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.
So, now we’ve got a set of bunk beds in the room plus an Ikea toddler bed (which, by the way, is the most comfortable bed ever!). It’s no Pottery Barn Kids catalog, but it works for us.
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).
Hey! We are getting ready to do the same thing but were thinking of waiting until summer when the little one (20 mo.) would not keep the school age boy up all night , but your reports sound promising. We were even going to let the middle and only girl get in on the camp action. PS The older boy is BFF with our neighbor A.P. (7.16.03) – your nephew?
Hey Cheryl! Good luck with the transition!! Yes! He’s my nephew – I also know you from way back when at the Harris Y playgroup :-).
Cheryl, I can honestly say that my husband did accomplish #2 with our then 15 month old this year when I was out of town with the other boys. INCREDIBLE, and I am eternally grateful! Also really like the IKEA toddler bed idea with the bunk bed combo! I will check it out. Way to go!
Heather – how awesome that your husband could accomplish that!! I might try to go out of town again to give him another try 🙂
LOVE this Cheryl!! My younger two share a room and on most weekends my oldest bunks with them too. If they had it their way, all three would be together every night. I, too, love their bonding time during bedtime/early morning fun. Makes my heart sing!
that first pic is just way too much. did hubby like text it to you while you were in NYC. can’t wait to show eve this pic in the morn. she just moved into her big g b and will love that they are sharing this.
Love this! My 6 year old daughter and almost 4 year old son sleep in the same bed every night and have been doing it for months. They love it. I know they will grow out of it too, but for now I think it’s adorable. So now we have an empty boys room and guest room. We didn’t need the space – they just wanted to do it! Love the post…
Great read, Cheryl! I love that they share a room – they will develop many life skills from this experience – many life skills that so many adults do not seem to have! Thanks for sharing all of the deets!
hilarious. your boys are so lucky to have each other. Forget PBK, the “real room” is the new look. kudos.
Loved this one Cheryl!!! My kids love to sleep together too- all 3 of them are in the same bed as I type! (Its a queen 🙂 It is a really sweet thing- such bonding!