We have a huge, fenced yard, we have a roof over our heads, and I have a wonderful kitchen. I really do like our house. Really. No, really.
OK, not really. But I'm trying.
The problem is, it's small. 1300 square feet, three bedroom small. And out of that 1300 square feet, there really aren't that many closets.
And by that many, I mean, there are three. Our bedroom has a closet. Emma's room has a closet. There is a small linen closet at the end of the hall, and that's it. No coat closet, no storage, no nothing. The room that all three boys share has one wall that used to be a closet, but it's where Drew's crib is. No, not a walk in, just a wall. I'm getting tired of it.
You see, when you have six people in 13oo square feet, it gets a little cramped. There isn't room for an office or a spare bedroom, we don't have an attached garage that we can put stuff in. We do have a shop that has lots of room for storage, but it's kind of challenging to put on your coat and shoes and brave the wind and rain to go get your vacuum every day.
Yes, I vacuum every day. I have four kids and I live in the woods. I swept and vacuumed last night and already this place looks like the "before" picture in a TLC how-nasty-is-your-filthy-house show.
I wish there was such a show. Then someone would come over and clean my house for me. (insert wistful sigh here)
Anywhoo, I've been working on organizing our little abode and trying to make more space. Since all three boys are in one room, all their toys are in the living room. I want to
But a dream is nothing without a plan. So I created a plan.
I moved all three boys' beds to one end of the room. Now, this is not a big bedroom, it is your standard size 10'x10' room. 10'x12' if you include the closet space. Since the twins are still in toddler beds, I just made a u-shape with their beds along the far wall. Drew's crib was on one side, Ben was in the middle, and Grant was on the other side. The boys were part of the process. We talked about how much fun it was going to be to have their toys in their room, and the twins were so excited to get to sleep next to each other. We talked about expectations, how they would need to go to sleep right away and not talk all night or get out of bed and poke each other. They were solemn in their promise to do exactly the right thing. It was fabulous. I was so excited about the possibility, I actually thought it would work.
Have I ever mentioned that motherhood makes you stupid? Yup. True story.
That night, Drew went to bed first. He was excited about his new view, and screeched for forty five minutes. Even though it was past the twins' bedtime, I kept them up knowing that putting them to bed with a screeching Drew would be like putting them on the Matterhorn at Disneyland and expecting them to take a snooze.
He finally settled down and we put the twins to bed, threatening them that if they even made a peep and woke Drew up, there would be serious consequences. Well, Drew was up before Marty was out of the room. From there it got interesting.
Poor Ben, who was trying hard to keep his promise, was snuggled up tight trying to go to sleep, when his blanket was ripped from his body by the small two-year-old next to him who was reaching through the slats of his crib and grabbing what he could. We intervened, and got everything situated again. Then Drew grabbed Ben's pillow out from under his head, followed by taking Ben's car that he had brought to bed with him and beating Ben over the head with it.
About a half hour later, after the whole reaching-through-and-terrorizing issue had been resolved, Drew discovered the sheer joy of shaking his sippy cup over Ben's head and showering both him and his pillow with water. Ben was flipped around so his head was next to Grant. He asked for a new pillow, but by then I was frustrated and exhausted and just turned his pillow over and called it good.
Without Ben to pick on, Drew started to settle down around 9:30, two hours past bedtime. However, Grant decided that Drew was fun, and started taunting him. I heard "Drew, stand up and throw me your pillow!" and being the good, consistent mother that I am, I sent Marty in to deal with it while I ate chocolate and drank wine.
They finally fell asleep at 10:30. I was asleep on the couch at 10:32.
The next morning, discouraged and frustrated, I decided to try it a bit longer as there was a chance that it was just first-night excitement that kept them up. Also, I really, really wanted to have that closet space to put shelves in and actually be able to put things away.
Naptime was the next attempt. Once again, Drew went down first, then the twins went in. Drew was up before the twins were tucked in all the way, and excitedly started giggling and shaking the slats of his crib.
I tried. I really, really tried.
But about thirty minutes later I heard a warning that was not to be ignored. "Bubba! I pee on you!"
I ran into the room to find Drew, buck naked with his boy-business sticking between the slats of his crib, trying to pee on Ben's head.
Without warning, Drew's crib was pushed back to the other wall. Ben was put back in his old spot, Drew was diapered and duct taped (the diaper, not the child) and I walked out of the room.
I forgot that the sudden moving of Drew put his crib right next to a dresser, which he managed to reach through his crib slats and empty. He finally fell asleep and I found him, again naked, sleeping in a pile of previously clean and folded laundry, with his diaper and duct tape thrown across the room.
As much as I try to be thankful, I just plain need a bigger house.
Oh, and more duct tape. And wine.