Monday, July 28, 2008

Still life at the beginning of a new day

July 28, 2008, 7:15am

A bed, a big-girl bed, well-rumpled by its proud new owner, who slept 10+ uninterrupted hours for the first time in four years, even though she's only two-and-a-half.

Although E had been protesting any early onset of big-girl-bed occupancy for several weeks, Saturday night she slept poorly yet again. She had refused the crib, lain on the floor, climbed into our bed, climbed out of our bed, lain on the floor, and woken awake but not so rested. So yesterday morning when I asked her gently, yet again, would you like your big-girl bed tonight instead of waiting? she looked at me seriously and quietly answered. Yes.

Grandma and I took the girls to see butterflies, and Grandpa and M moved this bed out of the playroom-formerly-known-as-guest-bedroom and into E's bedroom. Then while everybody played downstairs I removed a duvet from a comforter and pulled on a new duvet; unshammed and reshammed two pillows; and pulled brand-new purple sheets out of the dryer and onto the mattress. While the bed is pushed into a corner, M still installed two guardrails, so our girl who likes to fall out of bed has nowhere to go. And when we showed her our work, she was very excited.

E is the third generation to make this bed home. She's sleeping on a frame well experienced in nurturing dreams. This bed was my bed for the years that I lived by myself. It matches the dresser and mirror that E already has in her room. The set was a gift to me, part of my dowry, I was told, by an older woman my family had cared for for years. She and her husband had never had children of their own. This was the bedroom set they bought when they were young, newly married, and freshly immigrated to this side of the Atlantic. Mrs. Shirer didn't live to see me have kids but she loved children, and also all things feminine, as attested to by the large collection of pink glass vases and hand-embroidered linens that I also have from her. I think she would love to know that a little girl has her antique bed: covered in purple sheets; a sparkle pillow; three monkeys, a turtle, an elephant, two bears, a kitty cat and a snake, all in purple; and Purple Girl, naked Baby Doll with her pink blanket, and a brown doggie; and by this transformation and her 360 degree rotational sleeping pattern, made it her own.
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