When J was a child, he and his brother did not share a room.  Nonetheless, J needed bunk beds.  The bottom was for him; the top was for his massive stuffed-animal collection.

            The beds were part of a set – desk, dresser, and bookcase – that we inherited several years ago when we bought our first house.  The dresser became mine, the lower bunk and desk eventually became our au pair’s, and the bookcase was quickly over-populated by my insatiable need for books.  The top bunk remained in my in-laws’ house until such time as we would need it.

            That time has arrived.  A month ago, Benjamin made it quite clear that he was having none of this crib nonsense.  He wanted to be free like the wind or somesuch horseshit.  He would scream the moment he awakened, driven to fury because he was unable to get out of bed.  Since our toddler bed was in storage awaiting a house, we had the temporary housing peeps bring in a twin, and so the transition was made.

            Now, however, there is no space for two twin beds in our boys’ new room, and they were pretty stoked to realize they could have something called “bunk beds.”  We moved the whole set, sans bookshelf for Benjamin to topple on his pretty little head, into their new room.  It is understating the case to call this furniture sturdy.  I am pretty sure it was designed to survive all forms of natural disasters and several man-made ones.  It is solid, it is indestructible, and it is heavy as hell.

            It softens something hard in me to know my boys are using the same furniture their father used, and not just because I like the environmental aspect of it.  While J laments the things he carved into his childhood desk, I love that Zachary is sitting and making his books at his father’s desk, writing on top of his Daddy’s writing.  He escorts our guests into his new room, explaining, “My Daddy used to sleep in the bed, but now I do.”

            There is no end to the giggling and climbing that seem to go hand-in-hand with a bunk bed ladder, although the younger child can only get up, not down.  We make sure to supervise when he climbs up to Zach’s level.  There they are, our boys, stacked on top of each other, cozy in their Daddy’s childhood bedroom. 

            It is heartwarming and all that is sentimental.  It is also, I realized as I struggled to get sheets on that top bunk, probably going to kill me.  How the fuck does one make up a top bunk?  Is it like bad sex, mostly accomplished through sweating and grunting?  Is there a special trick I have yet to learn?  And how will I do it when I am eight months pregnant?  I can barely get up the ladder to kiss him goodnight as it is.

            Please, someone tell me, how do I put a fitted sheet on the bed when I have to climb onto the mattress in order to reach the corners?  And, remember, I am getting heavier with every passing week.

24 responses to “Stacked

  1. This is the perfect time to delegate!

    Also love that the boys are using their dad’s furniture. My girls are using my old furniture. Every mismatched piece of it! Maybe I should get the gumption to refinish so they match a little better. Maybe I should delegate that!

  2. ukrainemom

    I had the same struggle when our girls bunked like that a couple of years ago. Funny, I, too was pregnant with a third at the time.

    So what did I do? I NEVER changed the fitted sheet. I mean, it was months and the top bunk bed was never made.

    The bigger you get, the less you will care. Trust me.

  3. I gave up making my daughter’s loft bed. Of course she is a little older and can take care of this herself (which means it happens only every 6 months or so). But, I just try not to look.

  4. I have a bunk bed and a loft bed in my son’s room. The fitted sheet I can manage, it’s the top sheet that is hard for some reason. I’ve gotton boy #1 to quit using a top sheet (just a throw) , but the youngest is having none of that.

  5. About the bunks, I don’t know, but I’ll ask my mom.

    I thought good sex involved it’s share of sweating and grunting, too. I may need to investigate.

  6. That is so sweet that the boys are using their daddy’s bunk bed. I love it.

    I have no advice for changing the sheets on a top bunk. When I was a kid I had bunk beds (the top bunk was always there when I had a friend over for the night!) and I remember my mom complaining about the sheets too. She made me do it when I was a bit older, and I seem to remember lots of strange balancing and growling. 🙂

  7. If you have more than one set of sheets, have hubby put multiple fitted ones on the top bunk. Then when you need to wash one there is already one underneath. Of course this doesn’t help for wet accident or vomit issues, but at least you won’t have to put them on every time.

  8. how about having your older son do it? he’s small enough that his weight won’t make it as hard for him to pull the sheet down around the corners.

