Payten outgrew her crib this past summer. We were faced with a decision. At the time, Liam was sleeping in the guest bedroom, mainly because we had yet to buy him a bed and were too lazy to move the guest bed into his room.
Parent lesson #348: Conserve energy wherever possible.
So after multiple conversations with myself in my head and with Andy, we decided to try to move the kids into the same bedroom. Yes, we have a four bedroom house and only two children. We figured why not, especially at this stage of life where they get along so well and are actually excited by the idea. Now some back story. I shared a room with my younger sister (younger by 4 years) until I was a junior in high school. You read that right, JUNIOR! I hated it in my later years but mainly because by the time I reached high school, my sister was still in elementary and we just couldn’t connect all that often on similar interests. I was starting to like boys, into volleyball and the backstreet boys. She was still playing with Barbies, never picked up her toys in our shared space and into S Club 7. Differences that teenage girls just have a hard time coping with.
Looking back, I can actually count the number of years on one hand when I didn’t have to share a room. Let’s count:
- Senior year of high school when my parents moved into a larger house
- Senior year of college
- 2nd Senior year of college (I was a five year-er)
- First year out of college
I married Andy after that first year out of college and have since shared a room. Liam actually asked me one time why him and Payten were sharing and after I gave him the normal responses to encourage excitement “it will be fun to sleep in the same room as your sister”, “you guys can play together”, etc., I gave him this response “because sometimes you have to share a room your whole life”. He didn’t get the reference but it made me realize I’ve spent my whole life sharing a room.
I think there are a lot of valuable lessons to learn as a child by sharing a room, mainly the bonding that comes from the experience. I’ve learned through my own children that young children don’t really like to be alone anyways, so sharing a room is welcomed by them. Sharing a room also helps children learn how to share and deal with conflict. I look back at some of my personality traits and I think my ability to deal with conflict actually comes from the fact I’ve shared my room practically my whole life.
Anyways, I could ramble on for hours about why I want my kids to share rooms but the real reason is so they can have late night talks and giggles with each other while Andy and I on the stairs listening in, smiling, and yelling to them to go to bed every 5 minutes. This happened the first night they shared a room and it took us around 3 hours to actually get them in bed asleep because they were having so much fun in this new environment singing and getting out of bed and spying. But it was one of the nights I will always remember. It was a Tuesday.
Back to their rooms. So we decided on them sharing a room. Next step was beds. All we have is our bed and a guest bed that is a queen size bed. I did try having them sleep together on the queen size mattress on the floor for awhile but that never really gelled. There is an art to sleeping with someone and if you’re 3 and never had to, there is a huge adjustment and learning curve. My mom then offered to give us my brothers bunk beds. My parents have had these beds for as long as I can remember. They are easily over 20 years old. I did poorly to grab a before picture but here is a picture after I spent two whole days sanding.
The only wood on these beds are the posts and cross beams. The panelling is particle board. You can get a sense as to the color and grain density of the before. Step one was to sand the bunk beds.Next I covered them in Zinser oil-based primer and then gave them three coats of white paint in a satin finish. For the white color, I just used the stock white color at Lowes. I didn’t have it tinted.It was a lot of long nights painting in the dark…and white paint in my hair for about a week.After the paint cured for about three days, we moved the beds to their room. And then I went to Target to shop their Pillowfort line.
This room isn’t done. I still want to add a small bookcase between the beds to act as a side table, change out curtains, add art to walls and maybe paint the dressers? This room will also evolve once Payten no longer needs the rail on her bed. I’m also still constantly looking for art for this room and I ordered some fabric for each of their beds to make pillows. It’s slowly coming together and I’ll be sure to keep you updated.
So anyone else check out the Pillowfort line at Target? Each week I’m ready to add more and more to their rooms from the collection.