Sunday, 21 December 2008

Take two small Boys...

We put the Boys in the same room this weekend. Finally, after 3 years of their being in separate bedrooms, they are in together. I hope it's the right thing to have done. I mean, it's all fine and dandy right now; Boy #1 is so delighted with his top bunk that he will do anything asked of him (bar pick up his shoes, of course), and Boy #2 is equally entranced by his grown-up bed and the opportunity to climb into and out of it unassisted (dear god, what have we done?) after being imprisoned in his cot-bed for so long, that they are behaving impeccably.

Give it a few days though, and I can imagine the mayhem at 5.00am when Boy #2 gets bored with staring at the slats above him and scales the ladder to torment his older brother. Or when Boy #1 decides to start leaning over the edge to drop unpleasantness and insults on his younger sibling. How do I know this? I do have a sister myself, you know. And we used to share a room.

Not for long in bunkbeds mind you; they were soon separated, very probably because of the sort of behaviour I outlined above. And actually, as soon as she could properly put her foot down, we didn't share rooms at all; aged around 11 my younger sister got the hell out of our shared bedroom as quickly as she could to the room formerly known as 'the study'. Can't think why. Might have had something to do with the rotting sandwiches I used to hide in the back of our bedroom cupboard, I suppose. Though surely not... (and if you're reading this, Footballer's Knee's, I would really appreciate your not enlightening me in the comments box...).

Anyway, the deed is done. My Boys are in together. And should you be thinking of making a similar change to your household's sleeping arrangements, I have compiled a short list.

Things you will need to move your sons into the same bedroom...

3 weeks notice to finally get round to purchasing the mattress you have been telling your Husband you will order for around 2 months now, but which just hasn't been top of your to-do list. Perhaps because your overall sense of foreboding suggested some of the points which follow...

A whole working day to sit at home waiting for the delivery people to drop said mattress off. Because we all have that time to spare, right?

A further week to get round to going to the storage facility where the bunk bed not currently in use has been waiting for it's call-up papers.

Two very excited small boys on the day of the collection.

A Husband who decides on the way to collect the bunkbed that a side-trip to B&Q is a good idea on the last Saturday before Christmas.

Whilst the DIY safari is taking place elsewhere, you will also require a photographic memory to recall just how to dismantle the cotbed that you have put up and taken down probably 4 times in the last 4 years, but which is now suddenly a job you have no recollection of ever doing before.

A pen and paper to write down instructions for the next hapless individual to do assemble the cot (we are giving it to charity). Oh, and a digital camera, to look at when the job is done and the drawings and instructions are finished, and say 'Gosh, it would have made sense to take photos rather than to draw those crappy sketches...'

A sense of humour for when Husband gets home from the storage facility with the extra bunkbed, and can't find the screws to put it together.

A sense of calm when, after 2 hours tearing the flat apart looking for the missing screws, you realise there is in fact a box missing. And it is back at the storage facility, 40 minutes drive away.

An entertaining tv programme for the Boys to watch and to keep them out of harm's way whilst their parents finally put the bunkbeds together. Something with blood and guts on Animal Planet usually does the trick.

A sense of resignation when, within sight of the finish-line Husband realises that the beds have in fact been put together wrongly and that you will both be forced to perform a complicated and potentially fatal operation of the frame of the bunkbeds to rescue the situation. This operation involves a screwdriver, an umbrella, and a fair amount of swearing. Oh, and muttering. Of course.

And finally, the cruellest cut of all; the realisation that what everyone has told you is actually true; putting sheets on bunk-beds really is a bxgger.


  1. But it'll all be worth it when you creep in on your way to bed and they are tucked up, pink-cheeked and sleeping soundly.

  2. Or you may find (as I often do) that they are curled up in bed together fast asleep. We made the dreaded switch almost two years ago. There are days I still regret it. The boys love it most of the time. Bedtime is the worst because they would rather play.

    And bunkbeds, I told Ducky that if he wanted the boys to have bunkbeds he would have to change the sheets. I had them growing up and hated it. Ours are currently split up until I no longer have to get boys up to pee at 11 pm.

    Good luck and have fun!

