Our dd was about 2-1/2 when she got her big girl bed – a hand-me-down from dh’s brother’s childhood days. She moved out of the crib (which converted to a toddler bed) and into the big girl bed a few months before ds arrived; that gave her a chance to get used to the idea of more real estate on which to sleep. Of course, this is now a cruel joke: what space she has she covers in stuffed animals, and she still routinely tries to get into our bed because she doesn’t want to sleep alone.
Still, when ds started to make noises about wanting his own big boy bed, not long after reaching the 2yo mark, we realized that we needed to plan this into the new year budget. Turns out, as he’s coming up on his own 2-1/2yr milestone, he’ll be in his own bed. We actually managed to pick a bed today, after a few weeks of hemming-and-hawing, and we found one that we think should have a fairly decent lifespan. Funny thing is: it’s not a bed for him.
The trouble is, we were having issues trying to find a bed that we liked for ds that was in our price range. It seems that even twin beds routinely run close to $500 before you get to the mattress (another $100, if you buy it at BJ’s) and the boxspring (another $80, if you buy it at BJ’s). That’s just nuts.
On a whim, I managed to go through the flyer for a national mattress chain and saw that they had beds there, as well. One bed was white, and since that matched dd’s decor, I figured we could swap the (dark wood) hand-me-down bed into her brother’s room and buy her a white bed at a more reasonable price. She was ALL about this idea, but I wanted to see the bed in person. And aye, there’s the rub. I called several local outlets for this chain, and each one told me that they didn’t have the bed on display but they COULD ORDER IT FOR ME. Well, that’s all nice and stuff, but what if I want to see the bed and make sure it’s not made of cardboard? These aren’t the things you want to find out after you’ve spent nearly $300 on a bed and the delivery men are now many miles –> thattaway.
One of the nice folks I talked to even suggested that it was an online-only bed, which was a little confusing: the web site had it “on sale” for $80 more than the sale price in the flyer. Huh?
So, I gave in and got into an online chat with a very pleasant customer service rep who went on to assure me he COULD ORDER IT FOR ME. Uh, no, I’d like to see it in person. I want to make sure it’s good quality. Well, he explained, we have 700 outlets nationwide and I can’t tell you which ones would have it store. But, he assured me, I CAN ORDER IT FOR YOU AT THE PRICE IN THE FLYER. This is where Twitter folks would typically whip out the #FAIL tag. I ended the chat and moved on with my life, fairly annoyed and definitely sure I’m never buying a mattress from them.
Onward and upward, we went to the same discount chain where we bought our entire bedroom set. The nice salesperson showed me several styles of twin bed, answered all of my questions (sometimes obliquely when he was trying not to say outright, “Don’t buy this one because we’ve had problems with it”), and proceeded to not be an ass when I took his card but decided not to make a purchase that day. Sure, dd told me she LOVED every bed she bounced on or came within 5 feet of, but that didn’t mean we were both ready to buy. I was, but dh wasn’t.
I continued searching, and since we both had MLK Day off, we dropped off the kids at day care and decided to head out without the added distraction of chasing down the kids. Buying-with-children is like being impaired by drugs or alcohol; you just wave your hand, “Whatever – I’ll take it”, because you’re so incredibly distracted/worn down/incapable of thinking through anything as you keep one eye on the salesperson and one on the kids. So, while I’m okay with buying-with-children for things like clothes for them, or maybe even small electronics, I’m NOT okay trying to do that with furniture purchases. It’s just too expensive and too long-term of a purchase for that.
We headed over to a large local chain store (not big-blue-and-yellow-box..the one next door to it) and checked out the clearance center, since their regular prices started at $500. Their selection in the clearance center was anemic and suggested that we were still out of our price range. So, we moved on to a used furniture store I’d heard about that’s a couple towns away. This HUGE warehouse location turned out to be…uh, small. And had about 2 beds. *cough*
We then went to the place where we bought our crib, but since they specialize in more designer furniture for kids, their lowest price was still a bit higher than I’d like (closer to $400). They did have the benefit of being just up the street from another place where we’d bought some chairs a few years back. Again, we were pretty close to the top of our price range and not finding anything that was so amazing that it inspired us to jump up the price bracket.
And so we came back to store #1, where we’d seen several beds and had dd actually give her opinion. And we picked one that we both liked and that was in a much better price range than we’d seen elsewhere. Our salesperson wasn’t there, but since I’d had his card and I was pretty fervent about “He’ll get written on the slip, right?!”, they made sure to include his name so that he’d get at least partial commission for the sale. And so, the bed will be delivered this week. This means we still have a flurry of activity to complete: get new linens for ds (he needs twin-sized sheets, plus a blanket, a comforter, a pillow, etc.), get a mattress for ds and a boxspring for dd’s new bed, take down the toddler bed and move the hand-me-down bed into its place…I’m tired just thinking about it.
We did manage to get a couple sets of flannel sheets for a steal ($15 at one place and $17 at another), a 6pc comforter set for $72, a pillow for $6, and we grabbed a mattress and boxspring (from BJ’s, at the prices I mentioned above). The linens were a bit of a PITA to acquire, but that’s mostly because girls have a selection that’s > ——— < wide and boys get a selection that’s > < wide. WTH?! (My BIL would claim that this is a constant, because there are some things where girls get ALLLLLL the selection and boys just get screwed. OTOH, girls have to beg, borrow and steal to get pockets in their work pants, and that’s just complete and utter b.s., as far as I’m concerned.)
So, all in all, it was a very expensive day, but by the end of the week, ds should be in his big-boy-bed, dd should be in her new bed, and dh & I will likely be ready for very tall drinks of something with a proof rating on the label.
All this, and we don’t even know how he’ll sleep in it.