We are very lucky to have a big apartment in the heart of Vienna. We have 3 bedrooms — one for Dan & I, one for Liam and one for Benjamin. But, with “Jo pair” staying with us for a while, and not wanting to have her live on the futon in the living room indefinitely, we needed to change our arrangement.
I’d been toying with the idea of moving the boys in together for a while (even before Jo decided to come) because they’d been asking to stay together, and also because we’d found that when they do share a room (which often happens when we travel) they actually sleep BETTER than when they sleep apart (which is the opposite of what we would have expected, but it’s been a pleasant surprise).
It seemed like the best solution to our current situation, and today, we moved Liam into Benjamin’s room and moved Jo into what was Liam’s room. So far, they like it. We had a successful nap time today, and they were really excited about being able to go to bed together (and the theory was that we were going to read them stories while they laid down in bed . . . but instead we read them stories while they ran around, which is pretty much what happens when we read in the living room, so no change there).
I actually feel really good about this change. Jo gets an awesome room (really, I’m pretty jealous) and the boys get the experience of sharing a room together. Growing up, I shared a room for many years with my sister, Amanda, and although I was frustrated by it a lot, it actually fostered a lot of closeness. And, though I never would have admitted it at the time, it was, for a relatively anxious child like myself, a source of comfort to have my sister sleeping in the same room.
Besides, although it’s fun to have your own room, it’s not a situation that most people get to have forever. We all end up with roommates eventually (college, grown up life, spouses) and the lessons learned in sharing space and stuff are better learned in childhood, I think, than in adulthood.
After nap time this afternoon, Benjamin told me that he’s glad that he and Liam are sharing a room so that he can tell him, “Everything is ok, Liam”, if Liam gets worried, which is another one of the sweetest things I’ve ever heard (I get to hear a lot of those). I hope it turns out to be as much fun as they expect.