5 years ago

We put Jax and Em in the same room about a month ago on a whim. We hoped that their sleeping habits wouldn't change. We hoped that we could use Em's room for a playroom and keep most of their toys in there and thus free up the living room. We hoped that they would get along. In some aspects, it's been fun and a success, but in others it has been an epic FAIL.

PROS: Jax is a total rule follower and thus is married to the notion that he will not leave his room before 7:00 (that's how he says it, seven zero zero) when his little tot clock turns yellow. We leave his small potty in his room overnight so that if he has to pee he can do it without leaving his room, because Lord knows he'd never go back once he broke free. Since they've been co-habitating, Em gets up earlier but stays in her room longer. Good on two fronts because I get to sleep almost every morning until seven zero zero and she is really tired at naptime. Bonus. Not so good because every morning their room looks like a bomb went off with every item in their room in a gigantic pile on their floor, sometimes with them underneath it.

Other good things? They are really enjoying being together. Plus we were already doing most of the bedtime routine in Jax's room because it's bigger and that's where the picture books were. She graduated from board books a bit early to keep up with Jax's inclinations, so at about a year and a half she'd sit through lengthy renditions of Make Way For Ducklings and the like, to keep up with big bro. So now instead of having to drag her kicking and screaming into her own room--and usually she only wanted me to do it--they're both in the same room, and they are in bed minutes after the last book is closed. No drama, no freaking out if Mommy isn't putting her to bed. No breath holding. A HUGE improvement over the status quo just two months ago. So for that I am grateful.

On a superficial level, there are less toys in the living room. It looks more like a living room that has toys, rather than a playroom that has couches, and for that, I am very grateful!

CONS: Their beds are side-by-side, rail-to-rail, and now our intrepid two-year-old has mastered the art of bed-scaling: where you climb over the side rail of your crib and land gracefully in your brother's bed (or on your brother's head) instead of on the floor, free and clear to wreak havoc upon the room and take off your clothes and diapers at your will. I suppose she could have done that before, but it never occurred to her before this transition. Now she is a naked, diaper-eschewing, book-flinging free bird.

EXAMPLE: Last Thursday, JDubbs and I put the kids to bed as usual. It's been hot so the kids have been swimming and playing hard--I knew they were tired. But when I heard them thumping around upstairs after 45 minutes or so, I figured I would benefit from seeing what was up.

When I entered the room, I found Jax on the floor, wrapped in a fleece blanket (even though it's 89 degrees) and wearing a construction hat with a light on it, reading a book. Naked. I turned to the right and there was Em, standing on the diaper pail, also naked, attempting to turn on the light. But the main idea there is, not that my two kids were naked and wild and free, but that Em was out of her crib. Naked. With her diaper across the room and oh, yes, poop on her brother's bed.

Did I say poop on her brother's bed? Oh, yes, I did. Did it take me and JDubbs combined to clean up the room, get them in their pajamas, clean up the chaos, and restore order? Oh, yes, it did. Was I ready for a cocktail afterwards? Hell yes.

Because even though I love having my kids so close in age, it's damn exhausting. Am I guaranteed a (mostly) 7:00 a.m. wake-up call, with the bonus of sibling fun? Yes. Do I have a disaster in not only their room, but also the playroom next door? Yes, every morning. Does JDubbs help out and keep the kids in check? Yes. Do the kids love being together? Absolutely. Would we trade it, change it, wish it were different? No. Without question, no.

But poop in each other's bed? That's where I draw the line. Every Mom has their boundaries, and this is mine. Now the question is, how do we stop it? Looks like we'll be keeping them in the same room, but Em will be moving into a big girl bed, if only to prevent a broken arm. She is only 26 months old. Pray for us.


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