We knew when we decided to have baby number 3 that there would need to be some changes. Many changes. Changes that would affect the whole family. We thought about what those changes might be and the effect they would have on everyone. We were sure we had it all under control.
We considered the impact on Boy 1. How he would need to step up and grow up and start to help out around the house. Empty the dishwasher. Help to get the breakfast things ready. Fetch and carry nappies and wipes and muslins and whatever else I had left upstairs.
We considered the impact on Boy 2. How the ‘middle child syndrome’, which he already had, would actually become real. How he would no longer be the baby of the family. How he also would have to do more to help out.
We considered the impact on us – my husband and me. How we would no longer be able to sneak a Saturday morning lie in while the boys played Xbox downstairs. How we couldn’t just sit in a restaurant, enjoying a meal, and allow the boys to go amuse themselves or go to the toilet without an escort. How we would be starting all over again with nappy changing, sleepless nights and baby paraphernalia.
We considered a lot – and we were confident we could cope with the changes.
We had also considered the sleeping arrangements. We knew that our three bedroom house would no longer suffice with three children and us. The maths just didn’t work. There would need to be some bedroom sharing amongst the boys, but it never seemed like a big issue. There was an obvious solution. Boy 1 and Boy 2 would share. Easy. They are similar in age and interests and we already had bunk beds. Much of the time they play nicely together. This would work just fine.
Oh how wrong we were!
And three months later, we are still reminded every day of how wrong we were!
It turns out sharing with your annoying younger brother is not fun. He “touches my stuff” and he “doesn’t let me have my time out and space”.
And it turns out sharing with your bossy older brother isn’t much fun either. He “tells me everything I do is wrong” and he “won’t let me share his stuff”.
And these little niggles between them, which of course escalate into World War 3 on a daily basis, are actually driving us mad. For three months we have endured the shouting, tears, throwing of various objects, telling tales, stupid noise-making while one or other is trying to get to sleep…in short, we have endured a mini hell on earth!
And bedroom gate continues. Even tonight they argued over who would turn off the light!
I am even finding it poses problems for me too. I am no longer able to send them to their rooms, to separate them when they fight, to allow them to calm down and quite frankly give me some peace and quiet. That cannot be done when they share a room. Damn the bedroom maths! How dare two rooms not divide equally between three boys.
Now ‘back in the day’, when my parents were children, sharing a room was the norm. My dad had two brothers and they all shared, quite happily, without the dramas we have experienced, and I wonder why that it. Perhaps it is because they had always shared a room. They didn’t once have their own space and then rudely have it taken away from them. Sharing was all they knew. Or maybe they were fine with it because they just had to deal with it, and no one would have pandered to their complaints, had there have been any. No one offered them a TV in their shared room by means of an apology. (Yes, I embarrassingly admit we made that offer, although their behaviour since has meant we retracted it!)
But don’t fret for us, because we have finally found a solution. We have found a way to keep all three boys happy and give them each their own room. We have come up with an idea which gives each of our precious little cherubs their own private space, to think, reflect, grow and be at peace. We have devised a cunning plan.
And at the small price of just £34,000 we think it’s a right bargain.
Bring on the loft conversion…
Scaffolding goes up next week!