Childrearing

An Open Love Letter To My Child’s Playpen

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paknplayDearest Pak N’ Play,

You’re so misunderstood. Anyone who would sully your name by using the term “jail” in the same sentence is sorely mistaken. You are the bringer of freedom. You are the bringer of peace. You are the bringer of solo trips to the bathroom.

What would I have done without you when I lived in a third-floor walk-up in Brooklyn and the UPS man came? I’ll tell you what I would have done. I would have carried my child downstairs, looked at the box, looked at my child – and cried, Why does everything have to be so difficult? Instead, I met Mr. UPS with a smile, grabbed my package, and returned to my happily trapped child.

Had I not had your loving boundaries I never would have known the joys of a 15-minute shower when my child was a toddling little person. I would have been one of those women running dripping from the shower every few minutes to make sure she wasn’t “hearing anything.” You are my savior.

There are those who think your exquisitely padded sides are restricting my child in his movements and making him less secure. To that I say “Ha!” Would you tell the woods it crowds the bear? Would you tell the ocean it crowds the fish? Of course you wouldn’t! These analogies have zero to do with playpens or children – but they work for dramatic effect!

Soon, my child will be off to school where he will be trapped in his seat for approximately 18 years. The playpen introduces the idea that we all don’t get to run around willy-nilly doing whatever the hell we want all day long. That’s not how the world works. Thank you playpen, for this first tough lesson.

Your are appreciated. You are loved. You are everything.

Signed,

Content, Showered Mom