I went out of town recently to visit a friend in NYC, and right before I left, my husband got a little too cocky and said he’d accomplish three things while I was gone:
1. Potty train the baby (well, he’s 1 ½, but he’ll always be my baby);
2. Get rid of the baby’s binkie;
3. Move the baby to a big-boy bed.
Stop laughing. I’ve been doing this mommy gig long enough to know one must encourage such ridiculously bold promises and NEVER laugh in his face (especially when one is going on a girls’ weekend). I’m a mom four times over, so that makes him a dad four times over – he’s got experience under his belt just like I do. If he wants to give it whirl, go for it, I say.
OK, so he didn’t get very far with numbers 1 and 2 (as a side note, don’t you think numbers 1 and 2 are way harder than number 3? I’m just saying…). BUT, he did get the baby in a big-boy bed (AND bought adorable bedding – way to go, hubby!)
We decided a while ago that when the baby was out of the crib, all 3 boys would share a room. This idea is not new in our family – ever since we had our third baby, someone has shared a room. (With four kids, unless you have a ba-jillion-dollar-mansion, someone’s going to share a room.) Right now, the two older boys share, and it has always been fine. But the baby’s nursery is over the garage so it’s loud, extremely hot or cold depending on the season, and unusually large for a bedroom. We wanted that room to hold all the Legos, dress-up clothes, and random STUFF that kids tend to horde. If he was moving up, he was moving in with his brothers.
It’s not perfect every night – some nights the baby won’t let the other boys go to sleep because he wants to stay up being silly (the older boys surprisingly don’t stir if the baby wakes up in the middle of the night crying – I’m making them in the best college roommates EVER!). And one time I woke up at 3 AM to the baby screaming because he had climbed halfway up the headboard of the bunk bed in his sleep and couldn’t get down (let’s just say, he’s a monkey). But if things get tough, I just stick him back in the crib (oh yea, I’m not stupid, I kept that crib up – I just have to stumble on a few Legos to get to it!).
I like the idea of my kids sharing a room, though. I’m not sure what the experts would say because I don’t tend to do much research before I make decisions (plus I don’t have much choice), but I see only benefits from it. They learn to share a space, cooperate, sleep when conditions aren’t ideal, and realize the universe doesn’t revolve around them. Plus, I’m pretty sure someone will tell me if one brother is getting into trouble in school or with friends. It’s a win-win for everyone.
I love that my boys don’t think twice about it. To them it’s completely normal to have a camp cabin in our house. My daughter is a little jealous, and if the baby is ever taken back to the crib, she insists on sleeping in his bed because she wants to be a part of the fun. I know she’ll out grow that, but right now I just love how they all want to be together.
Yes, with three boys in one room, the odor will be unbearable at times. But I can get past that knowing how much they’ll gain from it. I hope they tell each other secrets, stories, and jokes in the dark when I’m begging them to go to sleep (don’t worry – I’ve already accepted the fact that my sweet baby will go to kindergarten knowing every potty word imaginable after hearing it night after night from his big brothers). I hope that because they share a space, they know each other inside and out in a way that I never will.
And, I hope their wives don’t hate me when their husbands can sleep through the sounds of their own babies crying at night because I’ve trained them so well (guess I’ll have to make up for it by teaching them some superior laundry skills).