  3. Even though I had a son and a daughter that were a year and a half apart, they did for the coziness of it share a room at a particular time in their life because they got along so well together. After bedtime they talked and told each other stories and generally kept each other from being scared in the dark. It worked out well, even though they didn't have bunk beds. I am sure they would have loved those too. It was a good experience for them and they really bonded in that time.

  4. A very ambitious plan just before Christmas.....good luck, I hope they have fun and not too much disruption. Ours slept in bunk beds on our summer holiday and had a great time climbing up and down the ladder all night.....despite the fact that we had thought it was too steep for Littleboy 1 (then aged 18 months) to even attempt.

  5. Sorry, meant Littleboy 2 - they were both going up and down in other words!

  6. Oh my god. Your post has made me take a sharp intake of breath and my heart is racing.

    My children can't sit in the same room as each other at the moment without winding each other up. At bedtime their rooms are next door to each other and one of them always tries to wind the other one up by tapping very gently on the wall. Add to that the fact that my 4 year old screams, shouts and flails in her sleep.

    These thoughts of room sharing are making me feel faint, I must go and lie down in a darkened room ... alone!

    On a positive note - good for you!

  7. good luck! we have squirrel and shark together in a bunk. we're awoken every day by the morning argument. this is usually something to do with the curtains, which i foolishly put round the bottom bunk and have regretted it ever since.

  8. Iota, you're right - it is.

    Ped, I'm knocking furiously on wood but Boy #1 is past the wake-up in the middle of the night stage, and Boy #2 is on the bottom bunk, so not a problem - so far...

    Irene, that's why we did it. Oh, and to reclaim a little grown-up space in the spare room (once all the junk unearthed by the move has gone to the charity shop, that is!)

    NVG, 'ambitious' is a very good - and very polite - word to use. Foolish, would be my word, when anticipating such a change just before Christmas. The flat is in turmoil - though Husband is doing a stirling job of sorting it all out. Thank god.

  9. Laura - you could have told me that BEFORE!

    Grit, you know, I thought about the curtains. And am now so glad I did nothing about it...

  10. I have a hard time with little kids and bunk beds, so the rule in our house was that they were not allowed up there, EVER! Of course that made it the forbidden fruit. And, yes, I am putting top-bunk-bed-making forward as an Olympic event.

  11. You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised and sharing a room helps them to become closer. I am being relentlessy positive here, you understand.

  12. EPM, duvets. I think it will be the only way...

    WM, actually, even though it's only been 3 days, that does seem to be the case. (For now, at least...)

  13. We have two out of the three sharing a room. With bunk beds. The older one really resents it. I suppose it isn't helped by the fact that the eldest has a room to herself, and by 13 years old, you want your own space. If I could click my fingers to add on a 4th bedroom to this house I would.

    All that said, the eldest two shared for a while, starting from when they were similar ages to your two. They got on well then, but it didn't last into tweenage- and teenage-hood. But I think girls of that age might crave their own space moreso than boys. Maybe?

  14. We are getting a toddler bed for Jonathan in January (only a week away!? Wow! This year has flown by!) and I'll be printing this list out as a reminder. Luckily he doesn't have a younger brother to torment. Only the dog (which is as small as a cat) and our three cats.

  15. Tracey, we'll see - and I hope you're right. Still, by then I will no doubt have won the lottery and live in a mansion so space won't be a problem (note to self: start playing the lottery). In any case, I can't think further than the next week or so over Christmas right now, frankly!

    J's Mommy, I'm sure it will be fine. And if not, get a child-gate for the door of his room (or the door of yours, however you're inclined!)

  16. Bunk beds are brilliant. I used to share a room with my little sister, even though she had her own room. I had the top, and used to wake her to pass me a drink in the night.

    She says she put up with my behaviour as she got such great pleasure when I used to fall from the top bunk in the middle of the night.

  17. Dear Potty Mum, due to powers beyond my control, I have been forced off line for a week now and I am trying to get back on, but it is a hard battle. I have managed to write one post and will write another one shortly. I miss you guys and hope you don't forget me.

    Love, Irene

  18. Oh this onebrings back memories Potty. My sister and I also had buk beds for a while, but the became two single beds on the night I refused to go to bed as she kept rockig them so that hers would 'fall down and squash me'.
    I was so glad when we moved house and had our own rooms. :D


Go on - you know you want to...