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The Pillow Fort

Ronan Under the Dining Room Table
Ronan in his own fort.

When I was a kid, my favorite hiding place was under the stairs, which had a tiny closet built in. I would remove the vacuum cleaner and the other stuff my parents kept there and it would be my bunker. I’d take my army soldiers and my air force planes and hide out. I could fit but Mom and Dad could barely get their shoulders in. They used to try to get me to come out for dinner. I relished being just out of reach and coming out when I wanted to, which was pretty much every time dinner smelled good.

Today, if I visited that house, I’d probably be amazed that I ever fit in there. Going back home to visit all the places I used to live/go to school/hang out makes me realize how big the world seems to a little kid. All the places were so small compared to my memories of them. Everything seemed much bigger then. I vividly remember standing up in the back of the family car (while Dad was driving) just to make him panic and shout at me to get back in my seatbelt. The sense of self-control and triumph at letting myself out of the seat belt without help as he hit 60 mph on the highway was a feeling I’d never forget. Standing up while driving, which was forbidden, was a new and exciting thing to do at age three.

Ronan, age less than one, is finding his own hiding places, which is a feat unto itself in our cramped apartment. It was cozy for the two of us when we moved in together; now that we’ve added a crib, playpen, playzone, exersaucer, little computer desk for me, and moved our master bedroom into our office (while leaving the office there), it’s downright small. I imagine that if we still live here when Ronan gets even a little older, he will be craving his own privacy. Ah, well; he will miss New York when we have to move because we can’t afford to live here anymore.

But for now, the apartment must seem very large to him. He can get into nooks and crannies that Terry and I overlook. He crawls very fast, and loves to cruise around the place checking everything out. This is great. What’s not so great is that he now has the ability to lift heavy books, which because of space issues are very close to his playpen, and drop them on top of himself. Which is not so great. But he thinks it’s great fun. He has probably stared up at those books for the past year, wondering what they were doing there, hoping to get his hands on them. Now he's big enough and strong enough. I only hope his head is strong enough. In the mean time we’ve moved his playpen into the middle of the room, which has done wonders for our apartment's feng shui.

One of his favorite places is standing under the dining table. Here he can play with his high chair, one of his favorite things to chew on, and cruise from chair leg to chair leg. This is great. What’s not so great is that I have to figure out how to get him out from under the table from time to time, which is not so easy, as he can now move the chairs to prevent me from instantly reaching him. Which he thinks is great fun. Plus, he hasn’t quite figured out how to get out always from underneath; this sometimes results in tears from a  bumped head. Or he will climb through the chair’s legs, which isn’t a problem from my point of view (it’s kind of silly to watch) but requires great effort on his part.

But I won’t have to worry about the table for more than a few months, because his head is already brushing on the underside of the table. Soon he won’t be able to stand up under there, and Terry and I will be left with our memories of his table adventures, which will only grow more nostalgic. He probably won’t remember the table at all, but will move on to find a new place to call his own.

It’s too bad we have a futon instead of a regular couch. I remember when I was too big to fit into the closet and I was sad. I built a fort out of the living room couch, complete with roof (made of grandma’s handknit blanket) and I felt a lot better. I’m sure Ronan will be just as creative in finding private hiding places, even in our tiny apartment. For now, I’ll enjoy his table fort. I know he does.


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Comments (2)


I loved making pillow forts by the couch. Closets are great places to hide, too.


i just read your post about naming your son. much of the story rang true, funnily enough (shooting down each others choices, the faux irishness i claim as my own) ...i, too, have a ronan, chosen for it's uniqueness, but i've suddenly started hearing the name and am thinking "gah!" is it now popular?! that's not the only reason i write this as i have an aidan too =) i actually chose that name 20+ years ago, but didn't have my first (of 3) sons till 4 years ago...i hate the trendiness of it all, but what can you do...i love the name. adding insult to injury is the slew of caden, jaden, hayden, zadyn and any other variation i've missed. it's only a matter of time till the girls steal this name as well.....i'll stop my rambling now and just say, congratulations on choosing a fine name!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 28, 2008 2:19 AM.

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