Saturday, November 17, 2012

Room for two

Operation Closet Emancipation is complete.

It was a battle not easily won.

Two weeks ago we rearranged rooms, assembled and disassembled beds and moved Caleb into Jacob's very large bedroom. They would have plenty of space, their own bathroom and a big closet to share. What they would not have, it turns out, was sleep. The setup lasted less than two days, and went so poorly that we found ourselves moving a mattress and a three-year-old back into his old room at 10 p.m. one night.

We gave ourselves (and the kids) a few days to recover, then set up a new battle plan to vanquish the infant takeover of my closet.

Abby was moved to the big bedroom with plenty of space, her own bathroom, and a big closet. The room has one major fault, but we've promised her a can of paint will solve the problem of the blue walls one of these days. She's settling in nicely.

Caleb moved into Abby's old room with a view of the backyard and the creek that is sure to make him test the integrity of his window latches one day.

Jacob was moved into Caleb's old room and Levi's stuff was expunged from my closet where it found a new home in the closet they now share.

This set up works beautifully. Four-month-old Levi does not care if Jacob cries, throws stuff down or sings himself to sleep, and couldn't sit up and acknowledge him even if he did. This renders Jacob's efforts to get his brother's attention absolutely useless, which means he eventually gives up trying.

Jacob doesn't care if Levi is crying either. In fact, when on their first night in a room together, Levi took a particularly long time to settle down, we thought we'd remedy things by removing Levi from the room until he was quiet and letting Jacob get to sleep. I crept into the dark room where Jacob was sitting up in his crib humming "Jesus Loves Me" while Levi screamed his head off. I lifted Levi from his pack n play, told Jacob to lay down and get some sleep, and started out of the room.

"No! My baby!" Jacob yelled. And then, to drive the point home, he began plaintively wailing Levi's name over and over again. "Wuuuuh-veeeeeee! Wuuuuuuh-veeeee!"

I laid Levi back down and his screaming picked up right where it had left off. Jacob, on the other hand, quieted down, snuggled up with his blankie, and went to sleep. Levi wailed for a few minutes more, and then all was quiet. I looked at the three closed doors behind which slept my four quiet children and breathed a sigh of relief.

Naptime and bedtime have gone great in the boys' room, and four months worth of my laundry is finally getting put away.

Why didn't we think of this sooner?

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