So, I started putting the bed together with my pathetic screwdriver which is from some Barbie’s dream house toolkit that I think I bought in college. This screwdriver instantly gives one blisters and strips a screw practically on contact. My stupidity and stubbornness know no bounds when it comes to putting together furniture. Two hours later….I managed to get the bed looking and functioning like a bed…..for midgets. We are by no means a tall people, but this bed was significantly too low to the ground even for the likes of us.
Once the shorty bed was assembled, I thought my work was almost done, but it was far from done…and bedtime was approaching….and Brandon was at a baseball game in DC that didn’t start until 7:30, which meant that he would be home around, oh, three o’clock in the morning or so. Isn’t that about how long baseball games last? I kicked my second trimester nesting super powers into high gear and disassembled Emma’s toddler bed, Charlie’s crib and our old bed. Then I moved the toddler bed and crib into the guest room and was horrified by the dust bunny situation underneath everyone’s beds. So I hauled the vacuum upstairs and then set to work moving our old bed into Emma and Charlie’s room and getting it all cozy and comfy in there.
Then you will not believe what I somehow managed to do. What is like the worst thing that could happen if your kids are spending their first night together in a big-kid bed? How about somehow managing to knock their light switch in such a way that it will not turn off??? Once I got them all snuggled in their beds and was counting the seconds until I could call it a night and go watch The Hills downstairs with a much-deserved bowl of ice cream (is there anything better than watching trashy TV and eating junk food when one’s husband is out for the night?), I realized, like in some horror movie, that the light in the kids’ room WOULD NOT TURN OFF. I was flicking the thing over and over again and nothing was happening. “NO,” I screamed. “NOOOOOO!!!” I tried to unscrew the light fixture, which has always reminded me of a big breast right in the middle of their ceiling. I was trying to unscrew the nipple part, but it was too hot and I couldn’t touch it long enough to get it unscrewed. So, then I made the trek four flights downstairs to the garage and tried to figure out how to turn off the electricity to the kids’ room. I instructed Emma to yell down when the lights went off in her room. First I flicked the switch that turned off the power to the computer (of course) and then, on the second try, I managed to hit the jackpot and heard Emma screaming something incoherent from her room. After darkness had finally been achieved, I tucked the kids in and then had to keep tucking them in about a bajillion more times until it finally took and they were asleep. There was no ice cream that night and The Hills had come and gone. I took a bath and then got into my low-rider bed and fell right to sleep.
A phone call to Ikea the next day revealed that I could skip the section of the instructions that showed four metal rods being screwed into the bed, thus allowing us to raise the mattress up off the ground about two feet. It would’ve been nice if the cartoon blobs could’ve somehow conveyed this to me with their blob body language, but I have learned that Ikea instructions are sort of a jumping off point for how one actually assembles the furniture. They are more a scavenger hunt, than they are a recipe for how to achieve success. It keeps things interesting that way.
New mommy and daddy big-kid bed
New Emma and Charlie big-kid bed
The kids have done pretty well with their new big-kid bed. It is almost too cute seeing the two of them snuggled in there together. They did have lots of trouble with the whole getting out of bed and opening the door thing. Emma has been in a toddler bed for years, so she’s used to a cribless existence, but Charlie had to get up to keep checking that there was actually a door there and that he could in fact open it. It was like he had a case of OCD with that door. So, I am not too proud to admit that I ended up putting a child safety doorknob cover thingy on the inside of their door. Some of you may think this is tantamount to child abuse, but I think of it more as training wheels, or you could think of it as a crib nicotine patch. I did the same thing with Emma after she switched to the big-girl bed. Eventually they lose their addiction to checking the door and they get used to all the freedom that comes with being able to get out of bed and then you can take the door nicotine patch off and be totally door-patch-free. Interestingly, Charlie LOVES the door patch. He keeps reminding me that I put the “lock” on the door and that he really likes it. It’s kind of weird, but maybe he’s just relieved not to have to check that door all the time.
I like having a big-kid bed as well. It makes me feel like an official grown-up to have real furniture that goes together in my bedroom. It's a little sad seeing the kids' beds all disassembled and piled up in the guest room. I need to take the crib down to the garage, but it seems a little pointless to haul it down all those stairs when we'll need it again about five months from now. It's so hard to imagine our life, our house, our beds expanding by one more. What will it be like? Our family feels like this fixed entity--it is everything to me, my whole world. Yet, it is constantly changing and we are constantly growing up, and growing out...of our beds...our shoes..our skinny jeans (oh wait, that's just me). I keep thinking, when is all this change going to stop? When are we going to finally just be who we are and be done? I know better though. And really I love it. I love that there is a mysterious person on the horizon who is going to come into our family and forever make it different. Each day they become less of a dot in the distance, less theoretical and more of a reality. I can't wait to meet our newest family member, but I have enough perspective on things at this point that I am enjoying the waiting. It's like watching a plant grow that you have started from seed, watching this family grow.