Friday, March 7, 2014

A Room of His Own

I've always been a proponent of children sharing rooms--for reasons of camaraderie, exigency, and communalism. So I was a little surprised to find myself a few Fridays ago making a grand announcement that tomorrow I would move Jesse into Roscoe's now-empty basement bedroom.

The kids had been lobbying to move Levi into the basement with Logan, but we felt that was a bad idea. Levi tries mightily to keep up with Logan, and the fact is, eleven-year-old Levi should not walk in step with his sixteen-year-old brother. And adjacent siblings bully and compete more than non-adjacent ones. So to the basement for Jesse.
Jesse in his new boy cave.

It was a long day of disassembling and reassembling bunk beds, schlepping stuff up and down three sets of stairs, and vacuuming, vacuuming, vacuuming. (Mark still laid up.) At the end of the day, each boy was the proud occupant of their own cute little boy cave.
I love the little treasures kids display. Jesse has a little missionary in honor of Roscoe...

...and a picture of Roscoe proudly displayed next to a chunk of lava.

And of course, a plunger.

I cannot believe the huge impact this has had on the peacefulness of our family. Levi and Jesse fight less. Levi gets the space he craves. Jesse gets the peace and solitude he needs to keep his little self together. Levi and Jesse go to bed peacefully. The first night, I came downstairs to tuck Jesse in and found him looking at a magazine in bed with his covers pulled up around him.

Okay, that doesn't sound amazing, but in the past, getting Jesse to actually lie atop his bed at night was a struggle.
I love Levi's carefully arranged shelves of fantasy books and sports junk. See the proudly displayed deodorant? Big boys stuff like that has real cachet around here.

Without one boy's mess impinging on the other's, they are each better able to keep his room clean. Mostly. The good news is that Jesse's project supplies (basically anything from the recycling bin) no longer litter the entire house. The bad news...
At least it's not in the kitchen.

I'm working on convincing him that his creativity will be enhanced if he can keep his bro cave in order.

What Jesse created from the detritus in his room last week. I think it's completely awesome.


  1. Way to see a need and fill it! The siblings-next-to-each-other-fight thing is so awful. I wish there was anything that could be done about that. I guess you found one thing to do! Separate them!

  2. I really like our setup right now. When we moved into this house of five bedrooms, I asked my middle child if she wanted to sleep in the storage room (it's like a small bedroom with shelves all around) or share with her littlest sister. She opted for the storage room. So every child has their own room. But in almost every room except that storage room (although they love to cram into the shelves for sleepovers), the kids have the options to share, in 1st daughter's room there is a full bed, in 2nd daughter's room there are bunkbeds, in son's room, there is room for the two littlest to snuggle in and read together in his twinbed. So when I show the house to people I explain that the kids often find themselves, especially on weekends and holidays, sharing in all sorts of ways but then they still get their own spaces. It's pretty privileged but I do like it.