This is 3: On Sharing a Bedroom

STELLA JOAN. What are you doing in your brother’s crib? Get back in your bed RIGHT.NOW.

It is 8:30pm, and I am 20 minutes into my workout in the downstairs living room. I am solo parenting because my husband is out of town on vacation, and I had stopped & muted the TV because I thought I had heard something. Sure enough there are giggles coming from the kids’ shared bedroom upstairs. Harvey was sleeping at 7pm, and I had thought Stella was sleeping at 8pm, but obviously I was wrong. I swoop into the room, hiss the above statement at my 3 year old, then swiftly & silently plop her into her own bed and hurry out, all the while hoping that my 1 year old won’t notice me and have a breakdown. No such luck.

*****

[both kids are wailing now, so a minute later, I head back in, very annoyed at this point]

Me: Stella Joan – I am NOT happy with you. You lay down in your bed RIGHT.NOW. and quit crying. You have nothing to cry about. YOU are the one who woke your brother up! Harvey, it’s ohhhh-kay. You’re ohhhh-kay. [I pick him up and go to sit in the rocking chair to nurse him and calm him down. Meanwhile Stella is still crying & hiccuping from her bed three feet away.] Stella, WHY were you in your brother’s bed? You know better than to crawl into his crib at night!

Stella: I was just…[sob & hiccup] trying… [sob & hiccup] to make sure… [sob & hiccup] that he was okaaaaaaaaaay!

[Silence from me for a split second while I process that SHIT, Harvey was crying, I hadn’t heard him, and I had just yelled at Stella for trying to be a loving and helpful big sister. Usually she’s just being a little turd and waking him up to play when they should be sleeping!]

Me: Okay, Stella. That was nice of you to be worried about him and try to make him happy, but you cannot climb into his crib during the night, okay?

[instantly the tears stop from Stella because she realizes she has won this time around]

Stella: Okay, Mama! I’ll stay in my bed! Did you find Elsa? (one of her two nearly identical dolls – she always knows which one is Elsa and which one is Anna – I can never tell them apart)

Me: *sigh* No, I didn’t find her, but I’ll go look for her again.

[I lay Harvey back into his crib, and he immediately rolls onto his side and curls up with his blanket. I walk over to Stella’s bed to give her a kiss & tuck her in for the 3rd time tonight.]

Me: I love you, Stella. Thanks for taking such good care of your brother. Sweet dreams.

Stella: I love you, too. Sweet dreams, Mama.

*****

There are definitely days (and nights) during which Charlie and I contemplate moving into the guest room downstairs so that the kids could have their own rooms, but I’ve got to say that the majority of the time, we love that they are sharing a room and learning to live with each other’s quirks and noises. I have such fond memories of late night conversations with my siblings when we were growing up – I hope the same for them someday!

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10 comments

  1. Oh boy do I ever know the feeling of getting mad at something, then hearing the explanation, and it feels like a punch to the gut. Oh well! They’re still young enough not to remember 🙂

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  2. I appreciate these posts on sharing a room. If we ever get as far as having another child, we’ll have to decide what to do about sharing because our “guest room” (aka room that really really needs #whoneedsit) is in the basement very far from mom & dad’s room!

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  3. Matthew will come into Bryson’s room to check on him if he hears him crying, turning on the lights and climbing into his crib, so she could still “help” if they’re in separate rooms. It requires a super loud cry to wake Matthew, but it happens every so not-often.

    I think sharing a room is a wonderful gift!

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  4. Aww it is hard when we get upset with them and then realize, oops, they were actually not being so bad afterall. I’ve done this a few times lately. Kids seem to get over it quickly though! 🙂

    I have actually been thinking about doing a ‘sharing a room’ post myself. And the main point of my post being, I absolutely love it!!! Often in the evenings I am just sitting on the couch and I smile thinking about my two kiddos tucked up in there together.. neither one having to be alone. Lids says every night now (as we are working really hard to get her to sleep alone all night without calling for us/coming to our bed), “I don’t need Mummy and Daddy. I just need Ezzie! Me and Ezzie in our room! That is all I need!” And it melts my little heart because she doesn’t say she can do it alone. She always says she needs Ez. If Ezzie is crying, she calls to me to let me know. She gets sooo excited in the morning when Ezzie wakes up… and I have actually been thinking of you lately because now that Ez is a bit bigger and likes to play, Lids has been climbing into the crib like Stella does with Harvey so that they can hang out in there together and play. We have no other choice other than a shared room but I am actually so glad that is the case because maybe otherwise we would have put them separately, assuming that would be best/easiest option, but gosh, for some reason, I just love having them in there together. I can just imagine the late night chats and giggles, the pillow fights (and many real arguments I am sure), and the pajama dance parties that will take place in that special little room. 🙂

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  5. That picture is too cute! I never shared a room with my siblings, but always wanted to. More often than not I would beg to sleep in my big sister’s room. I’m sure your cuties will appreciate always having someone around because it can get lonely at night for a little kid. When my nephew was six, he said to my brother, “I can’t wait to get married.” And when my brother asked him why, he said, “So I can sleep next to someone every night!”

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  6. “You have nothing to cry about!”

    Hahaha! Thiese words have definitely been spoken at my house!

    I think it’s great they share a room. And that you deal with it so well. I have no tolerance for anybody waking up anybody, but I have created a very rigid sleeper who can only sleep, by herself, lights off, her on room, door closed, completely dark… Nice at home but whenever flexibility is required on trips or visiting family. Oh my gosh. I have no idea what to do when she outgrows the pack and play or if we have to share a bed. She will literally stay up all night long.

    I do see myself loosening up with #2 though. I used to go crazy with evers napping as a newborn, but now I don’t care if venture wakes up. I figure he can go back to sleep. Nobody is stopping him. I don’t have time for him to be a finnicky sleeper. Birth order is a serious thing! I totally understand why kids are the way they are based on birth order. 🙂

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  7. I am holding on to these posts as inspiration for our next move where I’m fairly sure the kids will be sharing – it’s great to hear the positives and the downsides. It is tough when you get angry and it turns out they are in the right – that’s definitely happened to me more than once. Kudos to you for working out and managing it all solo!

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  8. I shared a room with my sister growing up. I’ll admit, we fought ALOT as we grew up over stupid things (toys, messes, using each other’s stuff), but we had the best talks late at night together!!

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  9. kaseypowers · · Reply

    These posts kind of make me wish Simon were a little more concerned/interested in Caleb yet also really glad he has zero interest in getting in bed or waking him up. She is the sweetest big sister.

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  10. Cuteness!

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