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  • The New Bed

    November 19, 2009

    Recently I acquired a twin bed for Sean.  Heretofore, the poor giraffe-legged child had been sleeping in a toddler bed.  Toddler bed, we all know, is code for “crib on the ground”.

    I know what you are thinking. “What is wrong with y’all? Can you not even manage to get your six-year-old child a decent bed?”

    And the answer to that is apparently not, at least not in a timely manner.

    Several times when we’ve had other children at the house, I have overheard them laughing at Sean’s itty bitty bed. And although it didn’t bother him, it made me realize that it was probably time to get him out of the toddler bed.

    But finding a new bed wasn’t as easy as I imagined it would be.

    It took me a while to find the bed I wanted. For one thing, I wanted an old-fashioned 1950s Beaver Cleaver kind of twin bed.  For months, I searched Craig’s List and eBay and garage sales to no avail.

    As it turns out, the Catholic grade school that I attended closed a year or so back and they sold off all the furniture in the convent and my mother bought one of the twin beds. When she found out we were looking for an old fashioned twin bed, she offered it to us.  There is great irony to think that my son is now sleeping in the bed of a now-dead nun who used to routinely whack the holy snot out of me.

    At any rate it is a really nice bed, solid maple and just as old-fashioned as it can be.  And the best part – free!

    So when my parents came to visit recently, they brought the bed with them and joyful sounds were heard throughout the kingdom upon its arrival.

    The next day when AD left for work, I dropped Sean off at school and then my parents and I high tailed it to Sam’s and bought a mattress and box springs.  When we got home, I quickly disassembled the crib-on-the-floor and hauled it up to the attic while my dad set up the “new” bed.

    Mom and I put on the brand new sheets, fluffed the pillows and then stood back to gaze upon the marvelous new bed.  And we felt much happiness and no sadness. None.   We did however feel tiredness.  We had been working at a feverish pace because we knew we had to get the job done before AD got home and put the skids to our merry making.

    AD does not like change. AD would not want to take the toddler bed down.  AD would have to rend his garments and cry into the crib sheets. He would have to kneel by the tiny bed and hang his head in sorrow. He would have to weep as he tenderly ran his fingers over the rough patches on the frame where tiny teeth once gnawed.  He would have a goodbye ceremony. He would write the bed a little letter and tape it to the bed frame. And this could take weeks, maybe even months.   All while I stood quietly and respectfully off to the side tapping my foot and looking at my watch. All while Sean asked over and over and over when he was going to get to sleep in his new bed.

    When Sean got home from school, he took a flying leap into his new bed and declared it awesome. He loved it.

    When AD got home from work, he did not declare the new bed awesome, but rather said, “Oh. A new bed.”

    And I could see what he was thinking:   “I didn’t know that last night was the last night I would get to tuck him in the little bed.”  And while I have sympathies for his sentimentalities… no wait, I really don’t.

    So later that day AD asked me, he said, “Do you not even feel a little bit of sadness that the old bed is gone?”

    “No.”

    “Not even a little? Not just a teeny tiny tinge of sadness?”

    “No.”

    “None?”

    “No. I feel glee.”

    He half smiled at me.

    I half smiled back.

    AD weeps at what he leaves behind.

    I look forward to what lies ahead.

    It all works out, for at long last, our six-year-old sleeps in a proper bed.

    40 Comments »

    1. MM says:

      I’m kind of stuck between you and AD. I do mourn the past leaving me, but I do look forward to what’s to come as well. Especially when it comes to my boys. I really, really miss their tiny newbornness. But both boys are in such sweet fun phases that it’s hard to not wholly enjoy them in the present.

      November 19th, 2009 at 10:51 am

    2. Jenny 867-5309 says:

      ROFL!!! And once again, you and I are much the same and J and AD are twinkies. (And I lost some good coffee on that ‘dead-nun who used to wack you’ comment!)

      November 19th, 2009 at 10:55 am

    3. mamajo says:

      I’m a look-ahead-er but then months later I look back mournfully and wonder why I was in such a hurry…but then, of course, 4 or 5 years IS a long time in a toddler bed 🙂

      We skipped the toddler bed and switched our girl into a big bed at 2. Now that we’re not so sure we’re going to be able to have more kids, I wish I would have savored her baby-hood as long as time would have allowed…but that’s a comment for another post isn’t it?

