For many years I have battled with Mia over her unmade bed.
I’ve ranted and raved, threatened, despaired, moaned, whined, shouted. All to no avail. Her bed remains unmade.
And her room remains a mess. Clothes on the floor, along with anything else she’s picked up for a nano second and decided she no longer wants; all left on the floor where she was standing when she picked them up.
There are old school projects she simply refuses to throw away (oh I’ve tried believe you me; she’s fished them out of the recycle bin without telling me and the first I know about it is when they’ve miraculously reappeared in the space between the bottom on her bed and the chest of drawers). There are books, shoes, bits of paper, a blanket from downstairs, her school bag, school tie.
It’s not like she doesn’t have loads of storage space to put them all in, she just can’t be bothered. Or she likes a sea of stuff covering her carpet. Or she enjoys winding me up.
And there’s the thing; I couldn’t live like that, but she can. Does. Wants to.
When she can’t find something I need to just let it play out instead of allowing steam to escape from my ears and do the whole “well, if you’d only tidy your room like I’ve asked you . . .”
So it got to the point when I started to wonder why on earth I was making such a big deal about it. It’s her space, her ‘stuff’. Is her school work going to suffer if her bed is made every morning? Will she be a better person if I can see her carpet and not a sea of detritus? Of course not. It sounds like an easy position to get to, but did I mention that I couldn’t live like that? It wasn’t easy let me tell you, as every time I walked in her room, I would inwardly roar. And then turn around and shut the door and try to forget about it.
In the middle of all this I got a lovely email from the people at the Great Little Trading Company (whose catalogue I used to browse ALL THE TIME when my kids were little and would covet their gorgeous bedrooms). They wanted to know if Mia would like a bunkbed and would we review it?
I knew if I asked her she would bite my arm off right up to the elbow. It’s her dream. She wants to sleep on the top bunk and have the bottom bunk as a sofa.
So we say yes please and the husband suggests we also redecorate Mia’s room and make it a new grown up space. Give it a warm colour, change the pictures around.
We make a trip to Tesco to find some boxes because she wants to pack her whole room up into boxes and ‘pretend I’m moving house’. She locks herself away for most of the day and packs. Every now and again she pokes her head out of the door and asks if she should pack her books in one box or separate them so she can carry them into the spare room.
It’s possibly the cutest thing ever.
Mia and the husband paint her room together, Mia does the cutting in, husband does the rollering. She wears the most gorgeous little smile on her face the whole time.
Then it’s time to build the bed: we had the Bright White Darwin Bunk Bed.
We’ve built a lot of flat pack furniture over the years. We’ve experienced all kinds of instructions, from the plain useless to the amazingly detailed.
These instructions sit somewhere in the middle.
The build quality is excellent. I know this because every now and again, the husband stands back and does this little nod thing to indicate he’s rather impressed!
It all goes up rather quickly, but then disaster. We’ve put the side panels of the beds on the wrong way around. The instructions are mainly picture led and it doesn’t clearly show you which way around they should be used (or where the pre-drilled holes should be) and it’s not until we move onto the next phase of the build and turn the page, we realise our mistake.
So we have to take most of it apart and start again. Grrrr.
We get to the step ladder. We build it as instructed, go to fit it to the side of the bunk beds, but wait, what? It doesn’t fit. Oh, it does fit, you just can’t slot it into place with all of the slats fitted. We have to take the top one off, fit it to the side of the bunk and then add the top rung back in.
I suspect no one within the company has actually built the bed using the instructions. They’ve probably built a million beds like it and just whip them up in no time from memory. Well, we’ve not built a million beds like it and it was really annoying that the start of our GLTC journey was one of frustration.
Anyway, once it was finished and the mattresses were added, the bedding put in place and one very happy 9 year old was installed, I have to say we were delighted.
And here’s the best bit of all; since having her room revamped she has decided that she wants to be more grown up and keep it tidy.
The floor remains unlittered, she puts things back in their place when she’s finished with them and she MAKES HER BED.
She still throws dirty clothes under the bed mind you. Into that invisible laundry basket under there, see it?