I tend to be a creature of habit. If something was done one way for me as a child, I feel the need to inflict that same thing on my kids. The Christmas cookie decorating ritual would be one example. Another example would be first bedrooms.
My first childhood bedroom was a circus theme. Dad built a circus wagon for me that went on one wall and it contained a stuffed lion, a giraffe and an elephant. On the other wall were pictures of those same animals. I forced myself to sleep on my back every night because I was convinced that I would be eaten by those animals if I dared to look either way during the night.
When I had Bradley, I wanted to use the circus wagon that Dad built for me.
Brad’s nursery centered around a clown theme. We had the circus wagon painted red and the walls were paint splattered with a rainbow of colors. Pictures of Uncle Lloyd as a Zor Shrine clown were hung on the walls. For Brad’s first Christmas, he received his very own first clown. It was a tiny porcelain clown with royal blue soft hair and a polka dot outfit. As soon as it was opened, the comment was made “Oh my – it’s Psycho the Killer Clown!” To this day – Bradley is not a fan of clowns and won’t allow that clown in his room.
For Brad’s nursery – I had grandiose plans for what I wanted to create. I started on a baby quilt for him and I was actually working on it when I went into labor with him. It didn’t get finished until after he was a bit older. I used the rainbow theme everywhere for Brad from the quilt to the canopy that I made for the circus wagon.
Nate’s nursery theme was a hunting lodge. The colors were purple, royal blue and teal. Dad made a shelving unit in the shape of a boat for Nate’s room which we painted purple. I painted the bottom half of the room in a dark teal and the top was sponged in the 3 colors. I made a stencil of a bear, moose, and a tree and stenciled that image as a center border around the room. There was a purple rug on the floor and a royal blue crib. Throughout the room were stuffed animals that you would find in the woods: bears, squirrels, owls, rabbits, etc.
For Jess’s nursery, I went back to the circus theme and used the circus wagon again. This time I painted it purple. I had to paint over the woodland stencil, but kept the color scheme of teal, purple and royal blue. Using the same fabric that I had from Nate’s nursery, I made a canopy for the circus wagon to match the crib bumpers and crib skirt I had made. As Jess got older, Dad made a special piece for her as well – a bookcase in the shape of a dollhouse that is still in use in her bedroom today.
Each piece made by Dad is either in storage or being used and I hope that when the kids start having families of their own, they’ll consider carrying on the tradition and use the special pieces that Dad made just for them.