeps an eye on M, who is still fixated on her until Juju climbs back over the boxes with a fresh bottle of formula. After a few minutes, M falls asleep on the small pallet Juju makes on the floor. Kitkat emerges from the bed-closet and slowly makes her way over to investigate the baby. She smells her hair and jumps back when M twitches a bit.

KITKAT: What. Is. That.
JUJU: That, my friend, is a baby human. She's not dangerous.
KITKAT: I don't believe you. The last time you brought something into the house that was alive, we kept it. And my life was forever changed for the worst.
JUJU: Well, she's not ours. She's someone else's kid. He'll be back in a little while to pick her up.
KITKAT: We shall see.

A few hours pass, and M wakes up with a slight whine.

KITKAT: Well, back to the bed-closet. See you later, bitches.
JUJU: Well, good morning, sunstar! Have a good nap? I bet you probably need your diaper changed.
BITSY: What's a diaper?
JUJU: You shall see.

Juju has not changed a diaper in years and is ever hopeful that no poop will enter the equation. Thankfully, M has only peed, so cleanup isn't as disgusting as it could have been.

BINA: That's her litter box??
JUJU: Hey, stay away from that!
BITSY: Babies are weird.
ZOLA: That doesn't smell tasty.
JUJU: That's because it isn't.

M is happy again with a dry diaper and raises her arms with expectation.

JUJU: Oh, I know! Throw the baby!

Juju tosses M lightly into the air, and M giggles gleefully. As she descends, Zola freaks out.

ZOLA: Is she hurt?? Does she need kisses? WHAT ARE YOU DOING? STOP, MOMMY!!
M: Eeeeeeeeeeeee!
JUJU: Zola, she's fine! I swear. This is fun. And oddly enough, it's pretty good exercise for me.

Once Juju finally tires physically of playing the tossing game, she places the baby back on the floor and sits down next to her. Zola ignores her owner and zeroes in on M, who laughs when Zola slobbers all over her face.

JUJU: Hey, quit it! Damn, now I'll have to clean her face. I don't think her dad would appreciate her smelling of dog breath.
ZOLA: I choose to disregard this comment. (continues licking M)

Several more hours, episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, puffy organic snacks, and naps later, Three and M's dad, Big M, arrive from a long, hard day. 

THREE: We're home! Where's Kitkat?
BIG M: Hey, baby girl!
M: (grins) Eeeaaaaahhhhh!
JUJU: Kitkat's in the bedroom. Oh, and M's just been changed again. No poop for today, but I leave that for you. You're welcome.
BIG M: Much thanks.
THREE: How'd the animals do?
JUJU: Well, Kitkat has been hiding almost all day, Zola adopted M, Bina is really good with babies, and Bitsy is terrified of them.
THREE: Oh, well, good! Then they'll be great when we have our own!
BINA: Um, okay?

The End.

* NO LONGER. She had an interview on Wednesday and starts on Monday! Woooooo, comic book store employee!!

Also, tune in next Friday for a special edition of Life with Pets! Three is doing a guest post! Whee!
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