Mr. Sensitive

July 31, 2013

Operation Simba – Vauban Would Be Proud

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 08:39

Brinky is very capable of entertaining himself–with the help of a big-screen TV, toys, books, and the run of an entire playroom that used to be our family room–but he won’t even try to entertain himself unless and until he has been forced to accept that he has no way to escape and/or wreak havoc.  For months I’ve been experimenting with the positioning of furniture in the family room, trying to find a combination that would prevent Brinky from damaging anything in the FR–including himself–while allowing him to enjoy himself and STOP TRYING TO GET OUT.  This is the Holy Grail for me–STOP TRYING TO GET OUT YOU DON’T NEED TO GET OUT–and it has been ever so elusive.  If Brinky can get to the gate, he shakes it and screams FOREVER AND EVER, like he’s Indiana Jones in a snake pit.  If he can’t get to the gate, then…holy cow did you see all these blocks?  Dad, did you know this room is full of blocks?  And Dora?!  Dora’s on the TV?  Why didn’t you tell me?  Thus the engineering problem facing me is not preventing escape–he’s strong, but not that strong–so much as it is creating the illusion that the FR isn’t a prison (it is).

Yes, I’ve imprisoned my son.  Well, he’s turned my life into a prison, so I say turnabout is fair play.

Pulling the big couch up to the gate so that the gate is covered and Brinky can’t rattle the bars worked for about a week six months ago.  Then he realized he’s big enough to just climb over the back of the couch and lower himself over the gate to freedom.  I hate freedom, because freedom breaks things and puts the things it doesn’t break in the toilet.  My last failed furniture arrangement left the couch close to the gate at an angle, leaving about a foot-and-a-half between the back of the couch and the gate.  When I sweep and mop in the FR (during naptime), I often lean Brinky’s mattress up on the recliner or one of the sofas to get to the floor underneath; one day several months ago, I forgot to put the mattress back down–and it was the best thing that ever happened to Brinky.  He ran up the mattress and slid back down for hours.  It was like I’d added a cushioned slide to his playroom.  Just a few weeks ago I realized that if I prop the mattress up on the couch so that it the end extends out to the top of the gate, Brinky can’t get down to the gate to resume his protest.  Even better, he doesn’t really want to, because mattress slide!  I am more than willing to leave the mattress propped against the couch, but I haven’t been able to secure it.  Brinky’s leaping and climbing and sliding invariably causes the mattress to slip, however gradually, back down onto the lower part of the couch and then onto the floor.  Today I’m trying a slightly more radical approach:

girlsroom 017

I’ve tied the mattress to the railing on the other side of the wall so that it won’t slip–and so far, so good.  Brinky hasn’t escaped, and joy of joys, he hasn’t tried.  He’s playing with his blocks and watching semi-educational programs in relative peace like the good boy he isn’t.  I don’t mistake this for victory–victory is Kindergarten–but it’s not an infuriating (for him) and disheartening (for me) disaster, and that’s good enough for today.

Of course the most important thing is that my beloved son is having a pleasant morning.    I say all’s fair in love and shut up boy.



  1. It’s going to be hard for dad to fit that mattress in his car.

    Comment by Katie E — July 31, 2013 @ 09:16 | Reply

    • He should rope it to the top–and let Brinky ride there on it.

      Comment by lbej — July 31, 2013 @ 11:49 | Reply

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