“I can’t imagine this working out,” my husband nods towards the two human ping-pong balls bouncing between beds.
“But how else will they plot against us?” I smile slyly, knowing we’re doomed but hopeful the vacated nursery can be converted into a craft room, sewing room, toy room, library, and tiki lounge.
The bedroom was barely big enough for a baby, but I imagine it fulfilling the needs of all the spaces we don’t have a space for.
Our spring-coiled daughters are wound tight. The big-girl bed we’ve been waiting on, for twelve weeks, is due in a couple days. Last night, my husband brought home a mattress for it and set it up where the bed will be. In the same room as the other big-girl bed.
Do you have any idea how much a mattress costs?
Last weekend, while the kids were at Grandma’s, my husband and I went to a mattress store because we know how to party. As I crossed the threshold, a chill ran through me. The place was desolate. Just us and a smarmy salesman.
“What sorta mattress you folks looking for today?” he oozes.
“Cheap,” I reply, avoiding eye contact and trying my best to imitate my father. (My dad doesn’t pay sticker price anywhere. Not even retail locations. He once got a well-known establishment that rhymes with Floam Bepoe, to give him a two-for-one on a pair of floor model lawn mowers.) Our sleazeperson does his best to appear deeply wounded. Because it would criminal to force a child, who can sleep for hours hunched over in a car seat with no resulting neck pain, to slumber on anything less than the $500 model which is the lowest priced anything they have in this store.
Mr. Overpriced-is-Not-Right assures us the price will be lower, since we don’t need the box spring. He walks over to look it up in his book of magic numbers and as he is doing so, tells us twelve-hundred times that he can have it delivered today. I think we're supposed to be impressed.
“That's okay. We don’t need it delivered.”
“It’s free delivery.”
“We can just tie it to the top of the car.”
“It’s $450 without the box spring.”
“We’re not spending $450 on a mattress for a two-year-old.”
“But I can have it delivered to you today. For free.”
I suppose mattresses, being an essential item, are prime fodder for extortion.
We got a mattress, but not at that price and not from that guy. ‘No, not THAT one. Unicorn! Uni-corn!’ (To quote my favorite 1982 animated fantasy film with the voice talents of Jeff Bridges and Mia Farrow, music by America.)
And so my kindergartner and preschooler embarked on their room sharing journey. After a proper dose of their over-excitement and goofing off and our threatening to separate them if they didn't stay in their own beds, while we tried to keep straight faces because they're just too precious, they settled in to the sounds of each other’s snores.
Already their bond is stronger. This morning they woke up at the same time, and bounded loudly towards the kitchen while I was still in bed downstairs. Stools were scooted, bowls and silverware clanked, and for the first time ever in our house, a five and two-year-old made their own breakfast together. Sort of. They came down to tell me I could sleep in and also there is a pile of cereal on the floor.