Pretty much reminds me when I was at his age and when I first decided to crash in Grace's room. Things were way different then. See, we live in a three-bedroom apartment and the second room used to have the same underneath-the-bed-pull-out kinda bed that we have now in both rooms which was meant for the both of us. Never wondered why the third room was never occupied, though. Initially, mom and dad didn't really think it all over when they made a room like that for the both of us - small and compact complete with baby-colours painted built-in furnitures. Never thought about having a third child and never expected me to grow to my current size, I guess. Pretty much new to parenting and interior design then. I still remember my first few weeks when I slept with Grace.
There was definitely not as much arguements back then compared to the times I debate with Edmund to go away and sleep with dad. Couldn't remember Grace complaining or grumbling under her breath everytime I barge in her (she preferred HER than OUR) room, independantly pulling out the bed myself. The thing was, when the bed was fully out, it was right underneath the study table, making it impossible to study if I wanted to sleep and leaving not much space left in the room to move about. And as far as I can remember, I'll always see her facing the wall, buried in her work everytime I barge in. She'll only sigh and pack her stuff and walk out to finish her work at the dining table. Then I will let dad or mom tuck me in. Funny that Grace didn't complain much when it was my time but I bet she probably didn't have that many assignments and homework that we do now. We also used to have those foldable plastic doors that create a hell of a noise when opened or closed and I'll always tell dad to leave a tiny bit opened to let in some light (I was afraid of the dark, ok!). It was hard for me to leave the warmth of mom and dad's hands cuddling me to sleep and waking up to clean my backside everytime I pee on the bed but I managed somehow. Learnt how to control my bladder and substitute their warmth with a blanket.
There were, of course, times when I go to bed at the same time as Grace. Those were the few times when she tried her best to scare me. Maybe it was inheritary or she was just fulfilling her duty as a sister that she saw scaring me as fun. Honestly, I was one of the most timid child around and one of the easist to trick or scare. I mean, I had nightmares when I watched the first Anaconda movie! You get the picture! She used to tell me there were monsters and all sorts of other ghoulish creatures waiting to eat me as soon as I close my eyes under her bed (especially after watching The Nightmare Before Christmas). I was sleeping on the pull-out bed and I had a perfect view of underneath her bed, practically covered in a thick layer of dust and pieces of paper. It'll either send me running to mom's room and spending the night there instead or giving me nightmares for the rest of the night.
Sleeping with her also means clearing up my own bed every morning, school or no school. Believe me, she was some sort of my disciplinarian. I've never packed my bed after sleep before sleeping her room. Snuggling in between your parents the night before kind of allows you to skip all those blanket folding. I still remember, she used to grip the cane firmly in her hands as she watched me fold my blanket and fluff my pillows till I push in the bed. I would cry in agony, hoping for dad to come rescue me, at the very first few times as I do this under her strict observation but she managed to turn it into a habit. Felt like a prison guard waiting to whip the shit out of you for any misconduct. She had always emphasised on cleanliness and neatness especially when it comes to these things. You should see her scream and yell when I feel rebellious and refuse to clear my bed. Never once did she allow herself to clear up my stuff. Told you she was
Unlike Edmund and I.
Eventually, when Edmund appeared in our dull lives
But that was like, what? 8 years ago?
My privacy only lasted about 7 years before the family decided to have a complete renovation. You bet I was glad to get rid of all those baby furnitures that occupied my room. But that gladness was only temporary. Somehow, Grace and I decided to switch room. I wasn't all keen on the idea because the second (smaller) room which I inherited from Grace had two windows and in my opinion, had better air circulation. But then again, the third room was bigger and it suited me better, due to the size of my body and dad agreed that there'd be more space for Edmund and I if ever Edmund suddenly grows up and decided to move in with me and bring all his toys along! Didn't really give it another thought (how shallow of me!) when they decided that the computer was going to be in my (new) room and agreed to switching rooms immediately. I thought that Edmund will probably sleep with mom and dad for the rest of his life, leaving me and my privacy with the computer alone. Who knew, he'd decide to move into my room 10 months after renovation!
