Posted on 16th May 2012 @ 2:58 PM
As a child growing up in a large family of six kids, it was very normal for us to sleep in bunk beds, as our house was quite small, Mum and Dad decided to double us up instead of extending the house by renovating. It was the best option at the time as the cost of living was very high, with school fees, food and clothing for six of us not including trying to go on a holiday or gifts for birthdays and Christmas was always not far away.
I was always jealous of the elder brothers who were able to choose the top, which didn’t matter that much because we were always invited up to the top bunk which always felt like a privilege. I still remember on Saturday mornings 3 or 4 of us would all climb up and just talk or tell funny stories. Even being left with the bottom wasn’t that bad, with a bit of imagination and a couple of blankets or towels, the bottom could be converted into a cubby house or your private hangout, all that was needed to finish off your cubby was a reading lamp or radio to make it feel really special.
Ah yes the memories of sharing a room with siblings, the pillow fights on the top, staying up after Mum and Dad went to bed and telling scary stories and other times laughing so much that your stomach would ache. We even devised ingenious pulley systems to share books or snacks, not only between the top and bottom but even to another bunk across the room.
With a little imagination they weren't merely beds in a room, but we imagined ourselves out in the open sea on pirate ships looking for sunken treasure. So we wouldn’t rouse our parents at bed time we would whisper our stories to one another, one by one they would fall silent until you were the last one whispering and you knew they all must have nodded off to sleep.
At times we were rowdier than our parents would have liked, so they would be reluctantly stirred from their bed to come and find the culprit making all the racket. The moment we heard the footsteps coming down the hallway we would all return to our assigned beds as quickly as possible, by the time the door handle began to turn we were all in sleeping positions complete with the odd snoring. All would go well until one of us cracked, that usually happens by trying to hold back from laughing by holding your breathe which of cause only builds up pressure and eventually releases as an enormous snort which of course causes an instant chain reaction of uncontrollable laughter including our parents.
One of my most memorable childhood experiences was sharing a room with my siblings and sleeping in a bunk bed