I had a sinking feeling in my stomach as we headed out the door.
What if it didn’t work? What if this was my worst idea ever?
I’d wanted to take the plunge last year, but it never seemed to be the right time. I came up with excuses. D came up with excuses. We couldn’t commit. But I knew things couldn’t continue the way they were.
We moved our tots in together.
And you know what? It’s going great.
We had ridiculous power bills last winter (like $500 one month!!!) and that got me fired up to move my tots in together to save on heating. I’d been toying with the idea anyway, as I think sharing a room is good for children: they learn to share and respect each other’s space, it helps children learn to sleep through anything, and it’s so much fun to have a playmate the instant you wake up in the morning when you’re a toddler.
It’s been almost a year since that giant power bill o’doom. Yep, it took us that long to pluck up the courage. Our reluctance to have the children share a room was due to sleep. Our sleep and theirs. Chip mostly sleeps through the night, but still has the odd bout of teething/sickness/plotting to take over the world that disrupts his sleep. Plus he wakes an hour earlier than his big sister. Sleep is the most precious commodity in our house, and any deprivation turns each one of us into Grumpy McGrumpy’s.
It’s only been a few days, but moving the children in together has been brilliant. They’ve had no trouble getting to sleep, and we’re putting Sausage down at the same time as Chip, to make up for her earlier brother-wake-up-call. Sausage is not a morning person, but instead of immediately whining at her dad and I, we get a kick out of hearing her sing songs and pass toys to her brother over the baby monitor.
Sausage had the biggest room so it was a no-brainer to move Chip in with her. Even with Chip’s cot now in it there is plenty of space.
Chip’s old room is now the children’s playroom. I’m cringing as I write that, as ‘spare rooms’ don’t sit well with me. As someone who has worked with the homeless, I’m quite sensitive to living with surplus space when so many people have none.
Anyway, the playroom has Chip’s change table, two ‘big’ toys (doll house and parking garage), and a comfy spot to read and play music.
I do have plans for our spare room. I was an exchange student, and would love to pay it forward to other exchange students. My tots should be sweet to share for the next few years, so I want to take on students who do short exchanges to New Zealand. (Inflicting two toddlers on a teenager for a year, might be a bit much so we’ll stick to short-term exchanges for a while.) The room isn’t big, but it’s adequate.
I know one day that my tots will prefer to have their own space, especially as they are different genders. But I love the idea of sharing our home and culture with others, and hope we can take in a student next year.
Do your tots share a room?