Throw ‘im in the Brig

That’s one of my favorite expressions a pirate would use if he lived in my house.

Another is, of course, the old standby “in the drink.”

Laylee drops her baby in the toilet. “Arg! She fell in the drink.”

Marilla asks Cordelia Anne what happened to her amethyst broach. “Oh, that? Yeah. I dropped it in the drink.”

Magoo is ripping the tubes out of the Medela while I’m trying to pump. “Throw ‘im in the brig!”

brig1Seriously. I finally couldn’t take it anymore so I stuck him in the pak ‘n play where he could see me…..without leaving a path of destruction. I gave him a few toys. Laylee gave him a few hundred more, several directly on the noggin and he played happily in his padded cage until I was done.

But it started to give me ideas, ideas relating to the fact that I could get a lot of things done if I weren’t constantly worrying that the flailing, spastic, melon-headed human vacuum cleaner was self-inflicting blunt head trauma whilst choking on very tiny baby dolls and very large pieces of lint.

brig2Back in the 80’s, weren’t they called PLAY pens? Didn’t parents use something very closely related to the pak ‘n play to cage up their children for “play time”? Then I think it became somewhat taboo and somewhat associated with “doing time” so people stopped using them altogether. Now they’re coming back as a “nap time” device but….iiiiiit might not have been good for me to witness the pak ‘n play’s diverse uses.

brig3On the one hand – development of gross motor skills. On the other – a clean house AND a son who’s still alive at the end of the process?


He looked happy. Didn’t he look happy to you? I mean, he was licking the thing. That has to be some sort of a sign of affection.

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25 Responses to Throw ‘im in the Brig

  1. Yuka R says:

    DYM- this is THE funniest thing I’ve read in a long time- made me laugh out loud- and it’s 130in the morning. I love it, you, and the site. Also PS- I glanced over and saw the Aroha award pic on your sidebar and thought it said areola award- it IS late.

    Yuka R.
    long live pirates!

  2. Not that I have children, mind you, and don’t really feel qualified to put my two cents in (but I will anyway), I think playpens- we called them that in my house- are fine when used properly. Maybe not as a punishment, but just time off or time apart from each other. I think it’s good for the babies too, to have some time off from mommy. I think it helps them develop a sense of themselves- and mommy is able to get a little rest herself. I think what you put in the playpen is important too- different things every time. Maybe then the babies would enjoy going in them if they knew there were different things to explore every time… just a thought.

  3. I just have to say it- that last picture of Magoo looks a lot like DYD! (I have never seen DYD licking anything, but their faces are exact!)

  4. kate says:

    You should absolutely use the pack ‘n play as a playpen! (In my opinion.) You’ll get so much done, and he will learn independent play in a safe environment. My daughter loves it and will happily play in there for up to an hour (!!!) as long as she can see me.

  5. mom says:

    He looked happy to me and of course if he wasn’t – there would have been the tell-tale wailing.

    You are the best Mom. I know you wouldn’t sentence him to the brig for life (without chance of parole). How can short periods of time in a safe secure environment while you get something accomplished hurt him?

    I never owned a playpen when you kids were little, but I did make strategic use of the baby gate from time to time.

  6. Susan says:

    I loved our pack-n-play, if only because it gave us extra storage space–for the baby, the toys, the laundry. Okay, not all at once, but you know what I mean.

    And that head! So cute–I just want to snuggle it.

  7. Throwing them in the brig is a perfectly acceptable use of containment. I just wish they had them for older kids, or one I could hide in…

  8. blackbird says:

    I am pretty sure my kids played in the pack and play in the living room –
    then again, when my kids were little we had walkers and put them to sleep on their tummys.

    We are often pirates for hours on end!
    All five of us!

    Also, we are often marionettes, like from The Thunderbirds…this is a tougher one to explain in type. We sort of dangle our limbs and walk funny and hit at light switches instead of fingering them to the on position.

    hard to explain.


  9. Shannon says:

    If your child is happy in a play pen, by all means USE it. (My pediatrician is a big fan of them). And the licking of the play pen…that is some funny stuff.

    Why am I not surprised to learn you are an Anne of Green Gables fan? I’m so happy. You are a kindred spirit!