      * * *
      You know what though mamajo? I do savor and enjoy every moment and I am not in a hurry, and therefore when the time comes to move on, it feels right. I’m ready. I don’t think savoring necessarily means hanging on… to a toddler bed until your wife comes along and pries it out of your grip.🙂

      November 19th, 2009 at 11:05 am

    4. Carrie says:

      Awwww…that is so sweet!!! My husband is the unsentimental one, and I’m the one who is going, day after day, “Um, I just don’t know if Z is READY for a toddler bed yet…I didn’t know last night was his last night in his crib…” 🙂 So funny.

      November 19th, 2009 at 11:07 am

    5. Monica @ The Writer Chic says:

      =)

      November 19th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    6. Kay says:

      Hurray… I’m so glad the boy fiiiiinally has a big boy bed. Or maybe I should say, I’m so glad you fiiiiinally found him a big boy bed. Either way.. yippee. We did the Sams thing too. Quick. Easy. Done. Here’s your mattress. Love it.

      I knew AD would have trouble with it though. He’s a sweet daddy. : )

      November 19th, 2009 at 11:18 am

    7. momof8 says:

      Oh, I was holding my breath waiting to find out AD’s reaction. I am glad he did not break down. Whew. Yay for the new bed!!!

      November 19th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    8. zoom says:

      “AD weeps at what he leaves behind.

      I look forward to what lies ahead.”

      Sounds like a match made in heaven, or maybe you both are mirror reflections of my marriage that it resonated deep within my being. My husband keeps us grounded, I keep us moving forward. It works because we respect the other, and embrace the other’s quirks and penchants.

      November 19th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    9. Nelson's Mama says:

      See, that’s how I felt about the old couch & loveseat!

      I love getting new things but always feel bad about letting the old ones go…it breaks my heart to trade vehicles, it’s like giving away a loyal and faithful friend!

      November 19th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    10. Minnesotamom says:

      That is so sweet. I am definitely the more sentimental of the two of us, but nothing near the “save every piece of paper my child ever scribbled on in a Rubbermaid tub” level of my mother, for which my husband is thankful. 🙂

      November 19th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    11. Allison says:

      My newly turned 6yr old is still in a toddler bed. She recently informed us her feet touch the bottom… yep it’s time. Though it’s not a matter of sentiment it’s a matter of space.
      I loved the age of five; it was such a turning point. Yet, I look forward to what six brings. From reading your posts, I know you relish and live the moments to the fullest with your son, it’s a nice reminder for me to mentally slow down and be all there for my kids.

      * * *
      Know what you mean about the space. The new bed really fills up Sean’s little room. And yes, age five was a magical magical season that I would love to do all over again. We were all sorry to see it come to an end.

      November 19th, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    12. Jenny-Jenny says:

      Yup my man is the sentimental one. I have to sneak things out of the house while he is away. Usually he doesn’t even notice their absence …of course a bed he would have noticed;}

      November 19th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    13. Stacey says:

      This post made me smile and laugh–

      My dear husband also is a keeper of things, I however like to document it(via pictures) and then leave it behind–

      It’s great to hear that Sean came home and was happy with the new… my son would of NOT been happy unless he was a part of the old being taken out and the new being put in.

      I remember when I used to wish the kids would just FINALLY start talking, and now I often wish they would talk less, or at least get to the point, I need to SLOW down and JUST listen…note to self! 🙂

      November 19th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    14. Bitsy says:

      I love this post! Mainly because my husband is the weepy one, too. But also because it’s just plain funny! Especially, “And while I have sympathies for his sentimentalities… no wait, I really don’t.” You are a terrific writer!

      November 19th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    15. The Bug says:

      My husband is the sentimental one in our family too – he really mourns the passing of things. Me, not so much.

      I laughed about the nun – but wouldn’t she have been whacking the UNholy snot out of you? Heh.

      November 19th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    16. Jenn A. says:

      Oh, my. This is a hilarious anecdote to me because it resonates with the interaction in my marriage as well.

