After yesterday’s disaster, we took M’s mattress upstairs into our room so that no further toddler could befall it. Mommy and I slept the night with a twin-sized mattress in our room. This morning, whilst trying to get showered, dressed, and made up, Mommy quickly reached the point where she couldn’t take dodging another mattress any longer. She came downstairs.
“Hey Daddy! How would you feel about putting together M’s new bed?”
And thus did my coffee-drinking Saturday morning come to an end.
Mommy headed for the market to buy Easter dinner ingredients, while I busted out the box-cutter and the allen wrenches and went to work. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, only half as difficult as IKEA furniture, when I was expecting at least three quarters.
One of my greatest challenges lay not in the bed, but instead in my daughter. See that deflated balloon over there on the picture right? That’s a clue that Darling Daughter can’t stand to have her universe disturbed or even a thing moved out of position. Despite the fact that the balloon’s helium is long gone, the balloon must stay there. To toss it brings out a wrath like that in Hoarders.
We refused to let M come upstairs between the time we broke down her old bed and the time that her new bed was all ready. We knew that seeing her room in chaos would invoke an angst-filled tantrum. Finally the bed was put back together, and the mattress was placed atop. Here I make a confession: I cut off the mattress tag in violation of federal law. Please don’t trace my IP address and come make a citizens’ arrest on me.
We made up M’s bed with her new sheets and comforter, also birthday gifts. Then we invited her in. After some initial angst because this or that stuffed animal was in the wrong place compared to the other stuffed animals, she decided maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. The bed sits high off the ground enough that a trundle can fit beneath. A future Christmas or birthday will see a new trundle as a gift, so that she can invite friends to sleep over.
We have a bed nearly identical to this, with a trundle beneath, in our guest room. It was Mommy’s bed growing up. It stayed in Pennsylvania while she was in college. When we got engaged and lived across the street from one another, it was her bed. Then we got married and moved in together, in a beautiful place just a quarter mile from the ocean. It became our guest bed, and with a new mattress and new trundle, hosted many family and friends.
I thought about that bed while putting M’s together this morning, whether hers would last that long; whether it too would hold her until adulthood, and then hold her visiting family and friends. It also occurred to me that this was the third and probably final bed that would ever go in that room. When we bought this house, M was still sleeping in a crib. Then she moved out to a toddler bed and the crib went into storage until J was born. Now the wheel turns again; J will move out of the crib into the toddler bed, and the crib will go into storage.
There are many variables to a girl’s bedroom. The bed has gone as far as it can go. Likely next to change will be the stuffed animals. Little by little, bit by bit, Pinky Pie and Clifford and Thumper will surrender to the ages. The photos taped to the wall – of Mommy and her childhood sheltie, and some of Daddy’s artwork of the Georgia sea islands, will be replaced by posters of boy bands; young men who were M’s age now when Daddy was in high school.
The more things change, the more things stay the same. On this life in a day, we give thanks for growing up. We give thanks for moving to bigger and older and more mature things. Pray for us, though, that the stuffed animals and the pink balloons don’t get boxed up and packed away any time soon.