Too big for big-girl beds

It’s just a bed.

A little twin bed with a tendency to creak too much for our daughter’s liking.  It’s also way too small, according to Amanda, who is prone to exaggeration and has been dying for a new one for the last few years.

I remember when we all used to be able to fit in that bed. The whole family would  climb in together – Amanda, Rick, me and even Alec, who usually ended up falling into the crack between bed and wall and had to be rescued.

Much thought was put into buying that bed. We went to several different stores, my thought that it had to fit into a little girl’s room but be grown-up enough that if she wanted to take it with her to her first apartment, it would still be OK. I actually thought that.

It’s oak, with a white wash so it sort of matches her dressers, which also seemed important then. And it has an arched headboard and footboard with simple vertical slates and a trundle bed underneath that is concealed by fake drawer fronts. That also seemed important, the sleepovers.

The dressers were already there, one with a dressing table on top, which we bought with a matching crib. Amanda was two and a half and fine with her crib. Never jumped out or even tried. But the new baby was due in a few months and as custom dictated, the transition to the big-girl bed had to be done before little brother arrived (so the older kid wouldn’t resent the baby for pushing her out of babyhood and one day rock him so hard while they were sitting right next to the new bed that he bucked his head back and needed stitches).

Oh wait, that happened anyway.

Amanda was excited when we bought the new bed. Knowing me and the fact that I was eight months pregnant, I’m pretty sure I cried or at least wanted to as Rick dismantled the crib and put this giant piece of adult furniture in my baby’s room. The new baby would get a more neutral hand-me-down dresser and crib from his cousins, so Amanda’s would be packed up and sold.

We bought bright yellow sheets to go with a multi-colored comforter, which also seemed a shock to the system after the pastels of babyhood. Rick took pictures of Amanda lying in the new bed in her purple zip-up footie jammies, arms behind her head on the new yellow pillow, knees propped up and looking like a teenager.

She was so proud.

But not that smart.

In the morning when she woke up, she forgot she was no longer restricted by a crib and like she had been doing, called for us.

“I’m up,” she yelled. “Daaaddy, can I get up?”

Of course, my husband being my husband, couldn’t resist.

“Nooo,” he called back, both of us terribly amused that she didn’t know she could get up on her own.

I believe in some states, this would qualify as child abuse.

Rick was usually the reader and would lie in the bed with Amanda for at least five to 10 minutes before I’d find both asleep. As she got older, that bed was where I’d get all the very important news of the day that she was too busy or too bothered to tell me in her upright hours and would now be too horrified to share in the same detail.

It was also the bed where all the sleepovers took place, the first of them and in truth, most of them, her brother Alec making the trip over from his room next door.

She turned 14 on Saturday, after what we all decided was at least 18-19 months of being 13. And in a weak moment, with no other birthday present to offer and a very good mattress salesman doing his thing, we broke down and bought a new, truly big-girl bed.

This one has no real character, just a queen-sized mattress, box spring, metal frame and a headboard they “threw in” for $89.  And I’ve scarcely seen Amanda more excited.

It arrives tomorrow morning. So tonight, Rick is dismantling her old one and getting it ready for a potential buyer. Last night he took a picture of it for Craig’s List and we both remembered the last one we took with the purple footie jammies.

Hopefully, anyone interested will not mind the little dent where Alec’s head banged into it. Or the glued-in knobs on the head and footboards, so Amanda would stop pulling them out.

Maybe they’ll have sibling sleepovers in it too, and hear the same giggles late into the night as we did.

I will try not to cry as he boxes it up, mostly because everyone in the house will make fun of me.

Or maybe I’ll just go somewhere they won’t hear me.



  1. Oh boy, wait till college! I loved this. They do grow up way too fast…other than the years between 13-19 which went VERY slow with my girls.

  2. Yvette

    Every column touches my heart…I remember “my own daughter’s new bed” and am now watching “my little girl” do the same thing for my granddaughter as “my little girl” awaits her 2nd child! Melissa, I think you know what is in my head all the time! Thank you for expressing my feelings so beautifully….

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