When I was a week old, we moved to Maine. We lived in a trailer on the same street as my grandmother. My room was the smallest in the house and to maximize the space available, my mom converted my closet into a crib/bed.
I tried my best to illustrate.
Although I tease my mom about putting me in a cage, it was a remarkable use of the space and made sense. I was little and didn’t take up much space for sleeping…my toys on the other hand seemed to exponentially grow out of control.
My mom is a problem solver. She has always amazed me (as much as I deny it) with her ability to look at a problem and see many solutions. She is a doer, a crafter, a fixer. She can’t help it; and although she often has great ideas, her approach to helping my keep my room clean ended up in vivid nightmares (mine) and endless yelling (hers).
Like many little girls I had a large collection of stuffed animals. And like many little children, my stuffed animals never found a single home – I spread them out across the room and probably never put them away. How could I? They were my babies and pets!
My mom, in a decisive moment of “I’ll fix this problem if it kills me” took all of my stuffed animals and sewed little Velcro dots on the backs of all their heads. Sewed! On their HEADS! She then hot glued the other half of the Velcro dots to the wall of my room. Right across from my crib cage!
I was too young to remember the conversation, but I imagine it went something like this:
“Look, Heather,” Mom pointed to the wall where rows upon rows of black dots lined the wall.
“Oh no!” I exclaimed, “The wall is sick!” I’m sure I said something precocious and adorable which made my mom laugh and smile and ruffle my fluffy blonde curls.
“No,” Mom said, “It’s Velcro. Look at Super Pooh.” She showed me the back of his head. A matching black dot was stuck fast to his head.
“Oh no!’ I must have cried in distress.
Then she took Super Pooh and STUCK HIM TO THE WALL! Hanging him dead right in front of my eyes! She then took the rest of my stuffed animals and showed me how to hang them all up nice and neat.
The trouble started that night. After I was put to bed, I lay in my crib cage and stared at the wall. Dead soulless eyes stared down at me. I closed my eyes but I could still feel the animals looking at me. I tried to sleep. I knew my animals were angry at me for allowing this to happen to them. I tossed and turned. I must have fallen asleep because then the nightmares started. And when I jolted awake to find them still staring I couldn’t take it anymore. I’m not sure how I escaped from my crib cage, but out I got and down came all the stuffed animals from the wall. I scattered them across the floor like they were supposed to be and got back into bed.
The next morning my mom came in. Shocked at all the animals on the floor she began yelling at me and putting the toys back on the wall. This routine repeated nightly for I don’t know how long…maybe until we moved. But it wasn’t until I was nearly an adult that my reasons behind my nightly destruction of my room were revealed.
I still have Super Pooh. He sits in a spot of honor on my dresser as a remembrance of this tragic craft-fix.
UPDATE - According to my mom (who denies she put me into a outright cage...claims it was only a "bed rail") the stuffed animals were actually Velcroed up INSIDE on the walls my crib cage! Meaning they were even CLOSER staring down at me! Which on one hand makes more sense as to how I was able to tear them off of the walls every night without breaking my leg climbing in and out of my bed and on the other hand is slightly more disturbing...