I can remember all my beds. Each one holds memories: my bunk bed as a kid; my teenage bed with its creaking headboard that made late night furtive fumblings particularly precarious;
the mattress on the floor at university (for some reason, forgotten now, beds were a sign of the imperialist bourgeoisie– so I had a mattress on the floor and its base propped up against the wall. How that made sense in terms of utilising space I have no idea – proof if ever needed that the smartest kids aren’t the ones doing the further studies); my first London mattress when I had moved to the city – cheap and without support – perfectly reflecting my lifestyle; the single bed in South London I shared with a lover, from which I left each day with a cricked back but a big smile; the double bed we bought together as a proper couple; the mattress I threw away after a soiled relationship; our marital bed which we bought as excited newly weds and lay in as we tried and tried for a child; the hospital bed that wifey lay in in preparation for her IVF and I sneaked in to join her and do my best to cuddle away her fears, before here eggs were extracted.
The time has come to move M from her cot to her own child’s bed. The transition from crib to bed is another milestone in M’s life. It’s a big step as she moves from the confines of slatted bars that prevent her from rolling and falling onto the floor to a bed that only offers her limited protection.
We surfed online at the Silentnight bedding website but then took the advice of a parent expert who suggested that the child should be involved in the choice of her own bed. So we went shopping. M was excited as she ran round the shop looking for her bed, but before we could explain that she didn’t have choice of everything in the shop she was pulling herself up onto the biggest most expensive and exclaiming “my bed my bed”. When I explained that she couldn’t have that one and there was a budget, there were tears and sulks. It was just like shopping with her mother.
Eventually we agreed upon a suitable one that suited her desires and my pocket. In 4 weeks it will be delivered and M’s bed adventures will take a new step.
First published May 2012