Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Good fences make good brothers

At 2:30 this morning, after Ryan and I had tried for nearly three hours to get Wes back to sleep, after we'd decided to gate him in Charlie's old room, make sure he was safe, and then let him scream his fool head off if that's how he wanted to spend his evening, we decided to build a wall.

Not a metaphysical wall or an emotional wall or a relational wall. A real wall. With studs and drywall and a door.

We (I) have been resisting walling off our upstairs "game room" to create a fourth bedroom because I think two boys SHOULD be able to share a room. My parents shared rooms, I shared rooms in college. I share a room right now for goodness sake. I don't even get my own BED! And, I reasoned, we have a playroom full of toys, all they do in their room is sleep! They're too little to need privacy! How many rooms of our house do we need to dedicate to children, anyway?

As it turns out, the answer to that question is "As many as it takes."

Because after an awful day which ended in tears because Charlie was simply too tired to function after two months of being woken up before dawn by Wes (The fighting, the drama, the rudeness, it is so out of character for Charlie. And I know that some of that is normal for his age, in my heart I feel like if he was sleeping better he would be happier. Plus he has bags under his eyes the likes of which I haven't seen since my dissertation defense.) and after an awful few hours of trying to get Wes to sleep by every means possible except for the one method that works every single time (letting him scream for five minutes before dropping out cold in front of the baby gate) it just seemed absurd to hang onto a "game room" that is currently being used to house two chairs we don't want, a computer we don't use, and the Mount Kilimanjaro of Goodwill piles.

And, honestly, the thought of rolling into December with two unreliable sleepers and then adding a NEWBORN to the mix was giving me near panic attacks.

So I lay in bed (awake at two freaking thirty, thank you for that Wes), giddy thinking about the way I was going to make it all work. The extra desk would be moved into our bedroom and I would finally have a desk again! We could Craigslist the heck out of everything else. Ryan and my dad could build the wall in a weekend or two (the room is made to be an optional bedroom, with a closet and everything, so it would be easy, I think). I would paint it a soothing, big boy, khaki color and make Charlie some plaid curtains like The Wonder Years. He could have his own desk and a place for his baby cradle (where Phent sleeps).

I felt even more sure about The Wall this morning when Charlie came to the gate at the top of the stairs at 7:15 and said to me "I got to sleep until DAYTIME!" and then had the best morning we've had in WEEKS after spending the night largely alone in his and Wes's room. Poor, poor kiddo. Wes was another story, obviously, having been awake most of the night. The screaming. OH MY HOLY.

I may surprise Ryan this evening by having a pallet of lumber and sheetrock delivered to our driveway.


LL said...

Oh my gosh, the "I got to stay asleep until DAYTIME!" line just kills me. I also love the idea of sharing rooms, but you obviously gave it your best shot and it's just not the best thing for either of your boys right now. Maybe in a few years? My sister and I shared a room from ages 3-13 (well, she was 3, I was 6) and I think that worked out well. At least it seemed to from our end... though we definitely stayed up later most nights because of it :)

Bonnie Y said...

My parents moved my 3-year younger sister and me to separate rooms after about a year of being together, probably for the same reason. We've never exactly been great friends, which was either the cause of the move or a result of it! Hard to tell after all these years. That relegated my brother to a basement room, which I kind of think he loved!
Our kids had their own rooms by the time the eldest was in kindergarten (also 3 years apart, and opposite sex.)
Personally I didn't do well with college roommates - but do fine with my current "roommate!"

Sarah said...

LOL @ metaphysical and emotional wall.

Poor Charlie-- sleep until daytime is so cute!

H and J have no choice but to share since we have a tiny house, but I say go for the wall!

AJU5's Mom said...

I say go for the wall - normally it will make selling the house easier anyways. If a few years down the road they can share a room, then you can make that into a true office or a game room.

I am in no hurry to move AJU6 into "their" room. I am not sure my husband has the same thoughts, but he isn't pushing it. We are surviving with some interruptions from the kids already in separate rooms, and I know it will just increase if they share! Maybe by the time AJU6 is 18 months old we will consider it...

Amy said...

This -- right here -- this is why we have three bedrooms for three kids. It's just not possible, in my mind and experience, to bunk two kids together who are used to sleeping alone. ESPECIALLY with a new baby entering the mix. Honest to God Becca, we thank our lucky stars each and every day for the remodeling project that made Emmie's room last year.

Kyla said...

Sounds like the right call. I enjoy sleeping until daytime, too, I don't get to do it nearly enough.

sarah said...

I know it's not what you wanted, but I think it will make life so much easier for you in the long run! And who knows? In a few years they might decide they do want to share a room.

but for now? Charlie getting to sleep until daytime will be pretty awesome. LOL

Anonymous said...

Why don't you and I have a show on HGTV about furnishing entire properties with Craigslist or hand-me-downs. We'll submit photos of Charlie's room and my guest room as an audition.

Also, here is what I tell myself and what I would tell Charlie: The sun comes up when God wakes up. If God is still asleep, you should be too.


BiblioMOMia said...

Can I sleep until DAYTIME?

A great metaphor for how we let kids carve out space in our lives. I agree--give up as much space as it takes!