How the Cozy Corner Keeps Me Sane
October 10th, 2013
The title of this post is probably a bit premature. There’s really no guarantee that I shall successfully navigate the journey of parenthood with sanity in tact, but we’ve found a way to improve the odds for now!
The Cozy Corner.
The basic idea behind a Cozy Corner is that it is a non-punitive space for a riled up child (or parent, I suppose!) to go and collect themselves. It is NOT a time-out spot, but rather gives everybody some breathing room and a chance to calm down when tensions escalate.
Not that tensions escalate in our house. Not that I am ever gripped by an overpowering urge to climb up on the dining room table and shriek – “stop it! stop it now!” – when my oldest children are rolling around on the floor in a shrieking tangled mass of infuriated preschool angst.
Nor am I tempted to crawl under said table, wrap my arms over my head, and sing loudly to myself when the baby refuses to be more than ten inches away from me while I’m making dinner.
Nope. That never happens.
Except that it does, of course. Daily, in fact.
Things get pretty wild at times but when those wild moments include an enraged Mouse – as they often do – we turn to the Cozy Corner. We ask (as politely and calmly as we can muster) Miss Mouse to please go spend a few minutes in her Cozy Corner calming down. As long as we get the request phrased right, she usually complies because…
…Miss Mouse loves her Cozy Corner. We keep it outfitted with a small lap desk, a comfy back pillow, some markers and coloring pages, and a few other small activities like lacing cards. She now spends lots of time there, happily ensconced in her private space, even when she hasn’t been asked to retire there to calm down.
I think part of the allure of the Cozy Corner stems from the fact that, as I have been learning, Miss Mouse is a bit of an introvert. She gets overwhelmed by the constant presence of other people – especially people who push her buttons like, ahem, a certain younger brother – and just needs some time and space alone.
We’re short on private space in our small house, but the Cozy Corner fills that need for her. It’s actually in the downstairs bathroom. In the bathtub, to be specific. We put plywood over the tub, which we don’t use, added a carpet remnant and voila! It was previously home to Little Bird’s downstairs pack-n-play but she’s sleeping upstairs full time and was willing to share her space.