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I pay over $15,000 a year for daycare, and I don’t even send my kids to a good one. It’s run by some weird church, and based upon some of the things my daughter has repeated, I have to wonder what they’re teaching there.

On two different occasions she has asked if I can get her a snake because she says real believers “can pick them up and not get bitten.” I’m starting to suspect they might be snake handling, but my kid is also insane, so who knows.

The dangers of giving serpents to toddlers aside, I have to think there is a way I can save the money I’m spending on daycare, and I’m starting to wonder if dog crates hold the key. According to the good folks at the American Dog Trainers Network, an indoor crate can satisfy a dog’s need for a den-like enclosure, and I bet that same logic applies to children.

All kids like to feel safe, and the sturdy steel mesh and reinforced plastic walls of a dog crate should satisfy that need for security. Many animals also have an aversion to soiling their den or nest, so I hope the kids will also share that instinct. Even if they don’t, the crate itself is waterproof, and there’s nothing they can smear on it that a good hosing can’t wash off.

Since I’m a law and order type, I just ran this by Child Protective Services, and I was told if I do this, I will, and I quote, “get charged with felony child abuse, first degree false imprisonment and misdemeanor child abuse.” Can you believe that? It’s like we’ve morphed into some repressive police state. I never would have made these damn kids if I knew the government was going to be up my ass deciding how I raise them.