Okay, if you take into consideration Kiedis' unique complications when thinking about the need to repair and remodel his room, you can start to see how truly tenuous the situation could play out to be for us beyond the usual hiccups and surprises that come with what I would rank as a medium-scale project.
Aside from the obvious tactical issues that comes from moving a four-year-old out of his room for roughly a week (if we're lucky and everything goes smoothly) -- things like where he would sleep or where we would keep his furniture and things become potentially insurmountable roadblocks. We don't know if he understands enough to say, sleep on the floor in Tova's room and not pick fights with her all night or stay with us in our room and not keep us up all night -- though we do know he knows how to work the TV and the BluRay so the fold-our couch is certainly a no-go. But we also don't know if not being able to be in his room, the only room (other than ours) he's ever known will cause him to freak out for days on end. It's hard telling if that kind of albeit temporary yet fairly major transition will be too much for him to handle and cause regressions in anything from our hard-fought potty training to his language skills or social cue acquisition.
And that's only taking one step of the process -- the load out -- and considering the possibilities. Once you move past that, then we have to think about what it'll be like for him that the room will be different when he is able to go back to it -- the floors will look and feel different, the walls might be different, the closet surely would be different -- and that has a heavy potential to short circuit his sensory processing. Even little details like wanting to get him new bedding because what he has is in shambles -- it's a huge gamble. He may hate the pattern or how the fabric feels or the way things are stitched together. The color combinations might be triggering, or just the fact that it's not what he currently has might be enough to break the floodgates with him.
And because he can't tell us, there's not really a way for us to know. Even taking him to the store to pick things out is unpredictable -- he'll pick something there only to scream at it when we get home, then scream days or weeks later for it after we've returned it because we chalked it up to a fail.
It's exhausting, in all honesty.
Then back in March, I caught the oven on fire.
And replacing it took over half of what we'd set aside to budget for working on Kiedis' room this summer.
So we're stuck with a room that's literally falling apart a little boy who doesn't understand the damage he inflicts on practically everything, yet requires so much stability in his life that doing much of anything to remedy it has as much potential to obliterate his sense of rightness in the world as it does to better it.
Writing that out actually made me choke up. It's something I don't admit to myself, often. It's just how our lives are, that's all. But explaining it illustrates it's otherness, our otherness, and sometimes that's a hard load to bear.
So we were left with little option to make the space last (hopefully) just one more year other than bear down and rough it out.
Then West Elm put a rug I'd been eyeballing for the better part of a year on clearance. And we could afford it at the clearance price.
We talked about the plan for weeks, looking for little clues that one way or another would indicate what such a large change would do to Kiedis. We waited anxiously for the rug to arrive, and while Kiedis was gone at school one morning, I orchestrated one of the largest switcheroos our home has seen since we moved out of the upstairs bedroom in order to make it his nursery.
While Tova watched PBS, I moved the dining room table and chairs into the kitchen, vacuumed the zebra rug we'd in the dining room that we bought alongside the table and china hutch, rolled it up, shoved it aside, swept and mopped the wood floor, unrolled Mira, vacuumed it, and moved the dining room table and chairs back so everything looked as close to the same as possible for when he got home.
Then, I dragged that zebra rug upstairs to it's new home.
It felt like a big chance, but he'd had a much smaller zebra rug in his room as a baby, before we moved it to Tova's room, and it was really the only other space in the house that could hold such a large rug. After an incident with some oxygen bleach and some cat puke it has some faint discoloration on parts as well as approximately a zillion pulls from the cats using it as a scratching pad -- so while it's not in pristine condition and therefore I don't have to worry too much about him destroying it, it's still nice enough to not look like I threw some moldy old remnant down and called it a day. It kind of coordinates with the color scheme in there as it is now, and as an added bonus, it practically covers 75% of the floor that's popping up.
I just had to wait for him to come home from school to see if all that work was for naught.
Luckily for us, he loved it.
Both kids just ran in circles on it, rolled around, and generally enjoyed the new soft surface to play on. On the third day, during one of his episodes, he started chanting "ahhh done zebuah, puddit away" and I told him no, that the zebra rug lived in his room now and that's how it has to be and he wailed pretty heavily for a while. The next day, I found him folding up the city playmat rug and putting it in his closet, so maybe the rug-on-rug pattern and color disparity was too much for him. He sets up his trains on the zebra rug just fine, and about half the time he'll pull his "cozee buhlaneket" off of his bed and take a nap on the floor all rolled up in it like a sleeping bag.
So we got away with it, for now. It doesn't solve many of our issues with needing to work on his room, but now we know that at least this once, he took a fairly major change in stride.