Because my position as after school coordinator takes place…after school…I work other school-related positions to make an eight-hour day. One of those positions is riding the special education bus for roughly 45 mins as a support for an epileptic kindergarten student named Abdullahi. It’s not as eventful as you might think; his epilepsy is more like narcolepsy.
I digress. I was feeding Abdullahi an orange when a sweet-as-sugar slow jam came on the radio, tuned by bus driver Dawn to 89.9 KMOJ, The People’s Station. Without these bus rides, I often ask myself, how would I get my daily jolts from the likes of crooners such as Ginuwine? Or Keith Sweat? I bumped my head to the beat of the song and listened intently, trying to make out the lyrics. Typical R&B fare, you know, “I’m gon’ treat you right,” “Girl, I’ma make you happy and shit,” until a phrase stuck out: “Be my future baby mama.”
A quizzical look adorned my face–future baby mama? Up until this point, I had always been under the impression that the slang baby mama or the variation “baby’s mama” was to be taken literally, a woman who has had your child in the past. As in, “It is time for me to pay the inevitable child support to my baby mama.” According to the urban dictionary website Baby Mama (noun) is defined as the mother of your child(ren) whom you did not marry and with whom you are not currently involved. And who can forget B Rock and The Bizz’s seminal mid 90s classic “That’s Just my Baby Daddy”, in which a young man, troubled by his girlfriend’s time spent on the phone with others, is reassured when she says “That’s Just my Baby Daddy,” as in, “No need to worry-this is just a gentleman from a previous relationship that ended some time after I mothered his child.”
But as I listened to the sweet sincerity in the singer’s voice, I wondered: is there more to it than that? I have heard Baby Mama/Daddy used in the context of calling someone a sweetheart by an old co-worker of mine, who had a thing for Usher. I thought about checking my sources: did he pen “Confessions” after a run-in with my Minneapolis, MN colleague? No no. She meant it as a term of affection. By saying Usher Raymond was her Baby Daddy, she meant something in the vain of “he so fine…!”
After hearing the chorus about being a future baby mama, I expected a verse involving the Gerber food company, diapers, and Lamaze classes, but I like the notion of the baby m/d as a term of affection. Maybe we can all live in a world we can call our significants baby mama/daddy, whether or not we have engaged in childbirth with them or not. This is a world I hope to see someday.
(Editor’s note: The Song “future baby mama” appears on the latest Prince release, Planet Earth. Yes, THAT Prince, the chopper-riding badass from Purple Rain. Lyrics can be found at: http://www.soundclick.com/lyrics/getLyrics.cfm?T_ID=T%2011513213&A_ID=R%20%201087821)