Tuesday, 16 December 2014


People talk about the nesting instinct during pregnancy, but they don't talk much about the nesting instinct of children and their growing need to make a space their own.  While Molly and Jack aren't organizing shelves or actively participating in spring cleaning they most certainly want some input on the world around them, particularly their room.

When I was eight years old my mom involved me in the re-decoration of my bedroom.  The result was me designing a bedroom that looked like pastel rainbows threw up everywhere.  Years later, when I was 15, I covered up Cloud Cuckoo land with two walls of posters and magazine clippings of everything Grunge.... and wrote what my family coined as "emotional poetry" on my bed spread in a laundry marker (It was actually mostly lyrics from Pearl Jam's Black, which I can't claim as my own work) .  My mom applauded my creativity through gritted teeth as she knew that any criticism of my room decoration would elongate the winter of my discontent.

The nursery has been in an endless state of decoration rotation this year.  Several months ago Jack asked me to take down the "Boys Don't Cry" poster that was hung in the nursery because it was scaring him and it occurred to me that the space that I had created during pregnancy nesting no longer belonged to me.  It belonged to my two little minions and they had a different vision for their room than I did with my storybook theme.  The Jack and the Bean Stalk print that hung above Jack's bed has also been removed from the wall because it was scaring him.  We bought Molly and Jack a Frozen poster for their birthdays which they enjoyed for a number of months until Chris was asked to take this down because, Jack informed us that "it's bugging me".  The Princess Bride print above Molly's bed was broken one afternoon (during an attempt at a nap) when Molly tried to "make monkey fly into the sun" - this is partially our fault since we installed an IKEA light fixture that is designed to look like the sun.  Monkey just couldn't handle the heat, but don't worry Monkey's okay...I wish Wesley and Buttercup could say the same.

skeleton sock monkeys
It was Pink Monkey (aka Icarus) who tried to fly too close to the sun.

I wanted to keep decorative control over the nursery for as long as I could, but I now know I'm fighting a losing battle.  Kids have such little control over their own schedules, meals and everything else in their lives that it's nice to give them some space that is designed by them, for them.

Last month we bought Jack a print of Mickey Mouse camping that we found at Good Will and Molly selected a painting from our hallway, which my grandmother Alice painted for us as a wedding gift, that we hung above her bed because it reminds her of Cinderella.  We had to rearrange the nursery a few weeks ago because a plug outlet that was close to Molly's bed was scaring her.  The following week we had to reconfigure the room again when Jack used the new layout of the room to climb up onto their wardrobe and rain down all of the "stuffies" (stuffed animals) onto the bedroom floor during nap time.

Jack chillin on the nursery floor.

In the summer when we move them from toddler beds to bunk beds we will have them pick out their own twin sized bed spreads - it's going to be interesting to see what they select.  Hopefully it will be a few more years before they write emotional song lyrics on them.

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