As a teenager I hated nothing more than sharing a bedroom with my sister. I had a black and white magazine centrefold of River Phoenix and the lyrics to 'Everybody Hurts' on my wall. I marked the date of my period on my Oasis 1994 wall calendar. She had pictures of ponies and a toy duck, called Peep Peep. I used to stand on it when she was pissing me off, and she used to cry.
I always wanted my children to have their own bedroom. Perhaps my younger sibling and I would get on much better now had we not had to endure, amongst other room-sharing joy, endless fights over the cassette soundtrack to our simultaneous GCSE and A-level revision. Two desks only 3 or 4 yards and a few thousand miles apart.
Plans change though and despite having put our house on the market when C was a mere lump under my jumper, we're still no closer to moving. She'd been sharing with us, latterly in a crib at the bottom of my bed. Her new crawling skills have put paid to that though as she can now pull herself up on its slatted sides and, even with the gliding function locked, is inches away from making a bid for freedom over the side.
So we did some major furniture rearranging. T has the single bed which was previously in our attic conversion (space saver stairs mean it's not a suitable child's bedroom) and, with the bars replaced, C has moved into his cot bed. And they are rooming in together.
The transition has been relatively smooth. There is space at the end of T's bed for me to sit cross-legged and feed his sister when she wakes in the night. I have trained myself to respond instantly to the baby monitor and Mummy-dummy her before she can wake her brother. He hasn't complained at all about sharing his room.
Just before creeping into bed at night I sneak in to check they are breathing. I listen for the tell-tale wet semi-snores but can hear only one set of in and outs. I panic and switch on the bedroom light. I place a hand on both babies, the room is so small that were it not for the high cot sides I could do this simultaneously. They are both well of course, but breathing in absolute perfect sync. Both tummy sleepers, their backs rise and fall with each other. I allow myself to breathe again, and creep out without waking either.
The breath thing is only one aspect of siblings who adore each other. C has nothing but smiles for big brother who will fetch her toys, pick up food she has flung on the floor and splash in the bath to make her giggle. I am increasingly content with the fact that I can't give them their own rooms because I have given them something much, much better. Each other.