In a simpler time, the four of us in the Laid-Off Lair had at least some proximate idea of where we slept every night. And it was comforting, because each evening you could arrive in the apartment, look over at the place where you routinely lay your head, and think, Yes. Later on, I will be in that place, horizontal, and listening to city employees play pétanque with trash cans.
That all changed a week ago when we did the inevitable--and put bunk beds in the Bert Sanctuary.
I say it was inevitable because bunk beds are a no-brainer space-saver; piling sleeping children on top of one another frees up much more space for the toys that are currently overwhelming the living room. It also provides more room for the pointy, the squishy, the wet, and other banes of the bare foot.
What didn't register, however, is that bunk beds are basically a jungle gym with mattresses, and who can sleep with so many opportunities to hang like a monkey? Or stick the dismount? Or hurl yourself through the side aperture like it's the General Lee and Sheriff Roscoe is on your tail? Bedtime is still at 8ish, but the sustained thumping persists, sometimes for more than an hour.
And then comes the sticky decision of where finally to lay your head, because since the bunks arrived there have been numerous permutations. The boys started out conservatively, with Robert on top and TwoBert below. (TwoBert balked at this arrangement, but Robert lawyered up on him and invoked the instructions, which stated clearly that the top bunk was strictly for ages six and up.) But he relented, and they switched. Then they shared the bottom. Then Robert took the floor, under the bottom. Then they both camped out on the floor, as if I'd never bought the damn thing and lugged it up four godforsaken flights of stairs.
On any night, after the kids have finally passed out, there is no assurance that either kid will be anywhere you'd expect. It's a matter of time before I find one of them hanging over the side of the top bunk by his feet. Like a possum, only with NASCAR pajamas.
I don't know when or if we'll ever achieve stasis on this, but I do know that my hands are still chafed and throbbing from putting the thing together. If Mr. Kamprad ever wants to double his fortune, he should consider opening a spa that caters to distressed knuckles.