Would You Rather: Lick the Open Surfaces of an Airplane Bathroom.. or Have to Set Up a Pack ‘N Play Alone?
If I had to choose between setting up a Pack ‘N Play or wiping down an airplane bathroom with my tongue, I would make sure I was up to date on all vaccinations, pop some Zicam, and set up an appointment with Delta.
The best way to set up a Pack ‘N Play is to find someone who’s been a parent for awhile and act like you have no idea how to do it. Really play up the fact that they’ve always been there for you, how much you respect their parenting skills, and mention something about how you never thought parenting would be so difficult. Meanwhile, they are so moved by your flattery and filled with compassion, that they’ll set up the whole thing while you Snapchat their Mom jeans in the air.
Okay, but if you HAVE to do it by yourself, here’s the best approach, in my humble opinion:
1. Start off with prayer and meditation, think happy thoughts (i.e. babies wearing Halloween costumes), breathe deeply for the task ahead. Setting up a Pack ‘N Play will require enormous amounts of physical and emotional strength, so you will need to make sure you are in a spiritually healthy place.
2. Unfold the instruction page and stare at it. This will not help. Ok, now go online and look at websites giving advice. You will end up on Facebook. Ok, now watch a YouTube tutorial video about setting up a Pack ‘N Play. Your thoughts while watching the video: “I wonder where she bought those gold sandals. Why is she talking to me like she knows me? She does NOT KNOW ME. When can I go back on Facebook? I think it’s time to pray again.”
3. Get all the pieces out from the Pack ‘N Play travel bag- the crib, the mattress pad, the bassinet that goes on top next to the baby jacuzzi. You essentially registered for the Ritz Carlton Portable Crib and now you’re contemplating if CPS will come to your door if you let your child sleep on that dog bed over there.
4. This is the playpen when you get it out:
Carefully choose two of the opposite railings of the playpen and say sweet, gentle, kind words to it while you pull it into locked position. Then make sure you speak tenderly and lovingly to the other opposite railings when you pull them until locked, so they don’t feel disrespected. I have memories I’m still actively trying to repress of the railings getting salty and pinching my hand skin.
5. Once all locking mechanisms are activated, take an Intermission and treat yo self to one episode of Friday Night Lights on Netflix.
6. Following your Intermission, return to the Pack ‘N Play and sway a little bit whispering, “CLEAR EYES FULL HEARTS CANT LOSE”. Lower the floor of that Pack ‘N Play the best way you know how. Maybe you push it with the palm of your hand, maybe you channel your energy into a sloppy judo kick, or maybe you just start crying until the playpen feels very, very sad for your adult tears and straightens itself. I don’t care how you get there, just make it happen.
7. Once the mattress pad is laid onto the floor of the Pack ‘N Play, congratulations! I’m happy to tell you that your baby has a legitimate place to sleep and you’ve now officially graduated from Hogwarts.
Author’s Note: I don’t advise disassembling the Pack ‘N Play once you’ve finally set it up. The playpen is designed with wheels so that you can attach it to your car’s trailer hitch and travel to your destination with the Pack ‘N Play rolling behind the car. Kind of like an RV Travel Trailer without the skylight and sleeper sofa, but with all the swag.
Good luck to all of you setting up your Pack ‘N Play, however if you need my child, she’ll probably be sleeping on a dog bed.