I’ve spent quite a bit of time the last couple weeks huddled over graph paper with a ruler and a pencil. We’ve been working out the design for where we’ll be living the next six months.
There are a few things that are really important in the bus design. Light is perhaps the most important to me. I don’t want to cover the windows. I’m a plant and I must have light to live, or at least to be amiable and pleasant to be around.
Fortunately, this helps with another important design element. We don’t want to be too top heavy. Buses were designed to have their load spread out across the bottom, so we’re sticking with that premise. There will be some areas where we’ll go to the ceiling, but for the most part, we’re keeping windows clear and the design with a low center of gravity.
The interior living space of the bus is 7 1/2 feet wide by 29 feet long. (And only 73″ inches high in the center.) We’ll have roughly 217 sq ft of living space. I’ve seen 200 sq ft living space mock-ups at Ikea – and they are brilliant! How hard can this be?
Then I remember there are six of us. And my children are on the *Are you kidding?! He’s only 12?! He looks like he’s 18!* side of things. Plus those mockups at Ikea are at least 8′ high and don’t have wall to wall windows. This experience will challenge everything we take for granted about personal space and what we really *need* in terms of belongings.
Figuring out where to sleep everyone is the current dilemma. We seriously considered hammocks. Jake was resistant to the idea until we read this article (thanks Nancy!) and then he was willing to give it a go. But as we walked the bus we realized that even if we strung them diagonally down the bus – we wouldn’t have the space. Back to the drawing board. Looks like we’ll be going with more traditional bunks.
Then there is the question of where Jake, I, and Miss B will sleep. For her entire life, bedtime has been Miss B and daddy time. Jake lays with her and holds her in the crook of his arm until she falls asleep. Usually he has her in one arm and his iPhone in his other hand – reading the news. I really do need to get a picture of it. It’s a memory I think I’ll never forget, yet I probably will. If daddy is gone, one of her brothers or I can substitute. It’s just a given that she have someone to fall asleep with and daddy is her favorite. Honestly, I think Jake looks forward to the snuggles too. Those two have an extraordinary bond.
Co-sleeping has been a natural part of our lives with all our children. First with us and then with each other – Josh and Sam have shared a bed for a good portion of their lives. As a baby Miss B slept with us in our bed. As a toddler after she fell asleep we would move her to her crib, but by morning she would be back between us. When we moved into our last house she was three and a half years old and she got a fancy double bed all to herself. Daddy would lay with her until she fell asleep and by morning she was curled up against my side.
In fact, it’s early morning as I type this and Miss B is snuggled firmly against my body. No matter how many times I nudge her over, she instantaneously burrows herself next to my side. We embrace it knowing it doesn’t last forever. After all, our older boys no longer nestle in between us in the wee hours of the morning.
This brings us back to our sleeping arrangements for the bus. Jake and I’s bedroom (term used loosely) will be at the back of the bus. We’ll be able to jump out the emergency exit if need be.Instead of the king size bed we’re used to, we’re settling for queen size. That will take some getting used to.
Even though Miss B is sure to end up between us each night, Jake and I still prefer to fall asleep together without a child between us. Our solution is a crows nest at the foot of our bed. Jake is working on the design, and it will be a place for Miss B to sleep for those couple hours before her body tells her she needs human contact and she seeks out our body heat.
I still get to wake up to this.