Time in the Pen

Sometimes I think I should have had children when I was 14.

Kids are so much better with kids. Who knew that the answer to all my problems was in the hands of a 14-year-old girl and that it would only cost me $5 an hour?

Here’s the thing. The June Bug is kind of a delightful wreck. She wants to be with me 24/7, saying what I say, doing what I do, yelling like I yell. It’s heart-warming for the first 12 minutes of the day. Then I slowly go insane.

This summer, while in Elma, I  hired a babysitter for Rex and June one afternoon (it’s not a good sign when you’re shuffling your feet around the house mumbling explitives and kicking any sippy cups that cross your path). When I grudgingly got back, I found the house clean and quiet. The June Bug? She was upstairs, peacefully watching Care Bears, in her playpen.

According to the sitter, she’d been there for 40 minutes without making a peep. Caged like a puppy and happy as a kitten, it was like a choir of babysitting angels burst into the Hallelujah Chorus.

Ever since then, the girl is playpen trained. I don’t know what it is about the cage that she likes so much, but she’s always happy to climb in and sit with a blanket and a movie so I can shower/clean/nap. I’ve got an old wooden porta-crib from 1940 that’s totally illegal and couldn’t pass a safety test if it’s life depended on it. Works like a charm. She’s happy. I’m happy.

Now that I’ve taken the time to write, I think I’ll go take the time to shower. A nice, long, hot shower. With no one banging on the door. I think I hear the angels…


  1. Hall-eeee-llluuuuu-jaaaaah!!!!!!

    (My attempt at angels.)

  2. Have you no shame? What is the matter with you , woman? You lock your kid in a dangerous wooden box? And you waited till she was HOW OLD to do it? 🙂 Oh, I’m just kidding. Come on.

    Hooray for happy, safe, quiet time. (My last kid is being raised by PBS. They’re doing a remarkable job.)

  3. A little sanity is well worth the price of a young babysitter. And look at yours, it had lasting effects. Wow I think I might need to call the babysitter in this weekend so I can go have some girl time. Have a lovely long hot shower.

  4. Hooray for playpens. I’ll never understand why people think they’re inhumane. They’ve always been one of my most favorite babysitting tools:)

  5. I will now include this in my packet to pregnant 14 year-old girls I work with. They will be thrilled!

  6. Wow! FREEDOM! It’s a glorious feeling.

  7. I need a 14 year old.

    Dang, I would have to clean my house before they got here though…screw it, I’ll just lock all the kids in a closet. That HAS to be safer than an old wooden playpen right?!