I know everyone is sick to death of me whining about how hard it is to get my kids to sleep in the same room. It's like anything else in parenting - good days, bad days, moments of bafflement - and there's just SO much to complain about! I mean, two small children sharing one room offers up a lot of blog fodder, that's all I'm saying. And before you run away screaming because it appears I am setting you up for yet MORE whining - do not fear! Today I am going to share the one silver lining to this room sharing business.
When we were brave enough to try moving Molly into Jack's room (and by "brave" I mean "Molly no longer fit in our closet and we had to move her out or else") I spent HOURS trying to figure out the best set up for their room. I put the two cribs (TWO! CRIBS!) as far away from each other as possible and hoped for the best.
And, well, that was pointless. What I ended up with was a stage for each kid. Or a mirror. When Jack leaps up and down in his crib, so does Molly. When Molly throws all her toys and blankets on the floor, so does Jack. At nine-thirty at night, when all I want to do is watch Project Runway in peace, two juvenile delinquents are using their cribs as trampolines, laughing so hard I have to read Tim Gunn's lips.
HOWEVER. In the middle of the day, this is the best most fantastic most brilliant idea EVER. I lucked out with two kids who are pretty good at playing by themselves and who like a little quiet time in their day. Sometime after breakfast I say, "Want to play in bed?" and two shiny little faces immediately brighten up before scurrying to the stairs. I stick in them in bed with blankies and books and that's how I get a shower every single morning.
They're not always so amenable. Sometimes they want to sit in MY bed and watch TV. Sometimes they want to dump all the puzzles out in the hallway or bring the Play-Doh into bed (NO WAY, KIDDOS!) But around 10:30 this morning, after a very early start to the day, a few errands and a good run around the park, Jack ASKED to play in the crib. And whatever Jack does, Molly does too. And that's how I folded two piles of laundry and wrote three emails before lunchtime.
How long would they be happy in their beds if the other one wasn't there to keep things interesting? My kids are each other's favorite entertainment. BAR NONE. They will push and shove and steal and whack each other over the head with the nearest toy when they're free to roam in the living room or upstairs while I'm putting the wet clothes into the dryer, but stick them in their cribs with a couple of toys? And I've got myself a good half hour to an hour of FREE TIME. Free time I use to RECOVER.
(I don't know any mothers who do this - or who admit to it, anyway. My own mother says, "Well, what do you think we used PLAYPENS for?")