De-bunking the Ark
Or how we fit soon-to-be 9 people in one house
Let me go officially on record by saying that we did not inherit a mansion with 17 bedrooms en suite. When we moved aboard the current Ark, we *only* had 4 kids. By suburban standards this was clearly above average as evidenced by the conversation I had with our builder during the house inspection.
Builder: So, how many kids you got?
Builder: FOUR? Where are you going to put them all?
Me: Ummmm...we were thinking about using the three bedrooms upstairs.
Builder: Really? I'd never have imagined it. When we designed this house, we put in the master bedroom along with a bedroom for a boy and a girl; and a guest room, of course.
Me: Of course.
Builder (walking away muttering to himself): Four kids...can't imagine it...
I wonder if I should have told him we weren't planning on having a guest room? But, at the time, it seemed as though the thought might have sent him over the edge. It probably wouldn't sit well with him if I called him today to tell him of the additional two (with a third on her way) children we've managed to squeeze into the three thousand square feet of living space we have here.
House size--or more specifically number of bedrooms--seems to be one of those items on the "how could we possibly add another child to our family" list. As if when there isn't an equal ratio of children to bedrooms, everything we've been taught to believe is important in raising children starts to unravel.
I think it's just that simple. Somewhere in our HGTV-minded culture (trust me this is not an HGTV-bashing session. I big, red puffy heart LOVE HGTV.) we've come to believe that each child wants, needs and deserves their own bedroom.
including hand-painted murals...
with co-ordinating six billion thread count sheets...
full of novelties and knick-knacks...
and awash with enough material goods to bless an entire third-world country (okay, maybe just a small one) for a nation wide Christmas gift exchange. Not that there is anything wrong with a well-decorated room. Taking the time to make the spaces in our home beautiful can bring great glory to God--the Ultimate Decorator.
Unless the decorating becomes an obstacle for welcoming the most glorious of God's creation--- human life.
Jumping down off my soapbox now, to answer the original question that is often posed to us, "Where does everyone sleep?"
Well, the Captain and I have our own space--barring any new babies or late night thunderstorms.
The two older girls sleep here:
The two little girls sleep here (and you'll notice a crib all set up and waiting for our new Baby Girl to join them):
Baby T sleeps here (now officially in a "Big Boy Bed"):
And, The Boy, has secured a literal room of his own in the basement we finally finished. I'd show you a picture, but, as it is, I'm lucky Sir Privacy allows me to mention he still lives here.
As you can tell, the bedrooms are just that--rooms for beds and bureaus--for sleeping and dressing and occasionally a quiet place to read. That's definitely all they have room for, too. The largest of these bedrooms might measure 12' x 13'. Toys, games, puzzles, etc...are kept in the "common" areas of the house where we can enjoy them together.
The more I think about it, maybe I should share this information with our builder friend. It might help him---and others---quite a bit.