I've waited most patiently for almost 2 years to get this bed.
When Lydia was born a girl I knew my plans for the future wouldn't work. I had planned to have all boys... but Maggie messed that up. Then I asked for another boy... but got Ruth. Then my order for a boy was just to even things up. What's wrong with being equal? I wanted 2 boys and 2 girls! That's how I was raised and we all turned out just fine. In fact, we almost enjoyed our childhood and are starting to like each other now that we're all adults... (some way more than others) but then we aren't talking about Lara turning 40. We got Lydia. Now I would NEVER trade my girls or change things at all. Girls Rule! (Boys drool, they say) But my plans to put two kids in each room wouldn't work the way I wanted.
Anyway... once Lydia was out of the crib we had to find a place for the 3 girls to sleep. In big beds. We have double beds and Bennett's bunk bed. Since Lara and I slept in the double bed all our pre-adult lives I figured my girls could do the same thing. They just didn't comprehend bedtime, leaving the other alone, sleeping and the firm sentence "GIRLS, if I hear another sound...". I understood that sentence at a very early age!! So, we put girls in the bunks and Bennett in the double bed with whichever sister had drawn the short straw. Sometimes it was a treat to sleep in his room. Eventually, Ruth slid into that spot on a regular basis as Lydia and Maggie tend to be a little more, um... well, Ruth just gets along better with her brother. She's the wonderful 3rd child who does no wrong! Like me! :) She's my peacemaker and caused fewer nighttime issues. So... as the months have turned into years, I've been very patient!
Bennett is now 8 and needs his own space, his own room, and especially his own bed. Ruth has got to go!
Curtis has been searching. He's always searching. The perfect bed at the perfect price at just the perfect location. We can't have less than that! Well, until I get my fingers in the process. I finally logged onto that glorious place called craigslist. I sent the number and link to my carpenter father... who can tell if it's a good deal and knows just the questions to ask. He's more smarter than me! Well, at least in the wood business. :) He called and got info and I took it to Curtis. The deal was made. The bed was fine. He would go pick it up.
So, on Wednesday Curtis took a trip to Canton for the bed. It's more than an hour but less than two... unless you're at home with 4 babies waiting to go to bed. Then the trip home is 6 hours because you HAVE to drive by the Lowes and Home Depot and can't NOT stop. So we wait. While the kids were at school I took apart the big brass bed. Took all the pieces down to the basement and put the mattress outside to "air out" before we put it on the new bed. Bennett has boy cooties!! Can't have those in the new girl bed. Ruth was a great help to me. She carried what she could, stood and held the footboard and headboard to keep them from crashing on my head. She pushed the mattress across the floor and guided the box springs to just the right spot downstairs. She even unscrewed the nuts on the bottom of the supports (see photos). Then we picked up trash, toys and swept up dust. Man, the things that collect under a bed!
Once we got Bennett's room emptied we started on the bunks. Lydia helped empty the beds and take all the bedding out. She picked up toys, played a little, and then picked up again. She's not quite as focused as I need her to be! We took mattresses off and piled them in the bathroom. Good thing we have more to use! Then, somehow, I managed to remove the top bunk and lower it to the floor without breaking the bed, the floor, or my back! They had to be on their sides to get out the door. The way the bedroom doors are I had to slide them out, turn them around, and then slide them in Bennett's room. By the time I had finished cleaning the girls' dust and toys, moved the beds around, and was ready to set the top back on the big kids were home from school. We put the bottom where we wanted it and then made a plan to get the top bunk back on. Now, this is a solid wood bed. Nothing lightweight about the thing at all. Bennett would get one end and Maggie & Ruth would get the other end. I would pick it up on my back (like a turtle, Curtis later told me) and they would guide the legs onto the pegs. It worked!! And I had to go sit for an hour to recover! All the while I'm washing all the bedding, covers, blankets, sheets, etc. We also had to break to eat dinner and go to church. We got Bennett's bunks all put back together and made up once we got home. By then it's bedtime for all school-aged children. I had Maggie sleep in there so we could assemble the new bed... which arrived home around 9pm. While Curtis and I put the two beds together Ruth and Lydia snuggled out of the way, on the couch and watched Penny get rescued by Bernard and Beatrice... my all time favorite childhood movie! "I can go by myself... thank you!"
The bed was all ready and made by 10:30 but the movie didn't end until 10:45 and Ruth wanted to watch the end. At that point... who cares?!!?! For the previous hour all we heard was "how much longer" and "I'm tired, I wanna go to bed"... but they also wanted to see the ending of The Rescuers! I can't blame 'em. It's a great movie. Classic!
Ok... so the beds are in. Today we went to Wal-Mart looking for bedding. We have plenty of sheets to cover the beds, but nothing matches. Not that it has to or that I even want matching stuff. But I wanted matching covers to at least cover the Blues Clue and Mickey Mouse sheets that Bennett used 6 years ago. We opted for a multi-colored flower themed quilt for the girls and plain blue comforters for Bennett. His goal is to have a water, ocean, fish theme once his mother gets her act together. The only thing is Wal-Mart didn't have the full sized quilt in stock. So, I can't take a beautiful picture of the matching beds until they get one in.
In the meantime, I need to find a way to paint over my friend Debbie's hard work from 7 years ago. It's difficult. Almost gut-wrenching.