I know Edmund moving into my room is a huge leap of faith for him... and for me. I asked myself, is this boy for real? Is he really ready to leave all those bedtime stories and those goodnight kisses behind him? Is he really growing up? It freaked me out, really. I was once in his shoes and I was determined to sleep alone when I said I would. Is it the same for him now? I can remember mom said in one of her lectures, "Edmund's growing up now and if he wants to sleep with you, let him! You have to start accepting him...". Time is running really fast.
Him moving into my room has brought certain noticeable changes in the room. He waltzs into the room ofte at 10.30 p.m. when I'm still halfway ploughing through the mountanious amount of homework or busy clicking on the computer and tells me, "Ko, I want to sleep already." "But I'm not done with my work yet! Can you please sleep with mummy tonight?" I'd say to him. That is all it needs to make him start yelling in protest while I ignore him and focus back on my work and that's when mom will come in and start her lecture which only results to me reluctantly relenting to his needs! Something similar to my time with Grace is that the bed is right behind of me and whenever the pull-out bed is out, it really leaves no space for the chair in between the bed and my desk. Meaning, I have to stop all my activities precisely at that moment when he wants to sleep! Which also means, I'll have to go to bed early! All I can do is frown and grumble under my breath whenever this happens.
Another bad thing about him sleeping with me is that he is an extremely dependant boy! I suppose this was to be expected when you are raised by numerous Indonesian maids who treat you like their baby emperor or something. These past few days, he walks in and tells me, "Ko, please pull out the bed for me. I want to sleep already." I'll never miss the chance to snap back at him, "Can you please sleep with mom tonight?". Now, he brings dad along whenever he enters my room to save him all the protest. Dad says, "Matt, do it for him, please. C'mon, take care of his needs and tuck him into bed." What the hell?! Certainly, I'm not giving him any smooches on the cheek! All I do is pull out the bed for him with alot of grunting and groaning (because I'm mad) and tells him, "There, go to sleep!" And then, I'll miserably retire to packing my books and lifting my hands from the mouse and eventually, to bed. But seriously, he really doesn't have the strength to pull out the bed himself.
Lastl, but not least, he doesn't do his bed after he wakes up. He just walks out of the room, leaving all the blankets unfolded and scattered all over the place. After all, he has akak to do it for him. Why worry? Trust me, I have attempted to be like Grace and make him pack his bed but I couldn't find the cane anymore and mom is always overprotecting him when I try. "Don't be so fierce on him lah, " mom will say! Urgh! Plus, Edmund depends on an alarm clock which he will tune everynight before closing his eyes, to wake him up! This is really strange, considering Grace and I have never been disciples of the dreaded alarm clock! He has been so used to using the alarm clock that he even has it turned to 8.30a.m. during weekends and holidays! It never fails to ring and does its best to disturb my sleep! I really feel like smashing his ridiculously big alarm clock to pieces if he didn't leave it under my bed (beside his bed) every night. Urgh.
Despite all that, he does actaully make me go to sleep earlier, especially on weekdays. However, it doesn't really hep alot in my alertness level in school the next day. I can still manage to use the computer even with his bed pulled out. I just sit on his bed (he's small and tiny and he doesn't occupy alot of space on a single-sized bed) and use my computer from there, with my head tilted upwards. I do, eventually, pull the covers over him at times and play the music not too loudly so that he could sleep. I've also pretty much stopped watching late night private screenings of The O.C. or Grey's Anatomy. With mom or dad coming in to tuck him to bed (smooches and hugs) every night and checking into our room frequently, it's getting kind of hard for me to have my private screenings till 3a.m. in the morning.
Overall, I don't think it's such a bad thing that this brat is beginning to move in with me. Rest assured, I'm not looking forward to having a broken relationship with my brother and just like what mom said, it's time for me to learn to accept his ways (and also disciplining him!). By the way, whenever I tell him to sleep with mom, I don't do it in a posessed demonic way, in case you get the wrong idea. I only raise my voice a little to ask him to scram. Still, it is kinda cute when he barges into my room and jumps on MY bed and rolls around with my bolster. The way he says, "HI, ko!" when he enters or the way when he tries to scare me in my room (which is also what I used to do to Grace). But he really does scare me when he starts talking to himself in his dreams and waving his hands when he's asleep. I'm sure going to miss this when he grows up. Which is soon, I predict.