When we first moved to Yellow House, everybody got their own room, and we made the room assignments by age and room size. Noah got the biggest room and Ike got the smallest, with Ezra taking the medium-ish one.
But we REALLY assigned Ike to the smallest room because we wanted him to have as little space for rock-star-trashing-a-hotel-room shenanigans as possible. That room is big enough for a twin bed, a nightstand and one small toy box. Everything else is kept in the basement or on the hallway bookshelves. This would naturally limit the about of shit that he could dump all over the floor every night.
(Right. "Naturally." My ass.)
Sure enough, every morning I'd find the entire contents of his toy box on the floor, along with 20+ picture books he'd managed to drop riiiiiight into the small space between his bed and the wall.
What I wouldn't find in that room, however, was Ike. Once his room was satisfactorily wrecked, he'd sneak into Ezra's room and crawl into bed with him. "Ezra keeps the bad dreams away," he told us adorably at the time, so we allowed it. We also, eventually, allowed Ike to just start the night in Ezra's room, until they were officially unofficial full-time roommates.
Fast-forwarding through a ton of nonsense, including a cat pee-stained mattress and a long, fruitless search for bunk bed hardware that got lost in the move, Ike and Ezra share the medium room with the bunk beds, and Noah's now in Ike's old room and loves it.. His old room is now a "playroom," which is just code for "the room with LEGO for carpet."
I had some vague plans to move a futon in there and maybe set it up as a proper room with ample toy storage and maybe a spot for video games, but, you know, it's me. I did absolutely none of those things. So it's just a big rectangular mess of random toys, with Ike's clothes in the closet.
I could live with that, however, we're once again facing a Room Dilemma, as Ezra no longer wants Ike in his room, at all, ever.
This is because Ike is a TERRIBLE roommate. Like, he is every dorm room nightmare and your first apartment out of college horror story combined. He broke a dresser and a lamp. He dumps entire bins of toys all over the floor and won't pick them up. I've found Ike-sized underwear where underwear should not be, nor could I even tell you how it got there. He wants ALL THE LIGHTS ON ALL THE TIME, leaves wet towels in Ezra's closet, and talks to Alexa in his sleep.
(Meanwhile, this weekend Ezra decided to reorganize the bookshelves and basement toy closets FOR FUN. He pulled 20 tons of crap out and then meticulously sorted and stacked it all back in. He asked if he could have the day off from his regular chores, which I almost felt badly about agreeing to, because it takes him 10 minutes to load the dishwasher and he spent over 10 solid hours on the closets alone. But sure, go nuts!)
Ezra wants a nice, clean, organized room. He wants his own desk and a non-broken dresser and a few shelves for storing his various collections and treasures. He doesn't want a floor covered in Bionicles and stuffed animals. He's tired of cleaning up Ike's messes every day, and I'm tired of Ike getting away with not helping. Their Odd Couple routine has run its course, and it's time for separate rooms once again.
But who to relocate, oh Internet? I've offered Ezra the playroom, complete with promises of a baller floor-to-ceiling makeover. That way we could keep Ike contained in a smaller room with less shit to fuck up. But Ezra doesn't want to move. He likes his room. He's not the problem here. This is a fair and reasonable point coming from my fair and reasonable middle child.
Ike doesn't want to move either, and I'd also rather he not get the big room, since there are a lot of toys that just don't have anywhere else to go and would need to stay in there. He doesn't want to move because the room is big and scary and he thinks he'll get nightmares. This is either a fair and reasonable point or a complete load of dramatic hogwash from my youngest child, whose middle name is practically Dramatic Hogwash.
Noah won't move back into the big room either, because the tiny room feels like he's in third class on the Titanic. This a fair and reasonable point from my Titanic Titanic oldest Titanic Titanic Titanic.
I've been holding out hope that Ezra will change his mind and agree to move, but it's looking more and more likely that I'll have to move Ike to the playroom. He can sleep with the lights on surrounded by a complete Bionicle floor army for comfort? He can go back to the days of just falling asleep flat out in the hallway instead? Perhaps someday, somehow, he'll see the benefits of not living in a trash hole and learn to keep his room clean? Or his room can maybe be one that just doesn't exist on my plane of existence so I'll never have to go in there and see the chaos? Except maybe to put on my combat boots to go in and change his sheets every once in awhile?
No matter what happens, this much is clear: WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO IKEA.