The Crib Vanishes


The picture above is of me, having put together the frame of Nora’s new little girl bed outside, trying to get it through the front door. I probably should have measured the thing to start with, but I managed to get it through without difficulty. The stairs, on the other hand…

The bed replaces the crib that Nora’s been sleeping in for the past three years, and with the vanishing of the crib (in reality, the disassembly and relocation of the crib to the basement), so passes an era. It was almost six years ago that we managed to locate a used wooden crib and spent a hot summer afternoon refurbishing it. Grandma Rosemarie came up — it was terribly soon after Wendy’s death — and together we gave it a new coat of paint, and finally screwed it together in place in what would become Vivian’s nursery. We painted the nursery walls yellow, because we didn’t want to tempt fate by picking a gender colour and getting it wrong. My mother helped by sewing a wonderful set of venetian blinds, and aunt Therese would later visit and adorn the blackboard-painted closet doors with a “Welcome Vivian” doodle.

Vivian slept in that room for two years before Erin and I did up the room beside it (formerly a guest room, and before that, our master bedroom), as Vivian’s new big girl room. The idea was to have Vivian get excited about changing rooms and sleeping in a big girl bed without connecting it to Nora’s imminent arrival. That seemed to work. The nursery lay fallow for a couple of months before Nora’s arrival, and that’s been Nora’s bedroom ever since.

Now that Nora is sleeping in a big girl bed, she seems to be taking to it better than Vivian did. Vivian was younger when she changed over, and there were a few days when we’d hear a big thump, followed by a wail, as Vivian fell out of bed. None of that from Nora, though on the first night we did find her fast asleep, slumped face first in the room’s big armchair. On day two, she’d at least climbed into the armchair and had curled up. By day three, she woke up in her own bed.

The room has changed considerably, just by replacing the crib. It looks bigger and more open, now, and full of possibilities. And we haven’t even begun to redecorate it, to celebrate Nora’s graduation to a big girl bed. And, of course, we’ll be redecorating Vivian’s room as well. In the interests of equality and, well, peace.


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