  10. Sugarmama says:

    When I saw that first picture–and before I read where your post was going–a lightbulb went off in my own head. “Hey, I know what that thing would be useful for!” (And I wasn’t talking about travelling.) I say if it saves your sanity on bad days go for it. If you don’t do it too often, he’ll likely be enchanted with the novelty of it for some time!

  11. Okay, where have I been? Somebody said playpens aren’t a good idea? How many kids does that person have? Oh, that person writes articles all day?

    Kudos to you DYM, for discovering such a fun and safe way to keep Magoo occupied while you do some general maintenance!!!

  12. Chilihead2 says:

    Hello? pack and PLAY. 😉

  13. Mel says:

    I HAVE an “old fashioned” play-pen that I bought 10 years ago at Toys R Us. It has saved my sanity with 4 busy children. I reserve it for dinner making time. I see no shame in it. Just keep it full of fun toys. You’ll know when he has outgrown it becaue he’ll figure out how to climb out. I now use mine for the puppy.

  14. Rachelle says:

    I’d say licking is a sure sign of liking the containment. I may just have to try it.

  15. Heather says:

    I always wished Beanie would just play happily in there. 🙂 Arrrrr to Magoo!


  16. Peter says:

    I have a pack of kids myself. We employ the exer-saucer. With my first the pac and play was always set up. By the third it takes up too much space. I am trying to recollect how we contained David once he started to get around on his own. I better check to make sure the “brig” is still in tha attic. When Thomas starts getting around I may have to dust it off.
    Great Topic

  17. Chris says:

    My entire house has turned into a playpen, sadly.

    Though I don’t have one, I have no problem with them at all. In fact seeing how happy your child is I might just get one…or ten 😉

  18. andrea says:

    This confirms it for me — you should’ve won Best Mommy Blog.

  19. Karen says:

    1. Does Laylee really say that?

    2. A baby gate at the bedroom door makes a great bigger kid “brig”

    3. I want to sniff Magoo’s bald little head. I can smell baby shampoo just thinking about it.

  20. RGLHM says:

    The books Baby Wise totally encourage this. They say it can then lead to the child staying by themselves in their room. I tried to get her to play in those darn things but she didn’t like it too much. So if he likes it: LEAVE A HAPPY BABY ALONE!!!!!

  21. Yuka. You’re the best. It is always much funnier to read my blog after 1:00am and before you get a good night’s sleep.

    Regina – everyone says they are like identical twins.

    Everyone – thanks for the brig-couragement.

    Blackbird – a video post of that please?

    Peter – how refreshing to have a comment from a dude on here. Welcome.

    Karen – no, that is not an acutal quote. Those were just examples of ways pirate expressions SHOULD be used. Anne did not say “in the drink” either but I would have like that move so much more if she had – and I pretty much love it already. The bigger brig idea is fabulous and I think I need to be smelling a bit more like shampoo….maybe it’s time for mommy to take a shower.

  22. emlouisa says:

    My son is 2 and after several failed “time out” attempts I had an epiphany. I set up the Pack and Play in our hall and when he is bad he goes in it for time out. He HATES it. Bwahahahaha! Finally…something he hates enough that it can be construed as punishment.

    For my 6 month old I just chuck (well, not actually chuck, more like gently place) him in the exersaucer and I have a good 1-15 minutes before he complains about it. Oh, the bliss.

  23. emlouisa says:

    I should say that I am not putting my son in the exersaucer as punishment, lol. Just so that I can get something done. Didn’t want confusion! 😉

  24. Eleisha says:

    Growing up we used play pens (pictures tell me this, I don’t remember); and we seemed happy. My sister-in-law used them for nap times, play times, and times to get stuff done. It’s o.k. as long as you don’t end up putting a ‘cover’ on it to keep them in..that may be taking it a bit far. (grin) But yes, for sanity purposes, pack/play’s are a good thing.

  25. falwyn says:

    Dude, in the absence of full or even part time hired nannies, I think the play-pen/-yard (can’t call it the pen? how about the joint? the big house?) is a fabulous option. Of course we don’t want to abuse it, but duh. Just the mental break from “Oh my gosh, is he off choking to death or wrecking the place or otherwise maiming himself?” is worth it.
    I like “The Brig” — we call it “The Penalty Box.”

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