Day 16 – pensive handicraft

One of the wonderful things about having a baby is that it turns life into an adventurous journey through new and unfamiliar situations. Since F. was born last summer, I’ve learned so many new things whilst watching him learn even more.

As he’s recently learned to roll over onto his side, leaving him on the sofa for a minute, protected by cushions, is no longer an option. So it was time to bring out the playpen. We were given it by a friend quite a while back and it had since been sitting in the basement, waiting to be used. C. fetched it last night and I set it up this morning. A bit of sticking together, a bit of screwing, a bit of cleaning and finally fitting the base and cushioning and we were good to go!

I placed F. in it and he clearly loved all the space. He kicked and threw his arms around and stared up at me with his eyes full of joy. This will make my life so much easier, as I can now safely place him in there if there’s a knock on the door or if dinner is about to burn. And it’s amazing to see how much he’s grown. Just a few months ago, even the bassinet looked huge with him inside and now he’s proudly stretching out across the playpen. He’ll be driving next week if he continues at this pace.


As I started writing this text about setting up and using a playpen for the first time, the word “playpen” kept resonating through my head, sounding an awful lot like “pen” as in penitentiary. I’d never put the two together before (oh, you English speakers and your homonyms) but now I started wondering about the connection (both types of pens have something to do with bars and locking up, after all). I won’t bore you with the details (read about them here if you are as nuts about language as me though). Essentially, however, “pen” (for animals) and “penitentiary” don’t have the same root, but “pen” for prison is considered to be both an altered use of the former and an abbreviation of the latter. During my research, I also found out that the weird see-through blade-like thing I had to pull out of the squid when preparing them for my tapas is called a “pen” as well because it was thought to resemble the writing instrument. Why can’t I just be an etymologist for a living?

Tomorrow is going to be an interesting “first”, but it’s not happening till the evening so I will be posting very late tomorrow night or early on Sunday morning. Bare with me.

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