Saga of the Triplet Bunk

Last fall we started looking and preparing for the next bedroom upgrade, from toddler beds to kid beds. A whole five minutes ago we were in three, tiny cribs and popping in and out all night long to keep them there. The girls live in the high percentage for height and while their toddler beds looked huge in comparison to their little bodies when they were three and a half, now they stretch out and their feet nearly hit the bottom rail.

Completing the next bedroom upgrade has proved to be a saga in our triplet led life. After looking around locally and finding no options, I began the online shopping for a more customized triple bunk bed with storage. I scanned a number of different models and types; deciding three vertically stacked was too high up for my comfort level, and probably the bedroom ceiling, and that two directly above a big one would result in some head bonking. So two above and one below made the most sense for the room size and for more open floor space for bookshelves or other kiddo activities.

After careful review I eventually selected two twin mattresses on the top at a ninety degree angle and a full bed below one of the twins. Top access included a kid sized stairway on one side, decked out with great storage access and drawers, and the other top bunk had a ladder and open space below it. Three, large drawers also fit under the full mattress. Measurements indicated the new furniture would take up most of their bedroom and leave little space for anything else, but that’s what a bedroom is for…right?!

Here is where it gets more interesting. Wayfair does indeed ship to Alaska, but wanted $750 to do just that. Instead, I shipped the selected merchandise to Aunt Tami and Uncle Jeff in California, which only took a couple of days after ordering (doesn’t that sound nice!). Then Papa Cliff picked up the three big boxes, loaded them in his truck and trailer, and hauled it up the Alcan Highway to get it here a little while after Christmas. Knowing it would take a bit to get it here, I ordered during Black Friday sales, even though we weren’t planning on assembling it for a few more months. Once Papa Cliff dropped it off, it sat for two more months in the family room as we pushed the girls to sleep in their beds overnight, which Harper and Emerie did a great job with and Reagan is still a work in progress. During the month of March we made this a competition to see who would end up getting which spot, knowing that no matter what, they would all fight and argue where ever they ended up and we needed to somehow avoid that drama.

Harper and Emerie were both up for the challenge, noting pretty early on they both wanted a top bunk. Reagan claimed the same, but also reminds me that she will sleep in Mom and Dad’s bed forever because she doesn’t want to sleep in her bed. To her credit, at least she is honest! Reagan acquired the big, full bottom bed by process of elimination and while she scoffed at the decision being made for her, I think she will like having all the extra space. She also commented that the bigger bed was better for her because she has the most stuffies; at least, she sleeps with the most, like four pandas, a bunny, an abominable snowman, a huge hamster, sometimes a doll, and many other things. The parents’ made the call which kid would go in each top bunk, and planned for Emerie to use the staircase and railing, due to ensuring her safety at night without her glasses on, while Harper could use the ladder. Harper also gets out of her bed the least overnight, so it makes sense she will have the ladder access.

This weekend Craig and I ran to midtown and picked up three mattresses at Mattress Ranch. At home we searched for the bed directions and of course that was in the final box we opened, after combing through all the pieces. I took the grandmas and girls to dance and gymnastics while he organized everything and discovered the box with all the bed slats was filled with mold and much of the woodwork was not salvageable. In addition, a number of the pieces were labeled incorrectly or not at all, and we were missing a whole bag of screws. All in all, it’s quite impressive that Craig was even able to understand and comprehend directions with missing pieces and get it built.

Cosleeping on the bottom before the bed was fully built.

We figured out the mattresses purchased earlier in the day were going to be too tall for Harper to safely sleep against the rails and defy gravity. Before calling it a day we ran back to the store and swapped them all out for a shorter version, and set up the full sized bed. Knowing that all the upper bed slats were moldy and unusable, we had the girls sleep horizontally on the bottom bed for the first night, which is how we did it at Becky’s house last summer and while in Juneau. Little did we know the lower mattresses would also allow the girls to just barely stand up straight and not hit the ceiling. That won’t be the case in another month; and I’m guessing we will see the tears from it until they remember to crouch down.

Who knew it would be so fun to leave the top bunks open. Once the side stairs were assembled and attached, the room briefly became a trampoline park full of giggling five-year-olds. Thank goodness most of the bottom bed slats touched the floor; we did have to fix a few broken ones before completing the entire task the next day.

Once Craig found replacement screws and purchased lumber to make more slats, the girls were beyond excited for this project to be done already. Grandma Sue and I took the girls to pick out new sheets and massive Frozen pillows and then assembled the sleeping quarters with the final touches, including a lot of stuffed animals, sheets and princess comforters.

I was surprised that the first real night of the new bed setup provided some emotion for me; I did not expect it. It feels as though our baby era is really over and we now have three beautiful, little girls, climbing up into their big girl beds and somewhat sleeping through the night (well two out of three isn’t terrible). It is very surreal and feels like yesterday we were in bringing them home to cribs and later toddler beds. My Facebook memories this week reminded me they had their first bath five years ago this week in the NICU, and I still can’t comprehend so much has happened so quickly! I’m not sure I’m quite ready for this advancement, but if you can depend on anything, it’s that time will continue to pass. And after the wildness and excitement of the first night passed, everyone settled in and eventually went to sleep. Reagan was the only one that insisted she missed the old bed and wanted it back; Harper and Emerie seem quite pleased with their new spots. And no, Reagan did not sleep through the first two nights in there!

Now that a couple of days have passed, we’ve seen some blood (Harper flipping over the stair railing and landing on her chin), stubbed toes, some fighting and jealousy over personal spaces, and continually excited tiny humans. The room feels very different and more mature, but otherwise not much in our day to day has changed other than my realization that my babies are continuing to grow up!

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