When I arrive back home from my daily sojourn to deliver books, Jane meets me in the kitchen to regale me with tales from her day. Or to stand there repeatedly asking what we’re having for dinner. Either way.
Earlier this week, she proudly announced that she’d struck a deal with her father wherein he was renting a twin mattress for the office from her.
If you don’t live in this family, I’m sure that could be confusing as hell, so I’ll break it down real quick: Simon snores. Like a chainsaw. We’ve tried various remedies and fixes. And still. Because I am not some sort of demigod, I cannot sleep through that blessed racket. We finally landed on a compromise in which we go to bed together and then, when it’s all Chainsaw City up in here, I wake him and he migrates to a lovely little set-up in the office.
It took me years to admit to myself that our marriage would not dissolve like Kool-aid powder in water if we slept in separate spaces. And that I have to have good sleep to function. And that the desire to smother him with a pillow would be a hell of a lot less if it didn’t sound like I was sleeping in a construction zone.
He ordered a new mattress for the office. He deserves optimal sleep, too. But shipping was going to take a few days, so he asked Jane if he could borrow the twin mattress on her loft (where she isn’t even sleeping right now). For a couple days until his nifty new hybrid spring/memory foam mattress arrived.
Earlier during this endless quarantine, Jane discovered the joy in rearranging her room on the daily. She also likes to ask if she can have pretty much anything her father or I could actually lay claim to in this house. What do I mean? Well. she asked me if she could have the master bedroom the other day. I kid you not.
A few weeks ago, she asked if she could move Couch Bed from the office into her room. Couch Bed is precisely what it sounds like: a squishy & utilitarian little Transformer that flips up to be a couch during the day & a bed at night. Nifty.
Obviously, we aren’t using it for guests right now (hello, pandemic), so sure. Why not?
Now Jane’s got her own pseudo-apartment in our house. A couch during the day. A loft with a desk for reading and “working.” A flipped down queen-size bed at night. She even has a waiting area, where she suggested I could sit on a bean bad, read a magazine, and wait to speak to her.
Back to the mattress…
When Simon asked her to borrow it, she hemmed and hawed. I rolled my eyes so far back in my head they almost got stuck there. Because (FOR REAL, GIRL) share. But I let it be.
And I come home and now she’s a mattress landlord.
To be fair, Simon offered to pay her to borrow said mattress. And Jane is a shrewd money manager. She’s always saving to buy something. I don’t doubt that, if she’d had access to the stock market, she would’ve had an impressive portfolio to concern herself with when the pandemic hit. But, alas, she’s NINE, so her chief concern is how to squeeze her parents for more cash.
When Simon asked her what a fair price would be, she suggested $10 a day.
He countered with a much more reasonable $3 per day rate.
She deliberated for a while. Until he reminded her that, if she waited too long, Mommy would come home and just take the mattress and move it to the office. And she’d get nothing.
It’s so good to be really seen by your people, you know? Because hell yes, that’s what I would’ve done.
So, Jane’s relaying this tale rather nonchalantly, and she says, “So, I get 8 dollars for lending him the mattress until Friday. It was supposed to be $9.” Here she shrugs, wrinkles up her little nose, and says, “I don’t know what happened there.”
Oh, girl, I don’t know what happened there, either.