Cuddling Harry has suddenly become like wrestling a small giraffe. Every limb has to be folded, origami-style, into place, and no sooner is one contained than the others spring free. I am at a loss to explain how my tiny swaddled newborn has become this dashing mini-man with wild, untameable hair and views and opinions of his very own. It can only have happened whilst I was asleep, although heaven knows there’s been a lot less sleep these past five years than in those that came before.
When he was four, Harry helpfully explained to me how you grow up. It went like this;
‘First you’re a baby;
Then you’re a toddler;
Then you’re a person;
Then you’re a ninja;
Then you’re a grownup’.
(I love it that you only get to be an actual person once you’ve made it through the toddler years… and that teenagers are so indescribably cool that they are in fact ninjas).
Either way, whether I have been paying close attention or not the progression to ninja-hood has undoubtedly begun, and all things babyish are being cast aside at a rate of knots. Harry’s bedroom, that sweet domain of early childhood, is scheduled for a grown-up makeover. The charming alphabet poster will be consigned to the loft I am sure, and anything soft and fluffy will come under very intense, 5yr old scrutiny. ’I think this room needs to be more boyish‘ said Harry firmly, as he viewed it with a critical eye. ’Maybe with more swords and things’ .
Consider this post therefore an act of historical preservation, and allow me a quick final tour…
I shared a pic of the room once before when we papered the wall in this fun fox wallpaper;
I later added a blackout blind in the same colourway, and made curtains to pull around Harry’s treehouse bed, making a useful den in which to hide torches, books, snacks, oversized dogs and friends you are trying to kidnap so they don’t ever have to go home..
Harry adores his bed (an eBay find; they were once sold by British store Next, now sadly no longer available). It did present challenges for bedtime stories though, so we invested in this lovely Story Stool on which we perch each night, in order to deliver fantastical tales through the treehouse window…
Whilst Lola the bunny is seldom invited into the Treehouse these days, Wilberforce the polar bear retains his position at the head of the bed, as the longest-serving member of The Boys, Harry’s troop of animals. The monogram canvas was a gorgeous gift from Harry’s godparents, from here.
When we redecorated Harry’s room in early 2014 we ripped out an old, broken fireplace and added a simple oak beam in its place. We thought the chimney was sealed, but obviously not because one day, Alfred the dinosaur flew down it and got trapped….
I made Alfred by mounting one of these fun animal heads onto an old mirror frame, and made a sign for his neck. Alfred, we decided, is a vegetarian dinosaur, so we added a carrot from Harry’s play kitchen so stop him from feeling hungry. We have to be careful with feeding Alfred though, if we’re ever going to get him unstuck. I made Alfred’s tail out of felt and faux leather (see a similar tutorial here), and stuffed it before hanging on a nail inside the chimney breast.
Alfred will survive Harry’s room makeover I’m sure, but this beautiful alphabet wall poster from will be rehomed elsewhere in the house.. isn’t it lovely?
Also at risk is this watercolour sketch (below) I did for Harry when he was a baby of his favourite book, Orange Pear Apple Bear… he adored that book; it was the first thing that ever made him laugh, so I drew a picture of the bear in homage to Emily Gravett’s beautiful illustrations, and stuck it to his cot. I later framed it, and it’s hung in his room ever since…
The puppet theatre may once again revert to being a bookcase and shelf for boyish treasures, though I’m sure it will be brought back into life every now and then for a few curtain-call performances…
Whilst there’s a poignancy to the continual evolution of what began as the bedroom of a toddler, there’s also something very lovely about planning the next update together, with a small boy who is very much now a person by his own definition, and has magical if wholly impractical ideas for what we should add (‘a roof that lifts off! …A slide down to the garden!…A button that delivers a snack!…’).
Wish me luck with that…