Learning to Pause for an Emotional Purchase
So next month Juliana will be turning four. We are pretty excited about it; excited to see more maturity and movement come as she gets older. The other thing we are excited about is her transition to a toddler bed. When we purchased Juliana’s transitional crib some seasons ago, we had every intention of taking it from infanthood to a full size bed. Well as we all know, life changes and we must change with it. So while the crib can indeed function in this way, we know it won’t work as is. That means we’ve got to open the wallet to accommodate her need for another bed. We are all for purchasing whatever we need to make Juliana’s life better, but as I started to make plans for the bed, I began to re-think our initial idea and we have changed course a little.
Juliana is quite active at night. Her routine includes a course of rolling, jumping, walking, tossing her animals out of the crib and then hide and seek with those same animals. For her to be safe, we have to have a bed that keeps her enclosed. Her crib has endured a lot and it’s still going strong. Initially, we started looking for twin bunk beds that we could modify into a safe surrounding environment. We have friends who did this and turned their daughter’s bed into a sweet little cottage. It looks like a little house and her bed is on the inside. So a while back we decided that was the route we would take. We had already enlisted friends to help us build it.
Then, this weekend something changed. I hadn’t had time to even start looking at bunk beds. The plan was to scour Craigslist, find a set and then modify it from there. So my husband Lamar took the lead and started the search and I plowed through a sea of bunk beds both reasonably and unreasonably priced. I started to get a little frustrated. We have been talking about this forever and now it’s time to make a move. The idea is to have the bed ready for her birthday on February 11th. Maybe I was left with my thoughts for too long, but the project started to feel off.
Don’t get me wrong, I am ready for Juliana to climb into her own bed for sweet dreams. Right now, I almost need a ladder to lift her over the side of the crib and aim for a safe landing. Whew! But I felt we needed to slow down with what we were doing. As I looked and looked at more and more beds, they didn’t look much different from the crib she already has. When I told Lamar he said “Why don’t we just use her crib?” Duh, then I thought “Why not?” It made sense. If we’re already planning to modify a bed that looked like hers why not just modify her existing one? And I know I hadn’t thought about it before because I was thinking of the bed from an emotional point of view. I was all caught up in that cottage. But when Lamar and I sat down together to talk about next steps, it seemed that we could do something more reasonable. With a few modifications, we can easily turn Juliana’s transitional crib into a safe toddler bed for her. Problem solved and at far less than half the initial cost estimate.
As parents, we want the best for our children. And much of that comes at a cost. Sometimes it’s financial, sometimes it’s paid in other ways. But wouldn’t it be great if we could just pause for the big things. In a special needs life, there’s always a purchase of something else, something more, something necessary. We have a lifetime to manage this, so I want to be a good steward of our resources and make every dollar count. We could have easily plowed through with our original plans and I’m sure it would have turned out fine. But, by taking a few minutes to pause, we have saved a lot and we still have a solution for Juliana’s sleep needs. Now, as she grows we will see what’s needed next and then go from there. Who knows, a nice big cottage house may still be in her future.