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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Doing a bunk

It's a well-documented fact that my children spend a lot of time fighting. Craft activities are a battle; gardening is a nightmare; watching television usually ends up with someone bearing physical scars and wailing. Though deep down the Lattes love each other, they do little on a daily basis to show it. Stuffing them into their respective rooms at the end of the day has been a relief.

And then, out of nowhere, they started to share a room.

It started with a few sleepovers in summer; occasional nights where Eldest's mattress would move onto Littlest's floor. And then the mattress never moved back. Late night chats were had; the children fidgeting in their room when the lights were meant to be out. There were even cuddles. Then Eldest came back from a school residential trip with a revelation - bunk beds.

We waited for them to go off the idea, but they didn't. Littlest - so proud of her room as a smaller child - relished the idea of giving it up. She would miss the curtains, but that was all. In a world where everyone talks about needing their own space, my children were categorically rejecting theirs.

It makes sense - a chance to collude behind your parents' backs, a chance to play 'house' with a sister. Eldest likes company, and Littlest isn't keen on going to sleep - the story CD must be left on at all times, and no mistakes must be made in the ritual switching on of landing lights and leaving doors ajar.

Even as adults, few of us want to be left alone in the dark.

So this week we are decorating; covering the pink paint that was applied to Eldest's room when she was three. (I can still remember her using the roller for all of, ooh, six seconds.) A lilac and neutral palette has been chosen, a clever loft bed has been ordered to go over Eldest's single bed.  Last night, we heard scuffling and went upstairs to find a groggy Littlest clambering onto her sister's mattress. It used to be our bed she staggered into in the night.

Growing up takes funny twists and turns.

22 comments:

  1. Mini wanted to share with Maxi. We bought the bunks and it was hell. Maxi is asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow, Mini is the type of child that likes to listen to a book and faff around, totally incomparable

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  2. My two have been having sleep-overs in the older's room over the summer too. It's so lovely to see them cuddled up together.

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  3. Cathy - isn't it though? And I must admit, the hour I spend after bedtime running up and down between the two rooms can be far better spent reading to both of them at once...

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  4. That's quite unusual isn't it? I hope it continues in the same vein.

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  5. We tried that for a while. It was arguments over who's mess it was that needed tidying up that broke it down. They still enjoy 'sleeping over' though.
    Good luck!

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  6. planetcoops - it could all go wrong, but it's worth a try. They're both incredibly untidy, but at the moment there are two rooms we have to badger them about. At least we'll be halving the available space...

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  7. My lads have shared a room since the younger one was born -14½ years. Given the opportunity they would rather have their own rooms but they get along well enough although they don't actually share a bed! They have a sleeping cell each with bookshelves acting as a dividing wall between their beds. We abandoned bunks a long time ago after I had to clean up sick from the top bunk one night. It's not an ideal solution for 14 and 16 year old boys but we don't have any other options. Charlie and I have the second biggest bedroom where there is barely room to walk around our bed. Still, it's a lot more than many people have.

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  8. Hope it works out for them. I never shared a room with my brother (too much older and too male) apart from one fateful night when a gecko appeared in my room and I point blank refused to sleep in there.

    My boys? The younger is a sleeper and the elder a night owl, so it's never going to happen.

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  9. My girls slept in the same room for years; very soon after the youngest was out of the crib. It was great. I had the spare room as an office/sewing room, and they liked the bunk beds as enough "own space" in the room they shared.

    It also worked out well in terms of keeping the monsters at bay. The oldest was sure that the monsters were under the bed and would eat her little sister on the bottom bunk first, and the youngest was sure that the monsters were in the closet and would see her sister on the top bunk first!

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  10. that is terribly sweet. I can remember my little sister insisting on falling asleep next to me and it drove me nuts. I would make her touch only one little finger and otherwise stay away. But she still worshipped me. Thanks for reminding me of that. Since she doesn't any longer! ha

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  11. it sounds great! and if for some unlikely reason they want to go back to seperate rooms at some time in the future you can presumably just move the sleeper into littlests room, or you will be well equipped for fantastic sleepovers.... x

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  12. I remember sharing a room with one of my sisters when I was younger. We badgered our mother for bunk beds which she got, but cunningly they were the sort that could also be separated into individual single beds. Sure enough, a few months later we were back in our own rooms but we loved that time together. Make the most of the single bed time story!

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  13. I can't think of a comment adequate enough for how much you must be enjoying this! And the consolidated reading time is a wonderful bonus!

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  14. Mine happily share - which is lucky because there are 4 of them in one room. The only one who has a room of her own was 9 before she was keen on the idea. Now that she is 11 she loves having her own space and room for friends to sleep over but having them all together like that is lovely when they enjoy it. Of course, you have a lot of post-bedtime 'shushing' ahead of you. Enjoy!

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  15. That's just lovely.

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  16. Laura - yes, the sewing room! That's the plan. It will end up as the stuff-we-had-nowhere-to-put-room too, I imagine...

    I'm So Fancy - what a lovely memory. Go prod her with a stick till she says she loves you.

    I'm Crayon - oh yes, the joint bedtime story. Much nicer. And less running up and down the stairs between rooms like a lunatic. I shall gain more weight.

    Jannette - it is lovely. There are moments.

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  17. It's always the best when my two daughters decide to go off and do something together without the two of us. They're very different. Nothing makes me happier than thinking that they actually like each other --

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  18. We got our twins bunk beds sometime ago, but I often pop in to find them both in asleep in the bottom bunk. I love that they still want to share a room right now, I have a feeling it wont last forever :)

    Abi

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  19. As little ones, my two shared a room. As teens, they'd rather die than share anything. 'Get out of my room!'...is all I ever hear. Ah, motherhood. Such good times.

    XX Elush

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  20. Wait a minute. No one has asked what you plan to do with the soon-to-be-empty room. Well?

    I KNOW YOU HAVE PLANS.

    XX Elush (again)

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