Counting Sheep

30 11 2009

The only notable aspect of my younger son’s experience as a wee lad in a crib was that he mostly wanted to be out of it.  The instant he woke up every morning he let me know in no uncertain terms that he was ready to be freed from that particular prison—immediately.

He got a little bigger and I had visions of him moving to the ubiquitous “big boy bed.”  But he had other ideas.  He discovered that an unfolded futon-type floor chair/cushion would just fit in his closet.  It was like a train compartment.  So began his sleeping-on-the-floor-of-his-closet phase.  He liked the coziness, plus the fact that the arrangement freed up the rest of the room for other stuff.  (Years later when I read about Harry Potter and his sleeping-under-the-stairs setup at Vernon and Petunia Dursley’s house, it had a familiar ring.)

He quite literally outgrew that stage and needed a regular size mattress to sleep on.  Which led him to the loft/bunk bed stage.  He slept up top, and used the space underneath for a desk, for storage, or for seating.  He always seemed to be reorganizing and revamping the setup.

Then we did a major upstairs rearrangement and he ended up in the old guest room, the room over the garage.  It’s big—really big—but it has almost no vertical walls.  They’re either bent in to accommodate the roof or they’re punched out gables with windows at the end.  Not suitable for bunk beds.  He opted to put the mattress directly on the floor, which put him right at window height, better for keeping an eye on neighborhood activities.

About that time he was frequently camping with the Boy Scouts, and he embraced the sleeping bag.  All the time.  Sheets, blankets, comforters, quilts, and bedspreads were a hassle.  Just throw a sleeping bag on the mattress.

When he went off to college last fall I thought he would join the ranks of the 98 percent of Americans who sleep in a regular bed the regular way.  We went out and bought a new mattress pad, sheets, and pillow.  We packed it all up along with a nice comforter.

It lasted until the weather turned cool.  But the call of the wild sleeping bag was too much for him.  He’s still in the bed, but he’s back in the sleeping bag.

I find it all very endearing.

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