Just as sure as the earlier sunsets signal the upcoming season, writing the first day of school on the calendar has signaled the need to get ready.
Attitudes flared in the heat, and it was decided that we give the kids two full weeks to acclimate to the school schedule. Complaints aside, there is a distinct comfort to knowing what happens at 8pm, even if it isn’t what they want to be doing.
My partner had the idea of making the morning routine a checklist over just a posted schedule. The simple act of a checkmark somehow made all the difference in whether the kids achieved all 4 objectives. I printed the checklists out and just need to laminate them to be school year ready.
The other major change was to settle my son into his own space. A stupid ugly situation developed around an unrelated claim as the local sheriff deputy insisted the children could not be allowed to sleep in their bunk bed anymore. With only two bedrooms, the question arose of who would be relegated to the living room. The band-aid solution was to pitch his pup tent in the living room. This worked for a weekend until the other child got jealous. We then spent the rest of the school year and the summer up to now switching out who sleeps in the living room each night. Every night, pitching the tent, hauling pillows and blankets and sleeping bag and a dozen stuffed animals around, just to do the reverse every morning.
I see all the Murphey furniture on the IG, so I had been developing a sensible plan to build something like it ever since. Over the summer, after busting tail to push a big order out, I dug into a pile of pallet lumber that I’ve been lugging around and tripping over for way too long. I got as far as gluing them into panels and planing to thickness, but then the project stalled. I had slightly more than two weeks without my son to knock out the project, and I wanted so much to do so. Days into the break, I scaled down my expectations to just the bed. Halfway through, I started to just accept that nothing was going to happen on it at all.
I picked up my son last Wednesday to begin my summer block, and it was the tent as usual. Finally, with implementation of schedules came the fact that we had to do something for him. I scavenged a steel bed frame (and disinfected it!) to help deal with the situation when it came up, and the time came. A few pieces of furniture got nixed and we attempted to use the ez-up to wall out a room, but no avail. So, like the hippies we are, hung bed sheets on the ceiling! But, at least he has a proper bed.
Meanwhile, I’m stressed out by the difficulty in just getting productive hours clocked in. My son’s bed is just the latest project to stall and get me down. Finally, leaning on the schedule and just insisting on getting my hours in has allowed a bit of a breakthrough.
I made decent progress yesterday and made it home to put the family to bed, not on schedule, but maybe 15 minutes earlier than usual. This is why we called for two whole weeks of working on it! As I put my son to bed, I let out my plan of making him a bed that folds up against the wall and some kind of solid walls. WHAT!?!? A BED THAT SOMETHING INTO THE WALL!?!? …ugh, wrong thing to say at bedtime! A million burning questions later, I get him to calm down by telling him he’s just going to have to wait to see it.
Well, that bed is about the coolest thing since sliced bread now, and there’s a recognized need for it to be done. Today, the neighbor upstairs delivered a PBR under the mostly closed bay door and once I stopped running the saw, I told him about my project. I went back to the saw and kept at a big pile of stock all getting 2 1/4″ rabbets. As I was gluing up, the guys decided to call it a night. I called my partner, who was struggling to pull our kids away from the extremely sweet old neighbors, and decided I would stay and put in a few more hours. There’s something I relish about burning the midnight oil. Probably just the time to myself. To be in my thoughts and work through things. To just chew on something, mentally speaking. I lined out the rest of my cuts and did some more gluing up. It’s a long process as I’m tragically short of clamps, but isn’t every maker? Upon closing up tonight, my son’s fold up (into a cabinet) bed is only a few more glue ups, sanding, and spraying finish away from him having it.
Having basically clinched the regional title for #1 Dad, the only thing left to do was run for the light rail home after the tracker app lied to me. I hopped off the bus casually, thinking I had only four blocks to stroll in 2 minutes. To my horror, I saw the unmistakable blue light and ran. Of course, I didn’t make it at my intended stop, but the stop after that was only 2 more blocks down and I stood a chance of getting home by midnight if I ran. So ran I did! I ran until my lungs burned, and in defiant spite my fears that I wouldn’t make it, I sprinted the last two blocks. I stabbed my arm in the closing doors as I more or less crashed through them! A small round of applause was the cherry on my day as I plopped down on the nearest seat.
Small victories, maybe. But I take what I can get these days!