      Let me just say that my husband still owns and wears many of his high school t-shirts. He is 32.75 years old.

      Changing out a bed is an entirely different level of disruption and I can appreciate your hustle to get it done before AD got home. haha.

      November 19th, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    17. mythoughtsonthat says:

      I squeezed my boy into a toddler bed until he was 5 but then, I got him a big bed and didn’t look back. I think you are right that if you take time to savor every experience until you are really ready to move forward, it’s much easier to make that move.

      Still….that AD is really something.

      Peace.

      November 19th, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    18. Laurie says:

      My oldest just got a twin bed. It was financial that we held off (mattresses being expensive and all). I had boxes at the end of her toddler bed with blankets on them so the poor girl’s feet didn’t hang off the edge. It was pathetic. I wish I took pictures 🙂

      November 19th, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    19. happy geek says:

      Oh I laughed. I too am married to one who would write the letter to the bed.
      He had to be the one who took the first lost tooth out from under the pillow and replaced it with the loonie (Canadian one dollar coin) and then stuck the tooth in his (Hubs) memory box.

      November 19th, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    20. Roxanne says:

      And that is why the two of you are PERFECT for each other. 🙂 Glad Sean declared his bed, “Awesome!” as that makes it easier all around.

      November 19th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    21. Jenn A, says:

      After my trip to the gym today, where I saw a man wearing some running shorts circa 1979, I am compelled to comment again, letting you know that I am grateful for my High School shirt-wearing hubby.

      heehee

      November 19th, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    22. Kathy Vaughan says:

      “There is great irony to think that my son is now sleeping in the bed of a now-dead nun who used to routinely whack the holy snot out of me.”

      Laughed out loud! Snorted, actually! Is it any wonder I always look forward to a new post by AM!

      I am a forward-looker, truly I am, but I love to hang on to sentimental reminders of the past. As my cluttered garage would attest! However, my kids can’t see past the clutter, and I have my doubts that they will ever fully appreciate my valiant efforts to save tiny pieces of their past!

      November 19th, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    23. Cyndi says:

      Oh, so timely, as always! I just shed the ‘toddler bed guilt’ by moving away from them and into a house where we shipped the new beds for our almost-6yo twins. My DH also takes for.e.ver to accept change, and I gleefully moved without him while he traveled on business so that my foot didn’t get tapping-tired 😉 …and my oldest said ‘I didn’t realize that was the last nite we’d sleep on our old beds’ while driving home from school…sheesh! Happy Bed, Sean!

      November 19th, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    24. Tom says:

      I’m with AD. I tend to face backwards, looking at what we had, where we’ve been. On the one hand it is nice to move forward, but on the other hand it’s sad to have to let go of our reminders of simpler times.

      November 20th, 2009 at 12:17 am

    25. Sue says:

      This is a beauty- I love the way you are able to write the feelings. Happy for Sean! Our son was in his crib much longer than he should have been. We finally got new furniture for him– went straight to a regular bed.
      My mother recently moved, and she said she is not looking at the former things but at what lies ahead. She has a great attitude about being content in her little apartment after having a nice house with lots of space all of her married life. I feel for her as she tries to get her clothes out of her much down-sized closet and rolls the portable dishwasher up to the sink. She is not pouting, tho.

      November 20th, 2009 at 1:21 am

    26. merinz says:

      What does an old fashioned twin bed look like?

      Would love a photo??

      Perhaps it is what we would call in New Zealand a single bed with a headboard and end board?

      November 20th, 2009 at 5:14 am

    27. Nan says:

      Aaaaah, opposites attract!!

      November 20th, 2009 at 6:04 am

    28. Viki says:

      I loved those little toddler beds. We had it for many years when my son was done with it. We then gave it to one of our nephews when he made the transition. Then my sil gave it to her brother when he had a couple of kids. I don’t know where it is now.

      Oh, and the stories I could tell about nuns could curl people’s hair. Of course, that was in the late 50’s early 60’s. I don’t think they are allowed to do that stuff anymore 😉

      November 20th, 2009 at 8:25 am

    29. Debbie Owensby Moore says:

      My daughter approaches change the same way. She is twelve now and I would still have to rush to complete the change before school lets out.

