It will be GREAT, I told myself, when we bought the house
with only two usable bedrooms. The girls
will share. They'll never be scared because
they have each other, and they'll grow up to be the best of friends. I also nurtured
future bunk bed fantasies, left over from my tween years at overnight camp and juiced
by the Restoration Hardware Baby and Child catalogue.
The reality: A preschooler and a baby are on very different
wavelengths, and nothing about bedroom-sharing is going smoothly. Maybe in a few years they'll
be better roommates—if I survive that long. For now, here's what happens on an almost daily basis:
1. The kid is scared to go to bed without a
nightlight, while the baby requires pitch black darkness to sleep.
If the door is opened precisely 6.4
centimeters, we can satisfy both customers. And you know how precise
preschoolers are, so this never gets screwed up.
2. The older kid needs a parent to lay with her at
The baby's already asleep, so the
rule is no talking or for God's sake at least whisper. Except the whisper of a 5-year-old could be heard at the back of Carnegie Hall.
3. Baby's piercing wails wake preschooler up from a
nursing and giving back scratches at the same time!
4. Preschooler's nightmares (why, why, why did I
let her watch Gremlins?) wake sleeping baby from a sound slumber.
5. Preschooler climbs into the crib.
Because she can.
6. Does someone have a bad cold? Then by morning, they both will.
You know those kooky moms who have chicken pox
parties to make sure their kids get the disease before adulthood? I'm unwittingly living in the equivalent of a
chicken pox party ALL THE TIME, with less itching and more snot.
7. Preschooler notices her old clothes folded in the
baby's drawer and demands their return.
"Because they're miiiiiiiine," she whines, never
mind that they would only fit on one of her legs.
9. Since the kids have different bedtimes, our master
bedroom has become the preschooler's default dressing room, story time area and
stuffed animal display.
So as you can
imagine, the husband and I are having tons of sexy time.
10. Yet inevitably, there will be one VERY IMPORTANT
thing the preschooler left behind in her bedroom.
She'll be *so quiet* when she sneaks in to retrieve this very important thing. Really, she promises, not waiting for permission as she slams open the door, flooding the room with light, footsteps thundering, too late to hear my, "Oh no, please don't, the baby's
sleeping ... " WAAAAAAAAAH. And scene.