What is dangerous is arguing it’s not..
I am in bed with a fisherman. Well, not literally, the fisherman is on top of me. Well, not literally, he’s hovering over my head. Let me just clarify. I am in a set of kids bunk beds, double kids bunk beds. Yes, literally. Two king size beds, one on top of the other, scaffolded together with what I hope are strong steel pillars. Because my husband is in the bed above, without a fisherman but with three kids.
I am staring at a picture of an Icelandic fisherman who is staring out at a fishing boat on a cold grey sea. The picture is underneath the top bunk, or is that on the roof of the bottom bunk. I don’t know and I don’t care. I’m warm and about to dream of cod wars, as soon as the giggling and wriggling on top stops. And I don’t mean the fisherman.
“Why can’t we have beds like this at home?” asks Hannah, peering down at me over the upstairs rails, to a chorus of approval from her bed mates. Well, mostly Stuart. He’s such a kid.
“Be careful Hannah, get back from the edge,” I scold. “Bunk beds are dangerous.”
Bunk beds are dangerous??
There’s more laughter upstairs. But I’m serious.
“Don’t you remember the time Cameron fell out of the top bunk and smashed his head on the floor?” I remind them all.
“He was only trying to lick the roof to see if it was made out of sugar,” says Matthew.
“It wasn’t. He fell out, hit his head and was sick,” I retort.
“The sugar goblin pushed me out,“ cries Cameron who is now hanging over the edge too.
“You were asleep and rolled over. Get back from the sides all of you.”
Am I cotton wool parenting again?
Our family does this, creates sugar coated legends out of what to me are very real and dangerous incidents. Why is it only me that sees the danger?
“We should have beds like this at home,” says Stuart. Now they’re all peering over the side and I’m sure it’s going to topple. “Why do we all have separate beds and separate rooms?”
“That’s a great idea Dad. We could have a five singles tower bed,” says Matthew.
“We’d be one happy tiered family.”
“Yay,” they all cheer.
Twenty years of arguing and I still get it wrong
It’s not a great idea. But there’s no point arguing. Twenty years of arguing and you’d think I’d know that riding a bike on ice is not dangerous, trying to cross a border illegally is not dangerous, crossing a fast flowing river on a fallen tree is not dangerous, kids bunk beds with or without rails are not dangerous. What is dangerous is arguing it’s not dangerous. I’m fed up being cast as Cassandra, always having to remind people of the very real dangers of living.
I try a different tack. “Anyone want to come down for a cuddle with mum? It’s so nice and warm down here. And I’ve got my own fisherman.”
They respond with a pillow fight. One of the pillows flies over the edge and lands with a thump on the floor. Stuart just laughs it off. The fisherman is the only man getting anywhere near my bed tonight.
Do you disagree with others about risk?