Our snug house has three bedrooms. Two spacious ones and one really tiny one. The tiny one can hardly be called bedroom material at all. The master plan was to keep that one as a Creativity Room. In real life that meant piling up junk, fabrics, CD’s and documents to never find them again, especially not when needed urgently.
That left us with one Parent Room and one Kids Room for the first years. In the meanwhile, we would save for a new roof and an entire reconstruction of the attic as the new Parent Room. At this moment, the inner side of the roof is actually furnished with tapestries, which may sound like we bought ourselves a castle, but I can assure you we didn’t. It’s a five year plan, at least.
The plan seemed to work. We even decorated the room to a boy and a girl side. At first, the Panther couldn’t fall asleep when we, her new parents, were around, but she did find comfort in having the Penguin close during the night. She would go to sleep at about 7 pm and tell her dolls about her day for about 45 minutes – yes, she has a LOT to tell – and drift off to sleep. The Penguin would join her at about 8 pm. He’s a tight sleeper, so he never woke during her episodical every-half-hour panic attacks across the room, ever.
But not for five-plus years.
The Penguin seemed to need some private space way earlier than we had expected. So after two years of sharing a bedroom, he decided he wanted to move into the Creativity Room.
The move was awful. I’ve moved too much during my life already. I loathe moving. Fitting the bed into that room together with a desk and something that resembled a closet, felt like putting together a 1500 pieces jigsaw puzzle with your teeth. A puzzle that has a few pieces too many, just too trick you. Everyone knows Ikea furniture is meant to be put together only once.
The first evening sleeping apart was a drama. The Panther was really excited about the move, but not too much anymore at 7 pm. She actually thought she would be moving too. Because you know, the Penguin has a high bed. She would sleep underneath. Of course. Why hadn’t we thought of that.
In the end, the Penguin managed to calm her down. He read her a book and wiped her tears. He told her he still was going to be her big brother, despite the separate rooms. It must have been one of the mushiest brother-sister-moments of the year. By the time the Panther finally slept, the Penguin was exhausted.
And at that point, he decided he didn’t want to go to sleep alone.
I felt like screaming. But I didn’t want to risk waking the Panther.
I’m not going into the trying-to-reason-with-a-stubborn-six-year-old part. It ended with him dozing off in the Big Bed and waking in his own room. All week.
He still does, every once in a while. But he sleeps in his own bed most of the time now. And no, it hasn’t moved back.
And then, earlier this week, they came to me. Holding hands and all.
They had good news and bad.
They had a problem and a proposition.
The goods news was that they had cleaned up the Panthers room together. I will applaud to that for sure.
The bad news ànd the problem was that the Panther’s bed had turned into their new storage facility:
I should have known better.
The proposition was that the Panther would move into the former Creativity Room. She would sleep in the high bed. The Penguin loved sleeping below anyway. He had made a camp there, mattress and all.
I didn’t see it happening really. It just felt so plain stupid to have the both of them sleeping in our smallest room.
They were very persuasive though.
It was only for sleeping, and they didn’t need much space for that. The big room would be all play from now on.
And they came up with a bribe.
In order to make it work, they planned to never fight again.
Now, that’s what I call a New Year’s resolution.
All good intentions, and destined to fail.