A few weeks ago Annie launched a rebellion--the great crib rebellion. At two years old she does not have the sophistication of vocabulary and the ability to string sentences. Yet Annie has sophisticated thoughts and desires…I always say that children are a lot like adults only lacking experience and discipline. My point is that though they do not to seem to be the same as adults, they have thoughts and feelings that they will harbor into adulthood at which point they may or may not bring them to fruition in a mature manner. There is a complete person within each child deserving the same love and respect as any adult. I digress…
Each night after story time we would tell the kids it was time to go to bed and Annie started running for Kristiana's bed instead of her crib. At first I thought Annie wanted bedtime company. Annie's crib was in a separate room from our two older children. Annie shared a room with Baby Lucy. In part, I think Annie was seeking company and to be like the big kids. For a week, we let the girls go to bed together in the same bed. They played around for an hour each night until they drove us mad and Annie was totally exhausted. Then we would put Annie back in her crib and she would fall asleep immediately.
We moved Kristiana's bed into Annie's room and Lucy's cradle in with Alex. (Alex goes right to sleep at night, so we knew that neither he nor Lucy would bother each other, which is unlike the two silly girls, Annie and Kristiana.) The first night Annie and Kristiana were in the same room, Annie ended up sleeping in Kristiana's bed and Kristiana slept in the crib. And yes, they were still silly for a long time until we were mad.
I suggested to my husband that perhaps we should bunk the girls so that Annie had her own bed and they would be less silly because they would be on different levels. It was clear we need to provide Annie a bed. I went on a mad spree selling things around the house, raising funds for the new sleeping arrangement. With funds raised, we investigated bunk bed options and finally ordered a bunk.
It finally arrived and next came the task of putting it together. Well…It was total madness.
We put it together at the end of our day, when Andrew came home from work and yet before dinner. Yes, we were tired and hungry. So we were a little grumpy. We opened the boxes and of course the children all piled into the girls tiny room and immediately started tearing up packing materials all over the house, they grabbed pieces of the the bunk and tools and wanted to "help." Anyone who knows little children knows that they are no help at all, but so sincere about their intentions. It was so aggravating. We tried to pacify them with a movie, but it was to no avail. They were too excited and curious about what was happening. We tried to patiently include them. It was a sure test of virtues. To make matters worse the instructions were the type that are only pictures, and there were many small parts to the beds. The instructions pretended like all the parts should be labeled with stickers. Three of the 30 some pieces were labeled. We were busy flipping parts in all directions trying to figure out in which order and direction they ought to be constructed and all the while saying, "No, no, child don't touch that…Bring that here…Where did you put that…Oh, don't knock that over." And the room was not big enough to construct the two beds. Yet we had to construct it in the room, because we would not be able to get it through the door fully constructed. We had to build the second bunk on top of the bottom, which is not recommended.
We finally had it 90% constructed and realized the holes that were drilled for the ladder were on the other side of the bed. You would think we should have seen that the holes were not right from the beginning, but it was not obvious until were trying to attach the piece, and again the instructions were only pictures. We questioned, should drill new holes, should we deconstruct the bed and put it together so the holes lined up right? We stood scratching our heads for a moment, discussing the mistake and chiding the children for climbing on the unfinished bed, when a light bulb illuminated above my husband's head. We did not need to deconstruct or drill new holes. We only needed to flip top bunk around 180 degrees and then the holes matched up. It was a moment of hilarity when the daunting prospect of deconstructing the bed lifted.
After three hours it was finished! (Late dinner for mom and dad.)
Bunking has been the perfect solution to the sleeping situation. The girls are happy to have their new beds. Annie sleeps well for her naps and at night time. This is, of course, the sophisticated desire she was trying to communicate to us for which she had no words. She wanted her own big girl bed and a big sister to share her room.
No, I could not get any pictures of the kids behaving, or not being silly on the bed. Fortunately, this is the only time they have been silly so far, because we have been insistent about not playing on the bed.
I could not get Annie to stop climbing over the edge. The first night, 15 minutes after bed time she climbed over the side and fell to the floor, knocked the wind out of herself and has not tried it since.