Bug and Lu share a bedroom. When Bug outgrew the crib three years ago, I was excited for the next step: a bunkbed.
I had a bunkbed growing up. It was super fun. I slept on the top. I would hang my head over the side and talk with my little brother. We found all different ways to get on (and off) the top bunk, very few of which involved the ladder. Some methods were safer than others, but we lived to adulthood, so all's well there. We had lots of room to play on the floor, since it was unencumbered by an extra bed. We set up Playmobile villages. Life was beautiful.
Clearly, a bunkbed was a great idea for my own daughters, if not an important childhood rite. Not to mention, all my friends' kids had bunkbeds. Now, if all my friends told me to jump off a bridge, I wouldn't. Really. But knowing my intelligent, helpful, and more experienced friends also took the double-decker bed route, helped the decision to be even more of a no-brainer: everyone was doing it.
Friends - why didn't you tell me?
There are a few fundamental flaws of bunkbeds which no one felt necessary to mention:
- They are heavy and hard to move. It's worse if they're on top of carpet. If you ever want your kids to clean under the bed, you might be out of luck. They'll get some of it. Maybe even most of it. But they will never get it all.
- Mattresses. Bunkbeds don't fit normal mattresses. Sure, you can get them onto the bed, but if you would like your child to have sheets on the bed, dream on. The fit is so blasted tight that your fingers lose circulation trying to make the bed. Of course, this is not a problem if you don't make the bed...but as you know by now, I consider an unmade bed pure torture - and would feel abusive as a parent to not insist upon the luxury of a made bed for my children (of course, they're responsible for actually doing the making...someday they'll thank me). So, you pick - buy a "bunky board" mattress and add it to your growing collection, along with their crib mattress and future twin or full-size, or do you just feel the pain each time you try to sheet the bed?
- Speaking of making the bed: the whining. Every. Day. Because it's hard to make a bed with railings on the side. It would almost be better to let them roll out a few times and break an arm or two, than to deal with the constant whining. I said almost.
- They are dangerous. Okay, no personal experience with this one - except for seeing stars after being knocked upside the head after climbing up to the top bunk for something and forgetting to turn of the ceiling fan - but I'm in the mood to find faults, and 'people' have said it, so I'll add it to the list.
- But here's the real kicker: changing the sheets. Those of you who knew me when I was pregnant with #3 are aware that I was literally stuck, lying on my back, under the bottom bunk when trying to change the sheets, at 37 weeks pregnant. That's a whole other story, but nearly 2 1/2 years later, I still haven't recovered from the terror of wondering if I would give birth all alone under a bed with no one to hear my cries. I am not pregnant, but continue to dread changing the sheets. That's Tuesday's chore, by the way. I am nearly always grumpy on Tuesdays, and I doubt it's a coincidence. If not lying under the bottom bed, trying to yank sheets under, then I've found it necessary to balance the bunk bed on my head while pulling sheets underneath. I am grateful for the strength of my neck, and yet, I fear it might snap sometime. Bunkbeds are dangerous beasts, I tell you.
So now you know: bunkbeds are NOT the innocent space-saving, happy furniture they appear. My condolences if you have one already. And if not...you are very lucky to have read this post.
I think that's enough now.