Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist

Because there is not much else going on in the world this week, I have been slightly obsessing on bunk beds. Let me explain. About six months ago, after #NoBen figured out how to fling himself out of his crib, we converted the cribs to toddler beds to avoid broken arms (and in Aiden’s case, hurt feelers because Ben got something he didn’t…freedom). Although they were thrilled with the ability to jump off their beds, they soon expressed a strong preference for the safety rail being in place (by becoming hysterical when it was removed) as well as a surprising inclination to sleep together. It was surprising to me because I put them in separate cribs since birth, wrongly (apparently) assuming they’d want some space.

I guess spending your first 9 months’ of life (assuming you subscribe to the belief that the time on the ‘inside’ was life) being basically wrapped around your brother creates a certain lack of a need for personal space after exit. The boys are definitely much more cuddly and okay with being touched than the girlchild.  I can only compare them with Bisky, who was ‘prickly’ and rejected cuddling until the boys were born and she saw hugs as another resource she could commandeer.  Be that as it may, the boys show no desire to sleep separately, and now that they are getting bigger, their toddler bed is not big enough for the both of them. I thought about buying a new house with more bedrooms, but for various reasons that is infeasible.

The presenting problem is that they are waking each other up. At all hours. For example, last Sunday (Daylight Savings Time, if you’ll recall), the boys didn’t nap all day, and went to bed at their usual ‘time’ (an hour later by their body’s perspective) and instead of sleeping, Aiden woke up screeching at 1:00 am…and stayed up until 5:00am. Of course, extracting screechy baby A wakes up sleepy baby B, so we all went down to watch Frozen. Again. After an hour of letting it go, baby B went back to sleep but baby A would not sleep. Would. Not. Sleep. We sang songs (he requested ABC, Baby Beluga and Jesus Loves Me, on a continuous loop for about an hour), played the quiet game and did everything I know how to do and he basically collapsed around 5:30 am. Just in time for #NoBen to wake up.

My emotional state the next day reminded me of the early days of newbornhood, and how sleep deprivation can really make you crazy. Not just tired and grumpy but depressed and possibly delusional. I told Dreamy at about 4:00 pm that I thought it was a logical and practical solution for me to run away from home and we could just get a maid to take my place because all I do is clean up after people anyway. A) Not true and B) we can’t afford a maid so clearly I was not operating at full capacity.

But seeing as how Mammy running away from home is not in anyone’s best interest, we HAVE to get a handle on this sleep thing. I decided that since they want to sleep together, we just have to transition them to a big boy twin bed. That is good thinking. Twin beds are not that expensive and this way they can still sleep together and hopefully not kick each other in the face all night and wake ME up. And then the sleep deprivation and lack of ability to do anything in moderation kicked in.

If one is good, maybe two is better! BUNK BEDS!! Yes, that is just the thing. Not only are they cute, and will save space, but Bisky will be so jealous she’ll probably want to sleep in there too. I can lock all of them in the room at 7:00 pm and take back my night, my sanity, and talk to my husband with no interruptions. Of course, the bunk bed I wanted (with drawer stairs instead of a ladder) and good mattresses are prohibitively (for us) expensive, so I chose to peruse the FB buy and sell pages and lo and behold. I scored a “Great Quality” bed WITH Mattresses for less money than two mattresses will cost me at Amazon. Finally, I told Dreamy, I’m catching a break. My heart virtually pounding with excitement at my pending freedom, I sent him off to pick up the beds.

I’ll fast forward past the fight and leave you with the following advice:

  • Don’t buy anything off Facebook without seeing pictures.
  • Don’t send your husband to buy something without explaining to him the conditions upon which you would cease wanting the thing.
  • Don’t be such a sleep deprived beotch for a week prior to the purchase that your husband would rather buy a piece of crap from a stranger than deal with trying to explain to you on the phone why it’s not a good idea.

On the bright side, we are now the proud owner of two twin beds (no mattresses) that we could turn into bunk beds once we buy appropriate dowels to hold them together, a ladder, and a rail to keep kids in. I like to say that God gives me speed bumps when I come up with bad ideas, and the bad bunk

beds are a great example because:

  • #NoBen will try to fly off the top on purpose
  • Bisky will push someone off if they look at her or touch her
  • Aiden will try to dance, lose his balance and fall off
  • No one will sleep if they’re all in the same room, they will just carry on tormenting each other all night with NO chance of sleep

So one more good idea that didn’t pan out, but at least no bones were broken in the creation of the bad idea. And if there’s anything else more serious on your mind, remember that this, too, shall pass!

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