Looking over house plans, Tracey and I are always amazed how so many of the designs have the parents’ bedroom at the far end of the house to the kids’ rooms.
I understand the idea you don’t want the kids hearing anything which might require therapy down the track, but our house is an old Queenslander with single skin walls and our oldest two actually congratulated us once on them never having heard us making their siblings.
“You obviously don’t ‘do it’ while I’m in the house,” Miss18 said to us a couple of years ago. Then, when we didn’t respond, she added in a slightly desperate tone, “Tell me you don’t ‘do it’ while I’m in the house!”
For years I’ve been complaining about how many kids we’ve got vs how many bedrooms are available. Well, I’m not going to be able to do that anymore because my kids have come up with a solution.
“Why do I have to sleep by myself!?” Master8 has been moaning at us every night for weeks and weeks.
Over the holidays we let him top and tail with the girls just to shut him up, but this only created another problem.
“I wanna sleep in dare too!” Miss3 would bellow if she wasn’t allowed to join in the fun.
“You know what?” I said to Tracey last weekend. “Why don’t we just set them all up in the one room like they want?” Brilliant.
“You mean, like I’ve been saying for the last month?”
“No,” I lied, and quickly formulated a way for it to be my own idea. “You’ve been talking about putting them all in the girls’ room, which was silly. I’m thinking they’ll fit better in the sleep-out.”
“You’re quite a thinker.”
“It’s a guy thing. We’re better spatially.”
The last few nights we’ve been moving beds and mattresses and toys and bedside tables. Naturally, one of the kids immediately decided to upset the apple cart.
“I want my old room,” Miss6 told me as I tucked her into bed.
“But this is the only room you all fit,” I explained. Mind you, even then one of the beds had to be a trundle we push away every morning. “You want to sleep with the others?”
She agreed she did, and we avoided having to move everything back.
The whole place has started to come together again. It really has been looking like crap, not least because Tracey had an epiphany once we had all four mattresses set out in the sleep-out.
“Do you realize,” Tracey told me, “we have a whole room with no-one in it.” Not to mention one big room with only a cot. This was indeed some kind of first.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” I asked my good wife.
“You can move out of our bedroom?” she said.
“Just kidding,” she assured me. “A studio for my photography!”
“I was going to say a media room, but your idea has merit too,” I said. “Your second idea, not your first.”
And as the best natural light in the house comes in our bedroom, we’ve moved our bed six meters south, into the girls’ old room. Now we are snap bang between the baby in one room and the four kidlettes in the other.
Which has brought me to the realization I don’t know dick about house design. I get why the main bedroom is at the other end of the house now, and it’s not, as I suspected, so they can’t hear their parents getting jiggy in the still of the night.
I get it now because last night I had possibly the worst night’s sleep since the first six months of Miss1’s life. I heard every cough, every time someone bumped a wall, every murmur and, I could almost swear, every breath. Plus we are now so much easier for them to find when they wake up at sparrows and want company – so add feet in small of back, cough in face and elbows between the shoulder blades (thank you Miss3).
Yep, the reason modern house plans have the kids rooms at the other end of the house is because if you can’t hear them they can’t wake you up.
On a related matter, I want my old room back.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’