Now OSFO has ‘bedroom’ eyes

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Poor Teen Spirit, he hasn’t even left for college and it’s a virtual land grab over on Third Street.

Turns out, Crazy Lady isn’t the only one with designs on Teen Spirit’s bedroom. The Oh So Feisty One also wants his room after he leaves for Chicago.

Who can blame her? His bed is super comfortable, the walls are covered with graffiti and all the eccentric “art” he’s found on the street and at stoop sales (a diploma, a subway map, a giant painting of Santa Claus, a poster for Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” in Italian, among other treasures). Plus he’s got a fire escape, with views of the backyards of Second Street.

Who could ask for anything more?

It’s not like his room is any bigger than OSFO’s. Truth be told, her tiny room is actually a bit bigger than Teen Spirit’s. It’s just that it’s her big brother’s room and she wants it.

Don’t all siblings covet each other’s bedrooms?

Diaper Diva certainly did.

When Smartmom and Diaper Diva were girls, Smartmom had the larger bedroom; it was painted sky blue with a partial view of the Hudson River. Diaper Diva had a lovely room, too, though it was quite a bit smaller with a view of the airshaft.

They were both nice bedrooms. Diaper Diva’s even had a tall built-in cabinet unit that was great for high diving onto her bed.

Still, she coveted Smartmom’s corner bedroom.

One night, Diaper Diva asked to sleep in Smartmom’s bedroom and she just stayed and stayed. She never gave Smartmom her room back. Essentially she STOLE her bedroom.

Smartmom was fairly bitter about this for a long time and isn’t sure why her parents didn’t intervene.

It’s not like OSFO is planning to steal Teen Spirit’s bedroom. She just wants an honest trade. She’s asked him again and again, but Teen Spirit isn’t thrilled about the idea. He has already told her: hands off.

“Where am I going to sleep when I come back from school?” he asked.

“You can sleep in my room,” she told him.

“But I don’t like your loft bed,” he says.

Smartmom thinks OSFO’s desire for her brother’s bedroom is her way of dealing with the imminent departure of her brother. It’s obvious that she’s worried about losing him. She’s even told him (by text) that she’s mad that he’s leaving her alone with Smartmom and Hepcat.

Poor girl: she’ll be outnumbered by parents. At least before it was even: two kids, two parents. And that made for a fairly peaceful arrangement.

Indeed, OSFO and Teen Spirit have a remarkable relationship. Since the day OSFO was born, Teen Spirit has had a lot of respect for his little sister. Sure, Smartmom worried that there would be sibling rivalry. After all, Teen Spirit had been an only child until he was in kindergarten. But he welcomed her arrival and never seemed to resent her. In fact, he delighted in his energetic little sister, who always had such a strong sense of herself.

Smartmom remembers when Teen Spirit brought OSFO into his kindergarten class at Montessori school for show and tell. The kids sat in a big circle with OSFO in the middle on a blanket.

All the kids wanted to touch OSFO, but Teen Spirit wouldn’t let them; he told them all to stay away.

Years later, Smartmom remembers him being furious with her when she gave OSFO a very loud talking to.

“Leave her alone. She’s just a little girl,” he said.

Even now, he’s very protective and gives her lots of seasoned advice about life and her friendships, her school work, her interests in books and music and where she wants to go to high school.

Despite the bond, nobody wants to be erased when they go away to college, and Teen Spirit has told OSFO that she better not paint over his graffiti or redecorate her room.

“I don’t want to come home and find all my stuff thrown away and it painted pink,” he told Smartmom.

Smartmom is pretty sure that OSFO wants to keep his room just the way it is. That way, it’ll be like a shrine to her brother who is going so far away. She can sit (or sleep) on his comfy bed and it’ll be a place where she can entertain friends and do her homework. He’s got a nice desk and lots of books in there.

In his room, she can stay connected with her brother even after she helps drop him off in Chicago to begin his life as a college student. That way, he won’t feel quite so far away.

Louise Crawford, a Park Slope mom, also operates “Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn.”
Updated 5:19 pm, July 9, 2018
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