Saturday, November 8, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day8 - Climbing on an Elephant

You think the work would be getting up here. That would be nice, except that's not the way it happens when you make a bunk bed. Hoisting your 5 foot 5 body frame atop the pine wood tower when you have the upper body reach of a T Rex is just Step One of Saturday Humiliation Day, the day I make my kid's bunk bed.

Let me tell you, any image of grace and poise I once held of myself disappears in two short minutes. It's like the video I saw today of a zoo keeper trying to get on top of an elephant.

Picture that scenario, if you would please, complete with butt up in the air, because that is exactly what it's like.

Except that the lucky zoo worker's job is done once he makes it up, and he can heave a sigh of relief with his butt up there. For me, that's just when the party gets started. I find myself in 3 feet by 6 feet worth of space with my tender knees that bruise like pears shoved up against the wall. That's the first friendly hello from the bed's bulky frame.

Once I scoot away from the wall, I gather my Geritol gumption and work my way through to the corner of the bed like I'm on a kneeling pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe. When it feels like it's Day 3 on the pebble paved path, I know I finally made it to the next step, pulling the covers off. 

Bunk beds are deceiving. The word bed means comfort, the kind of sweet comfort that comes whenever you're in a bed. That would be any bed that's not a bunk bed -- that's where the difference is. Being in a bunk bed is not the same thing as making a bunk bed.

There's lots to consider when you're up there, like time to start making the bed, even if just getting there makes you feel you earned the right to a nap. You still have to do the work, which is easy if you're 12 and under, but middle age has a way of making you feel like you're kneeling on baby marbles any time you're on your knees, which, in case you didn't know, is the only way to make a bunk bed.

Bunk beds go against things you usually see as good for you. Like you'd think all this motion would be a good opportunity for stretching. Not so. A good stretch feels great, when it's done in an environment conducive to a full range of motion --- this is not the case when you're 5 feet off the ground in a confined area like a hamster caught in an air duct.

You find yourself doing a combat crawl from one side of the mattress to the other and do you know how hard it is to do a combat crawl when you've never had combat training to learn how? Damn hard. I've heard the armed forces have tricks of the trade, something I haven't been privy to in my chickensh*t life. Also something I don't want to google because I don't want said armed forces on to me and calling my house looking for my kids and asking how ripe old they are.

If it's too late and you already own bunk beds, I say in Clinton's raspy yet attractive gastric reflux induced voice, I feel your pain. Reaching for one end of the corner with the fitted sheet ends up with the opposite corner popping up and you knee-race back over there and then you're in the middle of a live version of a whack-a-mole game.

And if you're thinking of bunk beds, you still have time to ponder whether you want to make a bed while kneeling. Because that's how you'll be doing it from now on. Go - try it now, on a regular bed.

Pretend the floor around you is lava and you can't use it. Don't forget about the part where your ankles knock against the wall at every turn. If you don't love the experience, then think hard about whether or not the return on doubling your floor space is worth the price of suiting up like a knee-pad clad volleyball player every Saturday morning.

Making a bed while kneeling. That's all I'm going to say. EXCEPT plug this into your formula too:
Your height
No floor to stand on
You will be on the bed while you make it. For the entire time.
Are you 4 foot 10 and 72 lbs
Can you live with a bed that will never be smooth enough for a pottery barn shoot?
On the other hand, if you enjoy playing whirlpool with the blankets in the middle of the bed while you crawl to the sides to tuck them in, this may be just the thing for you. Because you will become a human maelstrom with the swirling around that goes on. I guess there is a plus side, to be fair. The bed is so high up who's going to see it anyway.
If you still decide to get or keep those bunk beds, then swirl away, my bunk bed making friends! And don't say I didn't try and warn you. Which is more than my so-called friends did for me. (they knew I was ordering them, too. FULLY KNEW.)

Noteworthy: Step One to Bunk Bed Ownership (and woefully missing from the manual): If there is a ceiling fan, remove it. 
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This post is part of National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo. Click to learn more about it and to participate on your own blog. If you've written a NaBloPoMo post, feel free to share it in the comments.


  1. The first time I tried to make a bunk bed, I cried, vowed to sell it, and said every bad word I know.

    Now I make the bed's owner strip it. I bring the sheets and blanket up one at a time and make a ridiculous effort at getting it loosely assembled. Then I do the work from down below, tucking by pulling sheets under the exposed underside of the mattress rather than from atop the bed. Because ow my head every time it bonks the ceiling.

    I still want to sell it.

  2. I have lived--and hated--this. You describe it so well I had to cover my eyes with my fingers and read this post through the slits. PTBBD (Post Traumatic Bunk Bed Disorder)

    Why don't we just throw a sleeping bag up there and tell the kid "Life is like camp. Get used to it!"

  3. Methinks it's time for the wee one to take over. I've regretted bunk beds for over 8 years now. I've been mocked by the fitted sheet for the top bunk for far too long. I would never do it again (buy bunk beds) and I caution anyone considering it to think twice. If you still decide to go that route, just make sure the beds separate.

  4. I am convinced bunk beds were created to be a torture device for moms.

  5. Yes, a million times. My kids have decided they not only need to share a room, but they also both like the top bunk and just have a strange head to foot set up involving different blankets, four hundred stuffed animals, and a pile of books that precariously tumbles over the rail. The bottom bunk sits untouched, perfectly smoothed bedding mocking me as I sweat and hit my head on the ceiling four times.

  6. Both of my children have those blasted elevated beds from Ikea. And both have low ceilings. And sheets that are rarely changed--because the only thing harder than changing the sheets on such a bed is wrangling teen-agers to do it. Feeling your pain...

  7. It's hands down why I refused to buy bunk beds for my boys.

  8. naptime: I want to get ride of this bed.
    Jocelyn: why is there no warning on the bunk bed? Hazardous for your mental health
    Arnebya: we have to let people know. Write a post for BlogHer, it's our duty as good people.
    Robbie: I cannot tell you how much I dread Saturdays b/c of the sheet changing.
    Angela: the stuffed animals, the pile of books, the way it never looks nice despite how it takes double the effort of plain old bed making.
    Rita: blasted describes them perfectly.
    Sarah: SMART WOMAN.



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