|(one week after moving in - July 2008)|
As mothers of tween boys know, there is something odd that begins to happen to our darling fellas right around their 11th birthday. All of a sudden you begin seeing these passionate/violent explosions that come out of nowhere. Unprovoked rage that's looking for a wall - or face - to punch.
And when you've got two brothers so close in age that they're going through it together?
Then you're right back to where we were, with Camden attempting to drag his mattress through the hall and down the stairs because he'd "rather live outside on the patio than take one more millisecond with THAT JERK."
Damn you, testosterone.
|(after a coat of paint and repurposed cabinets before we created a craft room - March 2009)|
When we moved into this house, the 3 youngest boys shared the bigger upstairs bedroom. Hayden was eventually evicted and moved downstairs with Brendan as his favorite hobby had become annoying the two older ones. But now - AS MUCH AS I BELIEVE CHILDREN SHOULD SHARE A ROOM - we needed to get creative. Without moving. Or spending any money.
That row of hooks was perfect for backpacks of yesteryear that weren't carrying overstuffed middle school binders and 20 pounds of high school textbooks. Adolescent bags are much too heavy to be hung up now (no matter what pinterest tells you), and those hooks had sat empty for years.
Speaking of empty, although the left side of our laundry room is taken up with the washer and dryer, the other side was just doing nothing. Sure, it housed the perfectly organized heaps o' dirty clothes like a boss, but that's technically what that laundry shoot is for. All that other stuff? Procrastination mixed with pure, unadulterated laziness.
There were grand visions of turning the whole space into a super efficient storage mecca, but I suppose that will just have to wait for another season of life. Never doubt the sacrifices a mother will make when she's desperate for some freakin' family harmony.
A quick coat of dark charcoal paint leftover from the boys' dresser upstairs got put onto that recessed wall.
We moved in an old area rug to warm up part of the 1968 (complete with embed glitter!) linoleum. The temporary trash nightstand and lamp moved in that first night until we sorted who got what from the custody battle of stuff upstairs. The tv that's used for video games got plopped onto a shelving rack from the garage. I was having panic attacks at the thought of Camden telling his future therapist about his Harry Potterish set-up...but instead? It became the "cool dorm room" that everyone wanted to hang out in.
He kept all of his clothes stored where they were upstairs, but he wanted a little storage/display space to make it feel less hobo-with-a-mattress-in-a-laundry-room. That tall shelf in our Very Organized Garage wasn't holding much but some old thermos (thermoses? thermosi?), and was chunky and wood and once it got a few inches cut off the end, fit perfectly.
(Update: it's been over a year now, and although the boys are back to being friends again,
Camden has no desire to leave his little bedroom alcove.)
Here's to working with what you've got.