Monday, October 12, 2009

Separation Anxiety

What Now?

Since we moved into our current house about 5 years ago our two girls have shared a room. The upstairs has the master suite (or the adult playroom as I like to call it), another large room and a smallish room plus another bathroom. The bathroom is plenty big for both girls and even has two sinks, not that they ever use it. I basically share a bathroom with three women. Sometimes I think I should take over the girls bathroom, but that is for another post.

We decided it made the most sense to put both girls in the big room and use the small room for toys, games, puzzles and all the other things we are accumulating as parents. Our girls are only two years apart (7 and 5 for those keeping score at home) and get along like best friends 90% of the time (the other 10% they are mortal enemies sworn to destroy each other). This set-up has worked out great for us but my wife and I knew a day would come when our oldest would want her own room....and my friend, it seems that day is now!

Our oldest has been dropping hints for a couple of weeks now. "Dad, when I get my own room can I paint it a different color?" "Mom, how old were you when you got your own room?" To be honest I didn't think she would want to move until she was a little older and that these questions were just that, questions.

Well, she flat out said this weekend she would like to move into the toy room and make it her bedroom. We even inflated the guest bed (yeah, we use a blow-up bed for guests...guess who doesn't like guests???) and put it in the toy room so she could try it out. It didn't take long for redecorating and wall color planning.

My wife and I say it every day "The girls are growing up so fast, can you believe how big they are getting, did you hear what she said...damn, it's like she is a teenager already!" This move for more independence is just further proof that we can't stop our little girl from growing up, we can only hope to contain her (EPSN reference for those of you keeping score at home). My biggest fear is how our youngest is going to take this move. She clings to her older sister like gum on the bottom of a table. While big sister is ready to spread her wings and fly a little higher, little sister likes keeping her feet on the ground in the same room together.

One of the positives we see is the ability to put the girls down for bed a different times. Our oldest struggles a little having to go to bed as the same time as your younger sister, but unless we want meltdown mayhem each and every night we have to keep it that way. Also, I see this as a real opportunity for our youngest to find a little independence for herself. She will always be the baby in my eyes, but having her own space may be just what she needs so she doesn't always feel like the baby.

Since it looks like there is no way to prolong this move any further we are going to start to make the change this weekend. Moving beds, clothes, books and a couple of very heavy pieces of furniture will begin on Saturday morning and should be all completed by Sunday evening. That will be the true test for both girls. As for me, I think I need to buy a magazine rack for the girls bathroom....I'm feeling the need for my own form of independence.



  1. Love this post. I get the need for independence and keeping the status quo to appease the younger sister. Soon we will be messing with bedtimes for the same reasons.
    The pic that you used gave me my best chuckle of the day, thanks.

  2. Our boys shared a room and we used the other as a toy room as well. We threw a TV in there so it wouldn't be in their bedroom. Our boys are 4 years apart and finally the hints started to drop 3 years ago when my son was 9. It was hard for them to sleep apart for a while. We kept the bunkbeds for when the youngest needed his brother back from time to time.

  3. Our family is growing faster than our house.. My 4 year old daughter and 2 year old son have to share a room. I put him down about 30 minutes before his sister. But now he waits for her to come to bed so they can hang out. Its been two hours tonight and he just stopped coming out of his room. I think like you're daughter, mine will be dropping hints real soon as well.

    Great post. I would feel that this is a significant step and I would be emotional by the end of the night.