Bed breakthrough
Who knew a king-size bed could change your life? Sam Wilson is still settling in.
(Tammy Gardner)

Andreas and I are not really ‘stuff’ people. Andreas is particularly bad at caring about things. One of my most heart-warmingly frustrating relationship memories is of the day our TV stopped working and he turned to me and said: ‘Oh well, babe. We watch too much TV anyway. So, what happened to you today?” Just like that. As if the notion of getting the TV fixed or replaced had not even occurred to him.

Our bed history is another example.  As students, we shared a single bed for years because, well, that was the bed in the room we rented, and we couldn’t be arsed to change it. (I still like sleeping with a wall-cold nose, actually.) When we got engaged, my parents couldn’t face it anymore and bought us a pine double bed with a foam mattress, which we have slept on for the last 14 years… busily beset by pregnancies, babies and now hulking sons.

The last few years have been particularly bad bed years, though. Just so you know, there is more individual room for two thinnish teenagers in a single bed than there is for two stoutish adults and two primary school boys in a double bed.

We don’t make this kind of change easily, so we tried everything. Not letting the boys in for their 2 am snuggle. (I rarely wake up when they sneak in from the bottom… which makes it a very bad habit to break. Also, dammit, I work all day. I like to get some wee hour snuggle time in with my sons, even if I am comatose for 90% of it.) Regimented four spooning. Top to taiIling. (Smelt a nine-year-old’s post soccer practice feet, lately?) I’ve even mastered sleeping with one hand on the floor.

But it was a few months ago, when I woke up with someone else’s elbow  up my nose and a husband sleeping on a yoga mat beside me, that I realized something had to give. We bit the bullet and bought a bigger bed.

We’ve now had a king-sized sleigh bed for almost a month. To say it’s changed our lives is to say peanut butter is moderately useful in lunchbox preparation. It’s REVOLUTIONISED our lives.

I’ll admit at first, it wasn’t all springs and roses.

“I feel like a John Denver song exploded in our bedroom,” said Andreas, worriedly, as soon as the shop folk had constructed the thing and left the building. “It’s the kind of bed his grandmother would die in. Lord knows, I am planning to die in it... because I can’t see us ever getting that bed out of that room, without industrial-grade power tools. There’s now more bed than room.”

“We’ll get used to it,” I said, patting him on the shoulder.

And boy, have we.  I seriously recommend having a tiny bed for years and years and years and then going straight for the biggest one in the bed shop. (Although that advice is a bit like banging your head against a wall because it feels so good when you stop, isn’t it?) I wake up each morning feeling like I got to sleep in the middle of a massive meringue. And I can roll nonchalantly over and CHOOSE who I want to snuggle with, if I want to at all. I now happen upon other duvetpeople, greet them and then snuggle back into my own bit of bed. It’s too, too glorious.

No more dead arms, dead weight and dead tired from getting woken up each time someone rolls over. I haven’t had to have a weekend afternoon nap for three weeks. (Well, obviously I have had naps. But I didn’t HAVE to.)

My best bed moment so far? Coming home from work to find two pyjamaed sons sitting in the unmade bed, poring over a piece of paper.

“Look!” said Joe. “We’ve made a map of our bed. Here, see? The Pillow Hills of Sleepiness lead into the Duvet Cove of Snuggle. Wanna come try it out?”

I may never get up again.

This article first appeared in Cape Town’s Child magazine.


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