Friday, January 8, 2010

Tale of Two Rooms

I put a note up on Thursday that said I might be late. I don’t like posting late, but today there was a good reason.

I didn’t know the result of what I was going to write about.

When we bought a house here in Atlanta nearly four years ago, one of the things we liked about our new place was the large spaces for the second and third bedrooms. Both these rooms opened into a loft. Our boys had slept in separate rooms before, but the rooms had been small and close. We’d figured the boys would have been happy about it.

Our older one was.

Our younger one wasn’t.

Our little guy was scared of his new digs. Instead of sleeping by himself, he preferred to sleep with us or sleep on the floor in his older brother’s room. A kid who prided himself on his independence was afraid to be alone and afraid of the dark. He pressed on his big brother to let him move in with him. His big brother agreed and we allowed it. We turned the 3rd bedroom into a guest room and it’s been that way ever since.

However, with my older son starting sixth grade this year and often needing to work late on homework, my wife and I decided to split the two of them up. It was necessary, not only because of homework, but also because my younger son fights to stay up late and he was keeping his older brother up on nights where he needed to sleep well for a test.

We didn’t brook any dissent on this decision and spent most of this week getting things ready (Ok, my wife did most of the work, though I did move a few bits of furniture.) Last night became the big night. There were a few complaints. The biggest one was from my younger son. As my older son got the now former guest room, he also got a TV. The little guy complained that he should get one, too. We said we’d get him one as soon as he learned to turn it off when he was told. We figure we’re good on this until he goes to college.

As of this moment, the boys are asleep. Hopefully, they make it through the night that way. It’ll be good practice, especially since it looks like school will be closed tomorrow due to snow.


BECKY said...

Hi Walt. Can't wait to hear how the night went. Your writing, especially in this particular post, reminds me of one of my favorite writers.....Philip Gulley!

Jennifer Shirk said...

"We said we’d get him one as soon as he learned to turn it off when he was told. We figure we’re good on this until he goes to college"

Hilarious! I should use that line with my little one, then I'd be safe, too. :)

Kathy said...

Nice post.

We are a family of 5. At one point we lived on the third floor of a tenement building. Five people in four rooms! (not counting the bathroom)

I used the largest room as the kids' room. A Bunk bed for my two oldest; crib for the baby. They all became very close.

Now we're in a house and they each have their own room.

Walt M said...

Becky, I looked up Phillip Gulley. Thanks for the compliment. He seems interesting. I'll have to check out his writing.

Jennifer, I'm glad it made you laugh.

Kathy, the closest thing I can imagine to your situation was my time in Japan. There, families live in small places. Still, five people in four rooms is amazing.

Glad to hear your kids are close. My boys are close, too. Also glad to hear that they all have their own room, too.