Monday, December 12, 2016

true bedtime stories

Bunk beds are a very average item.  Perhaps even below average, more like items that you mention in the same sentence as sauce pot. People have them, but you don't really talk about them, unless your bedtime routines have encountered them. Then it's something to talk about because we seem to talk about our sleep habits, the good and the bad, with friends and strangers, right after we finish up the topic of the weather. It's something we all have in common, sleep. Not all done in bunk beds unless you are seven, or eight, or almost a new nine year old. Or on a boat or a train or in a camp cabin.

We have had bunk beds in our house for years now. The first set we put up were from my own childhood, although we had not got very far before we realized that the amount of sway they had accumulated over the years was very close to that of a hammock. Not the type of sturdy bed frame we were planning for our oldest. Down came the frame and end boards, and up went a brand new set courtesy of that big store that starts with a W and ends in -mart.

The time came this fall when we decided to go with a loft bed for our oldest with his desk and storage space underneath and his youngest sister inherited his beds. The plan had been to move the middle sister up to join her little sister at some point, but that seemed like a complete life-wrecker idea so it was put off for a long time.

Last Monday night, that long time ended and we put her to bed on the bottom bunk at her usual bedtime which is earlier than the other two. We fussed over the bed gate, the pillow and the amount and placement of pillows. We took photos, we prayed, we kissed her little face and then we turned out the lights. Then the checking and worrying began.
Would she get out of bed in the middle of the night and cause havoc or worse take a tumble down the hallway stairs?
Would she make strange noises that woke us all up, or just me?
Would she wake up at the ridiculous hour of 5am and think we should all be getting up?

In fact, she had a good night.
Too good.
I woke up a little after 5am wondering what she would be doing, couldn't fall back asleep, and so began my morning routine very quietly and way too early. Neither girl stirred until close to 7am which is unheard of in this house. Also it made me think we could do this without the horror I imagined.
The next night, we followed the same routine, minus the picture-taking and ribbon-cutting.
The details are now fuzzy, but at some point in the night, I heard a noise, got up to re-settle her and discovered that her very full diaper was soaking her pajamas and her bedclothes. I quietly rummaged for clean items, moved her to the other end of the bed and put her back to sleep. No one slept-in that morning, and I was grumpy and ready to swear-off this experiment.
I was persuaded that she needed to be given another chance. Bible verses from my oldest, although not necessary and definitely taken out of context, may have been invoked to convince me.
Trips to the potty were secured before lights-out and we tucked her in for another night which was uneventful, the way sleep was meant to be. Her defenders rejoiced and backslapping was heard round the house.
We are now up to Night # 7 and although I have woke up at some point most nights or early mornings to settle her down, it seems to be an overall good arrangement.

In other news, I noticed last week in my sidebar that this year had the least amount of posts written of all the last ten years. Wow, did I feel pathetic. I also noticed back in November that my posts about books read or quotes from books dropped right off sometime in early spring.
It's like this year,  I just gave up on all my literary activities and forgot to care. And I also can't tell you to look for an upcoming book post because if I tell you I'm going to do it, that guarantees I will not post any such thing. So to stop the navel gazing, I end with a dark and grainy image of one of the world's newest bunk-bed users.


  1. Awww. :) Glad your new set-up is working.

    I never realized how INSANELY COMPLICATED bedtime with kids is. I feel like once we have something figured out, something else changes!

  2. We still have two boys in bunk beds - 17 & 19 yr olds. There's not enough room otherwise. The youngest girl sleeps on the bottom of another bunk but the top is now holding her dolls, teddies etc because her 23 yr old sister moved out a few months ago to be closer to work. One fortunate boy now has his own room with a separate bed.

  3. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog, however much you write. I discovered it in February our little girl was born with Down Syndrome and we felt like we had just been thrown in the deep end of the pool. i also follow you on instagram and I love seeing all the outfits ;-) So I just wanted to say thank you. :-)

  4. You have *merely* been about very important business! There are seasons of life - but I think transitioning always is hard because it means change and it's always a loss of something, no matter how much gain there is of something else. Often the Something Else doesn't seem to exist. But unless you have taken to watching several more hours of TV every day, not to worry. I'm talking to myself, I think.... taking comfort in knowing that there is no rule that says I have to keep up a certain level of literary input and output. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas! and we'll see you when we see you. :-)


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