The newest idea generator:
The prompt: What’s in your basement that you just can’t throw out.
Down the stairs, to the left, against the wall, under the cardboard castle, and behind the golf clubs, resides the crib in which my babies rested their enormous heads and tiny bodies.
For five years it kept one or the other one safe and contained in the dark of night. And sometimes in the light of day.
My daughter, who is now 16 and a world-class endurance sleeper, used to stand in the crib and scream her not-insubstantial lungs out when faced with the indignities of nap time. As if she would willingly miss out on whatever excitement was surely going on elsewhere (laundry, PowerPoint development – all the good stuff happens when kids are asleep – she knew.)
When her little brother came along it was time for her, at the tender age of 2 1/2 to move on up to a big girl room and a big girl bed. Because I feared breaking my first child by making her feel she was being replaced, I wanted the move to be her idea. And she was having none of it. Suddenly the crib was her favorite place to be. Even to nap. Uh oh.
Then she had a traumatic, yet well-timed nightmare about lobsters in her bed and was suddenly quite willing to let the newest, tiny family member have at it while she moved to a safer, lobster-free location in the big girl room.
Luckily the lobsters were imaginary and my baby boy, a willing and even enthusiastic day and night time sleeper, moved in with no further drama.
No drama that is until he hit about 18 months and was tall enough that his center of gravity was above the safety bar and he started to accidentally flip himself onto the floor if he leaned over too far. Since I wasn’t brave enough to set a child of under 2 loose on the house, we fitted him up with a “safety tent” that zipped him into the crib and kept him from falling out.
When he was closing in on 3 and showed no sign of willingness to move into HIS big boy bed, I realized that the safety message was a little too strong and the idea of being “loose” in a bed that had no roof or zipper was terrifying to him. As he was approaching the point where he would have to curl up like a snake to fit, a quick sell on the freedom of a real bed was in order and eventually he did move up and out. Which is a good thing since he’s now 13 and 6 feet tall and definitely wouldn’t fit in there anymore.
Once he was ensconced in the big bed, the question of what to do with the crib loomed. I thought, far in the back of my not-thinking-logically mind that maybe someday there would be another baby. Or grand babies. And since there was room in the basement, down it went.
Then the safety requirements for cribs were updated and the last relic of my babies is now apparently a death trap. Luckily their heads were truly huge, because the bars are now required to be closer together and if they were less cranially endowed they could have gotten stuck in there. Literally even.
So now, for 10 years, my death trap crib of nostalgia has been down there gathering dust. I tell myself it hasn’t been thrown out because I can never remember when it’s large trash day. And because it’s hidden behind the golf clubs, and a shelf, and under a cardboard castle.
But really I just can’t make myself get rid of the last reminder of the time when these huge, hormonal, frequently belligerent, marathon sleeping teenagers were tiny and sleep averse.
And you can’t make me.