  9. Ugh. Hate dealing with bunk-bed making. Depending on how tall they are and how they are made you might be able to do some wrestling of the sheet by tugging at it from each end. Spread the sheet as much as possible from the front, go around to each side and try to reach and pull the corners down. Of course that also depends on how tall you are, and whether you can keep the bed away from the wall on both ends! Honestly I don’t think there’s a perfect solution, but I agree with Slouching Mom that this might be a good moment to let the kids give it a try. It won’t be perfect but they might enjoy being a help and taking responsibility for their “Daddy bed.”

  10. I can’t wait to get bunkbeds–but never considered the dilemma.

    I’d enlist Daddy to help me for sure–at least while pregnant! 🙂

  11. Okay, De’s comment cracked me up.

    I had bunkbeds when I was little, and I have no idea what went on with the sheets. I think my older sister was older than Zach, though, so perhaps she changed them. And likely they weren’t changed all too frequently, either.

  12. Making my son’s top bunk is the WORST job ever. I was so hoping you had a commenter here with the magic solution. I end up sweating and with scrapes and bruises on my hands – it’s terrible. And when I was preggers, he was simply out of luck.

  13. Dad.

    Let your husband change the sheet.

  14. While I am all for making my husband change the sheets, how in the world is HE supposed to get them up there? And how about when the sheets are wet and he is out of town? There HAS to be some trick, right?

  15. hmm…I’m the bunk bed sheet changing master. Seriously. I had one in high school just because it was fun. Um. Doing it while extremely pregnant? That might be a tricky one. Teach the boys how to do it. I’d totally pop on over to show ya however it’s a bit of a drive. 🙂

  16. I was getting all teary eyed and then laughing hysterically.
    Making bunk beds is a BITCH. I hate it. It is my most loathed chore. I HATE IT. The top bunk is bad. And just wait until your belly gets big. What a pain in the ass. Plus we had a guard rail on the bottom bunk which made the bottom a big pain too.
    There is no easy way. There just isn’t. My hubby always tells me to just pull the mattress of and put the sheets on and then put it back up there. Yeah right! Like I can just fling a mattress over my head no problem. Ack! I hate it!

  17. Who needs clean sheets? Soft, downy, April Mist scented sheets are over rated and underappreciated by the under 25 set.

    My sister did go to and get down filled throw blankets which were the perfect sized bunk bed comforters.

    My eldest daughter sleeps in my husband’s child hood bed.

    “It softens something hard in me to know my boys are using the same furniture their father used,…”

    I get that.

  18. Hee, hee! OK, instructions for making the Bunk bed:
    First, the mattress needs to be propped up onto the rails. Second – use a combo sheet set. [Our son had a loft bed, so we purchased a sheet set where the flat and fitted sheet were factory sewn together along the bottom and one side. This really helped!] Third, put sheet on bedd and push/slide back into place.

  19. How about a sleeping bags?

  20. By which I mean: a sleeping bag and an extra for when the first needs washing.

  21. okay, kinda late to the party. I always climbed up myself, but we have a very light IKEA mattress up there so I just kneel in the bed and start with the bottom, pull up, til I can climb down the ladder – then back up to get the far top corner.
    For pottying/accidents/leaks, etc: layers, baby! Fitted Sheet, Waterproof pad, fitted sheet,water proof pad – as many as I could get on there, so all that needed doing was peeling off the wet layers.

    Also: leaking pull-up tip: put cloth cover over top – I use pocket style cloth diapers myself, so the liner is super easy to wash – I put a disposable diaper on LB at night and the full cloth ensemble on top b/c he is such a heavy wetter. Keeps all the wet in! Even if you aren’t using cloth, I’d just go buy 3 or 4 covers you can toss in with the rest of your wash. I was changing the crib sheet everyday for 6 weeks before I did it & now, well, I need to remember to change it!
    Happy travels!

  22. A light weight mattress will help – i.e. not one of those numbers that are like 18″ thick and unbending.

  23. Is Zack strong enough to stretch those corners over? Like Magpie said, if the corners are less resistant, maybe that would make it possible for him to do?

    Another idea. Put two sets of mattress pad and sheets on. That way if there’s an accident in the middle of the night, or even if you find it in the morning, just take off the top set of sheets/pad and you won’t have to worry about putting them back on right away.

    Good luck!

  24. And now I just read Karen’s comment where she said that already. Oops!