Bunked Up

Nothing’s quite right. But everything’s good.

Jonah didn’t actually say that, but I think it might be close to something he would say if he wasn’t, you know, six-years-old and just beginning to put words to his emotional states.

We’ve been around home a lot this summer. Busy enough, but not too busy (I hope). Our schedule is definitely more fluid than it is during the school year. There’s three weeks on, then three weeks off for ESY (Extended School Year) services. There’s a social skills group (which means driving the highway, which means J’s in a pretty happy place) that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays for four weeks. Nightly swimming lessons for two. Visits to family in Indiana and Kansas. Promises of the beach. Movie dates with Mom.

O yeah. And his brother moved into his room. There’s new bunk beds. A new routine, in the midst of a constantly shifting schedule. Kind of sucks.

Granted, it’s a kid’s paradise in there. Full over full bunk beds with tiny white strung lights. J’s hammock swing hangs at one end (it’s next to impossible to get G to vacate), and a sturdy old desk occupies the opposite end. It’s just the right height for J to stand and create all manner of masking tape and stapling projects—the most recent of which is a paper computer (he likes to spell words “his own way”) and styrofoam wings for the Buzz Lightyear suit. It’s also just the right height to climb up on and pull down the window and yell out to the babysitter as he arrives. Not so great, or safe, especially when G leans his (okay, it’s massive, let’s hope he grows into it) head against the screen. Window bars, here we come.

So the down side. It’s a lot of change. Jonah actually started weeping when John took apart his old bed frame. Real tears. Real angst.

“But I love my old bed so much! Where are you taking it?”

“To the garage love.”

“And you will put it back together so that I can visit it?!” (He was completely serious about this.)

And bunk beds are, you know, tall. So we had to install a low-profile light instead of the ceiling fan. “But I love my ceiling fan! I will miss it!”

John’s spent a good five days putting all sorts of touches on the room to ease the transition, including a shelf up high for Jonah’s guys (shared last night by Yoda and Wall-E), and my old iPhone restored for flashlight purposes, early morning eBook reading and game playing.

Typically, G’s been the real stinker. The idea of change may wig Jonah out, but he usually surprises us and adapts with reasonable ease. Not that signs of anxiety don’t make themselves known. J’s gone through two chewy necklaces in the course of a week. Gnawed right through, to the hard plastic center. He’s also clamoring for the iPad or his movie player a whole lot more. We’re inclined to see this as a form of (rather annoying) entitlement, but there’s also the reality that focusing in on a game or a movie calms J. Can’t fight the facts. The trick is setting sensible limits and sticking with it.

O yes. Gabriel. He misses his crib/toddler bed. He’s too big for it, but I think the confines were comforting, at the very least familiar. He’s taken to making a run for the door in our new set-up—even with John laying beside him, blocking the way. It can be hard to outlast the kid. Last night John dozed off only to wake up and find G missing. Somehow he’d made it out of the bed undetected (crawled off the end?) and clamored up the ladder to J’s realm. He had aforementioned Yoda and Wall-E in hand when John discovered him. Thankfully, J slept on.

You may be saying to yourself, these people are crazy. Who would give a two-year-old prone to death-defying feats and possessed of considerable escape prowess access to a freakin’ bunk bed? That’d be us. We might be crazy, but G’s going to find a way to go where he wants to go no matter where we put him. And we’re inclined to let him try while we attempt to teach him how to do it safely. Our rule is, you can do it if you can do it yourself. Yeah, it’s a little crazy-making/nerve-wracking for us from time to time—and yes, he’s only two and not yet an entirely reasonable creature—but Gabriel’s got drive. Who are we to tamp him down? As if that were even possible.

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