The last month we have spent hours comparing the faces, hands, toes, cries, moans, sleeping habits, tummy-time victories, dirty diapers, etc. of each baby boy. In fact, not a day goes by, where I don’t pull out my memory-jammed phone to search for pictures of Ian’s attempts at the same.
From our end, they both have Scottish first names (there is one British royal named Ian Duncan Smith) They both have my last name, Anker, as their middle name.
But they also, somewhat accidentally, have the exact same nursery inspiration. Maybe this steamed from a lack of creativity or a lack of time (I worked, literally, to the day before delivering). But none the less, their rooms share commonalities, something which I really love.
First, they both have gender neutral nurseries: black and white sheets, white furniture, grey rocking chairs. In Duncan’s case, this was a result of overstocking Ian’s room with everything the old CB2 had in storage. Still, something about avoiding the highly gendered-marked children’s clothes and toys feels fresh and good. The nauseating shades of baby blue doesn’t rule in these boys’ rooms. As we know, boys and girls alike are more often more constrained than liberated by these early hyper-gendered colors, toys, and options.
While some worry about children growing up without color amid such minimalism, Ian certainly gets plenty of color in the wide repertoire of books we read every night at great and what feels like never-ending length and repetition (yes, mainly in avoidance of nap and bed times). Most notably, the space is calming, free of loud, Vegas-style Vtek toys of the sort that keep me up for hours.
In another homage to the 1970’s, they each have macrame wall hangings. One of my friends, Kate, crafted Ian’s. Duncan’s is more extreme in black and white. He finds it so intriguing he wakes right up when he catches a glimpse of it. Even at 3AM when I burp him, the madly contrasting colors make his little eyes pop.
They also both share kitschy symbols of their middle names, Anker. One came from my baby shower, which was appropriately anchor-themed, thanks to my loving Michigan aunts. And the other came, again, from CB2. Too many anchors can be overkill and plain-old narcissism. Still, I do love these subtle pops in their rooms.
We came by the lovely furniture in Duncan’s room through neighbors. While I love decorating, I generally despise decor posts because they fuel competitive materialism. The crib came from blogger @hintmama and the dresser, freshened with black accents, a reject from the little girl across the street.
We decorate their rooms with a hopeful eye thinking we can mold our sons. And while we know we really can’t, by golly, when we step back and look around, it surely is fun.