The Pit of Doom kept the littlest boy safe and happy.
Or, at least, it kept the littlest boy trapped, therefore keeping the rest of the family safe and happy.
As time progressed, the parents succumbed to guilt and dismantled the Pit of Doom, effectively turning loose a tiny hurricane of disaster.
The mother suffered through the littlest boy's freedom (with her teeth gritted and her sanity slipping further and further away). Until one day, she decided to reclaim a small sliver of space just for herself -- her own Pit of Doom . . . or, as she liked to call it, Sweet, Sweet Paradise.
As she sat in her cage with the littlest boy tearily looking in, the question was posed: Is she in the Pit of Doom or has the rest of the house now become the dreaded Pit of Doom?
It's all a matter of perspective, I suppose.