The Playpen Escape
My mom had the neatest playpen back in the fifties & sixties. It was wooden and the floor of the playpen was split down the middle. Each half of the floor would fold up toward one side and then the playpen could be folded into a convenient size for travel. Actually that might be a bit of an exaggeration...it wasn't exactly convenient...but it was smaller & flatter than the original size.
My mom, her best friend, Bonnie, and their seven children (me being the eldest of the bunch) did lots of things together. Especially in the summer ~ when the big kids were out of school. A favorite spot was Metro Beach. At least I remember it being a favorite. I'm not sure what my mom's memories are ~ 2 adults, 7 children under ten, lots of hot sand and a big lake ~ her memories must be wonderful! Well you don't head off to the beach with all those kids without taking the playpen. I mean, after all, where do you put the two babies (my mom's Steve & Bonnie's Jerry, who were not quite two) to keep them out of the lake!?
OK ~ picture this ~ 2 women, a nine year old (me), an eight year old, a six year old, two four year olds and those babies (ages are approximate - my memory isn't that good!). Plus numerous beach bags, pails, shovels, cooler, towels, diapers, rubber rafts and a playpen that could not have been called a "pack n' play" by any stretch of the imagination. You might be thinking, how did they get from the car to the beach? Well, somehow they (with a little help from the big kids) managed to carry, push and pull everything into the park as far as the edge of the sand. But then ~ oh I wish I had a picture, but where would they have put a camera! Anyway, they put the babies, along with everything the rest of kids couldn't carry, into the playpen and they......pushed...and pushed... and pushed. What a sight it must have been. One thing I definitely do remember is we had they best time!! Thanks Mom!
Now about the Playpen escape. Same playpen ~ same cast of characters (maybe a year older) plus one, my dad. Location is home and the time is late afternoon. My dad has just arrived home from work and my mom and Bonnie are enjoying a quick cup of coffee. The babies are in the playpen in the yard and the rest of us are somewhere (it's not important to the story). Dad says to Mom & Bonnie, "the babies are walking down the sidewalk". They both take off and, sure enough, see the sweet little guys walking down the sidewalk, carrying the "conveniently sized for travel" playpen with them.
You know that floor that folded up for convenience? The babies managed to fold it up, hold it up, and make their escape while still "inside" the playpen. What a pair!