Sleeping in the tub

Five-year-olds beg to sleep in the bathtub. It is an adventure. All a child in the Buddhouse would have to do was express a passing desire and I would throw her a pillow, blanket and turn out the lights. No questions asked. This was no great feat on my part. Easy as Pie. But . . . at some point they outgrow that.

Today something miraculous happened. But let me back up. Space is a very precious thing in a house with eight people. As even our frequent guests can attest, privacy does not exist in any way, shape or form here. Since we homeschool and run a business from our home, we want to provide as much sanctuary as possible for everyone. If we are all going to be in the same house all the time, let’s at least give everyone a small little corner they can call their own.

Stina will be home for the summer in a little more than a week. We are all ecstatic about this but the question remains, “Where will we put her?”

I was planning on putting the younger ones in the same room and giving one of their rooms to Stina. She complained that the bright colors on their walls would hurt her eyes, give her headaches and she would die. (Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit here, but not much.) So that wasn’t optional. None of the older children wanted to bunk with a toddler either, go figure.

Daniel had already sacrificed his room on two different occasions for almost a year each when we had house guests living with us. So he was starting to whine when that looked like that was where we were heading again. Elissa gets up really early for work and is very particular about her things, so everyone is afraid to share a room with her. Stina and Sarah don’t share the same level of cleanliness and putting them together threatened to disrupt the peace in our household.

There are absolutely no more rooms in our home. Before our fifth child was born, I even put up walls in my laundry room so Daniel would have a space of his own. Sure it is only 9×10, but it is his. So I am searching out every square inch of our home, trying to find a solution – wishing for the days when they would beg to sleep in the bathtub.

And then it came to me: The closet underneath the stairs! Who could I gently convince that inhabiting this 6×3 space for his or her room was almost as fun as sleeping the the bathtub. Now, sleeping in there every night wasn’t really an option but the girls in our house have an every night slumber party anyway. (Girl talk is pretty much a 24/7 thing here and they wouldn’t dream of missing those last few moments together each evening.) I really needed a place where one girl could just put her precious belongings and have a little sanctuary.

So I picked the right moment and started in on Sarah, our twelve-year-old. After we spoke, she wanted to do all that she could to make our summer magnificent. (It does help that living with Christina is pretty much just a constant party anyway.) So she eagerly and happily agreed to move into the closet under the stairs for the summer.

The problem was. This is what it looked like:

So we spent the night getting rid of boxes and boxes of stuff that we will probably never miss anyway. As you can see, this closet had become the place that the children would stuff things instead of finding the correct place when I told them to put it away. Then Sarah chose the leftover gray paint from the bathroom (it must have reminded her of her bathtub sleeping adventures) and I painted it. I got some wood and we put up a couple of shelves and . . . this is what it looks like now.

Less junk and more room. Happy, peaceful children. Who could argue with that?


3 Responses to “Sleeping in the tub”

  1. Christina Says:

    This is sick and wrong in some ways…and very practical in others. It is true though, we all do go through bath tub stages. I think mine was inspired by Stephanie Tanner in Full House. Love you mom!

  2. This is the point that we’re at right now, only we just have to wait until Joel goes off to college and we’ll have some more room. Sad to say, my office is in our bedroom closet. I say, whatever works!

    Thanks for the chuckle,

  3. […] Sarah will get to move out of the closet underneath the stairs and back into the room that she surrendered to […]

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