      The coordination of all the “ducks in a roll” before the exposure, is in fact sometimes exhausting!

      Happy sleeping! It will certainly make bedtime story reading easier.

      November 20th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    30. Sharon says:

      This post does not belong here, I’m sure…I have some big worries currently about my children’s health. I am scared to look forward and wish I could run back. On another note, Sean’s bed sounds wonderful. Just think of all the prayers that were offered from it, by it’s former owners.

      November 20th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    31. Jan says:

      Your description of the contrast between you and AD made me take note of the same between my husband and I… But I came to the conclusion that we are BOTH sentimental, in different ways. For instance, I’m the one who has a hard time getting rid of things that have a special memory/story attached to them. Hubby cries at the package they do on TV called “One Shining Moment,” at the end of the Final Four. I used to think it funny, until I sat and watched it with him a few years back: OMG, worse than a romantic “chick-flick!” The tears, oy!

      November 20th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    32. rrmama says:

      Sorry I laughed out loud at the whack the snot of you comment! To funny. Wait till Sean get his own house! AD may need to be commited for a while. =)

      November 20th, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    33. snarflemarfle says:

      Ha! What a great story!

      We got our son a full-sized bed when he turned 3.

      He sleeps in his sleeping bag on the floor..

      November 21st, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    34. Fiddledeedee says:

      I’m with AD. Change? I don’t much like it. And I have a hard time letting go of things.

      I just found all 3 of my pregnancy tests in my bathroom drawer. The first baby is as tall as I am. Clearly, I need help.

      And I loved this post. I may frame it.

      🙂

      November 22nd, 2009 at 12:10 am

    35. Catch the Kids says:

      I have nearly four year old twins that have just gone from a crib to a bed. We skipped the toddler bed altogether. I admit both my husband and I felt a few tugs on our heartstrings as they slept side by side that first night. The twins however thought it was great. I’m sure they would agree with Sean’s “awesome!” Love your writing. It always gives me a lift.

      November 22nd, 2009 at 8:57 am

    36. Pat says:

      There IS another person in the world like me… My very best friend says I have to pet, cry over and rub everything I attempt to let go of… Congratulations, though, on the New Bed!

      November 22nd, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    37. Alpaca Farmgirl says:

      I loved this post. I am more like AD in that I LOVE babies. I will do anything to have babies around (like have a farm where I breed animals so that I can be sure to have babies coming all the time!), so when my youngest hit these milestones I get teary. My youngest just lost her two front teeth. I’m mourning the baby teeth bad. Lol!

      * * *
      Sean lost his first tooth this past Friday. AD will no doubt be sleeping with it under HIS pillow!

      November 23rd, 2009 at 10:09 am

    38. Amy says:

      I am AD. My two year-old has just moved to the twin bed in his room of his own volition. I thought it might last a night or two, and then he would be clamoring for his crib again….alas, the twin bed (which was my dad’s when he was a boy) has become synonymous with being a big boy like his big sister.
      I am dreading the Great Dismantling Event of the crib this Christmas when we make room for a train table in his room. I too, like AD, will probably write the bed a letter, hang my head in sadness for days gone by, and kneel down weeping in prayer and thankfulness for the victory our crib stood for with the birth of both children, who we were never supposed to be able to conceive in the first place.
      Loved that post AM.
      Amy

      November 23rd, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    39. Shannon says:

      Yay for the new bed! It sounds very cool!

      Coleman was SO thrilled to get his new bunk bed a few months ago that we couldn’t get rid of that toddler bed fast enough! I’m with you AM, I’m forever weeding through, giving away, excited when the kids get to the next size in clothing because it means I can drag out all those new things I’ve been buying and squirreling away in the top of their closets 🙂

      My husband, on the other hand, will not let ME give away the dresses I wore on our HONEYMOON 12 years ago. Which is wrong on so many levels that I can’t even get into it. (Kinda like the dresses, ha!)

      November 23rd, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    40. Jennifer says:

      Yea for the new bed! You should have called me. I would have come over with some noise makers and confetti (and a box of hankies for AD) and helped you celebrate!

      November 24th, 2009 at 11:20 am

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