Friday, June 24, 2011

Sleeping arrangements

We seem to have embarked on a direct course for getting the little guy his first big-boy bed. When the subject first came up my wife and I decided to take a wait and see approach (mainly because she was pregnant with our second and we had quite enough to try to sort out at the time, thanks) where as long as the little guy seemed happy in his crib (i.e. wasn’t actively trying to escape its confines on a semi-regular basis) we would just leave well enough alone. But lately he’s been requesting that we take the mattress out of the crib and put it on the floor for him; I think this came from the fact that they take their naps at school on the floor and he decided he liked that. So we let him sleep on a floor-level mattress for a couple of naps previously, and last night we finally let him sleep on the floor overnight. We still reserve the right to go back to the crib if it seems prudent, but if the new arrangement proves to cause no undue hardships on any side, we’ll get a proper bed to put the mattress in. One night in and no hardships yet, so we shall see.

The timing is funny for a couple of reasons, all centered around the fact that various contingents of my family are visiting over the coming week, and therefore who’s-sleeping-where is already top of mind. And, specifically, the first arrivals are my Little Bro and his wife; they were both endlessly amused by my son back at their wedding last summer, when the little guy was almost two and telling anyone who would listen “I’m a big boy!” and something in the delivery rendered that declaration highly quotable as far as Little Bro and sister-in-law were concerned. Thus, invoking the “big boy bed” privilege was bound to make me think of my Little Bro.

I could also tie this all together via the classic Friday stand-by of the Random Anecdote, and really, why wouldn’t I? When I was about four years old, and Little Bro was only one, we shared a bedroom. I slept in an actual grown-up bed, by which I mean a twin mattress and box spring on the flimsiest of comes-free-with-the-set metal frames. The relative size and weight of the bed components are worth noting because, for a while there, my brother and I would wake up before our parents and I would take it upon myself to liberate Little Bro from baby jail.

So I’d push the bed across the room until it was up against the rails of the crib. I might also mention that the feet of my bed sat on plastic casters and the bedroom floor was some kind of hardwood or laminate, so the physical resistance to this effort was minimal (though to this day Little Bro refers to this as a feat of “little kid super-strength” and who am I to argue with that). Once the bed was alongside the crib I could either help Little Bro climb up over the railing for a short, cushioned fall onto my mattress, or just use my own mattress as a launch pad for bounding into the crib. The end result was the same, in that the two brothers got to play together earlier than we otherwise would have if we’d waited for mom or dad to get the baby from the crib. Needless to say, whatever kind of bed we end up getting for my son, it will be too big to fit through the door and push down the hall to his sister’s room for similar shenanigans. (It may even get bolted to the wall.)

The funny thing about the bed-pushing story is this: I barely remember it, while Little Bro claims to recall it perfectly. That latter element seems patently ridiculous and impossible on the surface. Nobody remembers things from when they were one year old, right? I certainly don’t. I barely remember anything from before I started school, strangely enough (considering the sheer quantity trivia and minutiae that have become permanently lodged in my brain since then). I can only barely conjure up the bed-pushing story now because I’ve seen so many pictures of the old house, myself and Little Bro at that age, plus Little Bro himself has told and re-told the story numerous times. Sometimes it feels like I remember it, but sometimes it feels like I’m only faking remembering it. Which is somewhat disconcerting, as is the general fact that my brother always seems to remember our early childhood better than I do, anyway.

And maybe he does, and maybe he has some genuine memories of being a one-year-old. And maybe my little guy got some of the same genetic component of that (along with blue eyes and blond hair and lots of other traits that seem to cut him from the same cloth as his uncles) and he’ll remember everything happening now clear as day a few decades down the road. I kind of hope so, because we really have been having a lot of fun lately, and I’d like to think he won’t forget that.

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