Perfect child’s bedroom rests in simplicity

I recently visited a large mall and sat waiting for my daughter.
Across the walking aisle from where I was sitting was a pottery barn kids (no capital letters). A Pottery Barn for children? Really? I wanted to make a placard and march in front of the store with an indignant attitude.
“Stop the madness,” I might have shouted.
A child’s bedroom should be simple and carefree, without things that match. I began thinking of the perfect child’s bedroom and almost rubbed my hands together in anticipation.
I would start with a large cardboard box, from a furniture store or appliance store, and tape a bunch of them together like a row of condominiums—cutting doors and windows as required.
I’d hang a swing rope from the ceiling that would allow me to fly from the bed to the doorway with ease.
I used to try to get out of my bedroom without touching the floor—a strategy my mother found annoying when she was rushing me out the door and one my father found entertaining.
“Uhn-uhn,” he would say, pointing to the floor when I narrowly missed a fall from my dresser.
Those last two feet by the door were always the killer. A swing rope definitely would solve that problem.
A fireman’s pole leading directly to the kitchen would come in handy when I was in urgent need of food. I’d also need a self-cleaning wall to record a list of the options of what I might become, such as superhero or lion tamer, and I could practice my times-tables on slow days.
I would like a colourful basket with the essential toys: a view-master (I had one with only one disc of the Hoover Dam, sad but true), a kaleidoscope, and a spool for knitting (I had a long yellow tube from my spool knitting efforts that would have circled the globe; a good stress-reliever).
I always wanted a box of 64 crayons with the sharpener built right into the box, though it always seemed slightly extravagant and does even now (but still on my list).
Pick-up-sticks or jacks could round out the inventory of the toy box.
Maybe another need on my list would be a tree right outside my bedroom window—the perfect climbing tree, but not one I might fall from. So I’d need lots of branches to maneuver through and find my way down to the ground.
I wouldn’t want to go the way of Pollyanna. Remember her? Tree. Fell. Paralyzed. Lost her sunny disposition (I digress, but simply put, the perfect climbing tree for a hasty escape should robbers enter my home or anything requiring an immediate departure).
I also would want a secret doorway in the closet. I built a secret door in the closet between my youngest daughters’ bedrooms. They didn’t use it much, but they could have; it was just waiting for that day of adventure to come around.
Everyone needs a secret and what better one than a secret doorway leading to somewhere other than the hall.
A friend of mine had a secret door in her closet that led to an incredibly magical place: the attic. We set up a tent in that space, built out of blankets and sheets with a hole the perfect size and position to see out the little attic window to nowhere in particular.
It was a magical space inside a magical attic behind a secret door. Doesn’t get any better than that.
You won’t find these things in a pottery barn kids; you have to look somewhere else—your imagination.
Next on the list should be a tree fort, just out of sight, with a rope ladder I can pull up so I am safe from everything, but still within earshot when supper is ready.
Oh rats, I am the one making supper now. Back to reality.
wendistewart@live.ca

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