The Cupboard Under The Stairs

4 Sep

t around 1:30 yesterday afternoon my facebook status update read “Painting the baby’s new ‘room’”.

A friend replied “You need to stop doing all these projects. You’re making me feel lazy”.

My response, “We haven’t slept for 3 weeks around here. This is an act of desperation”.

All the “experts” tell you that right around 6 months is when a baby develops will-power. It’s good to know Episode VI’s development is right on schedule, because over the past three weeks he has definitely made his opinion known.

Sleep. Sleep is the primary bone of contention.

After doing cartwheels, and rain-dances, and goodness knows what else to get him down, he lasts for about an hour and a half before he realizes that he isn’t

A)    In our bed with us

B)     Attached to Mommy’s all-you-can-eat wet bar

And oh does he make his feelings known about that. We’ve read all the books. We’ve been to all the websites. We have the previous experience of two older kids to draw on. At 3:30am it’s all bullsh*t. After three weeks we were ready to break. Something had to give. Something had to change. It may not make a damn bit of difference, but we need to get the baby out of our room.

Ain’t that the truth.

When we moved into our house things were just right. We had two kids and three bedrooms, enough for everyone. When we found out we were going for the trilogy, the plan was to add a bedroom onto the house this past summer. The real estate market being what it is in California, we didn’t have enough equity to finance it with a re-fi, which meant the addition was going to have to be a cash project. Sadly, we didn’t have a spare $65,000 lying around so the project didn’t happen.

We could put the baby in with one of the other kids, plenty of people do it that way and do fine. But things are so dicy around the house, with parents being outnumbered by children, sleep-deficit at historic highs, an over-dramatic 1st grader adjusting to school and everything else on top, we just couldn’t entertain the thought of putting the other kids’ sleep at risk.

Things get ugly when Daddy doesn’t get enough sleep.

Where to put the baby? Where to put the baby?

The garage is spacious, but drafty.

The Thule box on top of the minivan might work, but it would be tough to get him in and out.

The playhouse in the backyard might work, but the cat brings all her half-mutilated rat/bird/mole kills there and leaves the gore for us to find 3 days later when the maggots and smell finally draw our attention. That place gives me the creeps.

Not our car, but you get the idea.

So with grim resolve my wife and I spent the long weekend moving out of our 6’x 8’ closet. She put all her clothes in my daughter’s closet that they will share for the foreseeable future, and all my stuff went in the coat closet by the front door so my neighbors can watch me get dressed in the morning through the living room window. By 4:30 yesterday the closet had a new, fresh coat of boy-baby colored paint, and by 9:00 my wife and I fell asleep to the smell of paint fumes coming from the closet 18” away. (Don’t worry, we didn’t sleep much. The baby still had us up every 1.5 hours.) This week UnDorkMommy will order some cutsie decals to babify the space, followed by baseboards to be installed by me and my father this weekend and then that’s right…

…we’re moving our baby into the closet.

Like Harry Potter, our son will be the boy in the cupboard under the stairs.

…except it’s a closet, not a cupboard. And we don’t have any stairs.

I have an old friend who’s a psychotherapist. I can’t wait to hear the ribbing she’s going to give me. If Episode VI ever needs therapy in the future, I imagine this will be the right place to start.

-Dork Dad

3 Responses to “The Cupboard Under The Stairs”

  1. closets are cool! September 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    my daughter lived from age 3 – 10 in a closet that had been made into a bedroom by the previous owners. we called it her “gnome home” because the ceiling was slanted (since it’s just a space under the roof). all of her friends were jealous. her room was unique. how come THEY couldn’t have a “gnome home?” about the time we moved, she was beginning to hit her head on the ceiling, as we had been the whole time …so, it was good timing to move …but, the experience was definitely positive. way to be creative!!

    • dorkdad September 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

      The pediatrician just told us today at the well-child visit that Episode VI continues to be in the 98% for height (and weight). I fully expect him to bumping his head in any “gnome homes” way before he turns 10.


  1. At What Cost Our Dreams? | - March 4, 2013

    […] Episode VI can’t live in the closet forever. His brother and sister both have their own bedrooms. We could certainly double them up if we need to, but it would be nice if they could all have their own rooms, and it would be nice if UnDorkMommy and I could have our own modern master bedroom. We actually had plans drawn up and investigated what it would cost to put the addition onto the house. Guess what the estimate was. […]

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