I was feeling a little bit crazy yesterday, until I found out my sister Heather totally understood what I was saying. There is something very stressful about getting new furniture. In a house like mine it will downright drive you mad! After years of hand-me-down couches I finally decided it was time for a brand new leather sectional sofa! Woo-hoo! Typically I would purchase such a thing on Craigslist or pray for the perfect garage sale to cross my path, but with more kids, I knew we had to just buckle down and get something better.
First of all, there are nine people living in this house, which means if we have anyone over, there are at least 15 people here! I was tired of trying to drag in something for someone to sit down on, so I started scavenging furniture stores 3 months ago. I finally found the perfect sofa at Big Lots, and when Uncle Sam gave me back the money I loaned him this year (aka Tax Refund) I decided new couch, you’re coming home with Mama!
My husband and I managed to drum up a baby sitter for a few hours and we took our oldest son to Temple to make our purchase. I was like a kid the night before Christmas all the way there. My husband was driving me crazy with his “let’s stop and look at this car” or “do you want to go eat?”
“NO, I am NOT hungry! I want a couch!” He tortured me for the entire hour’s drive, even missing the turn into Big Lots (I think on purpose) just to watch the anticipation building in my expressions.
Then the store associate decided to add to the torture by telling me it was “out of stock”, but that he would check the back just to make sure. His assurance that he could have it within a week wasn’t good enough for me. I was not going to go back home empty handed and sit even one more time on the world’s worst couch.
You’re probably thinking it couldn’t be that bad, but believe me, it was. In addition to being a very light tan color that showed a zillion stains, it was sagging in the middle so bad that no matter where you sat, you fell towards the middle of the couch. To make things worse, much, much worse- it had been peed on!
Friends who know me know that I have an amazing reserve of patience for all things small child related. I can handle walls that are written on, dishes that are broken, crayons that are eaten, dogs that are snuck in, refrigerators left open, shoes that are lost, but I HATE pee. I felt so lucky that my kids were never really bed wetters. But guess what happens when you find a situation you have no empathy for? God throws it in your lap and teaches you how to deal with it.
Children with emotion issues often wet their pants, wet the bed, or even just pee on things because they can. I struggle with this problem, and so did my couch. The new couch will be much friendlier to small children who managed to slip by me with wet pants and sit on it. The new couch can be… wait for it…. WINDEXED!
I love it! We can just wipe it off. I won’t have to break out the carpet shampooer. I won’t have to resort to saying “forget it, there’s already a stain, lets try bleaching the whole darned thing.” No, I can just grab a paper towel and some Windex and move on. That’s what I need in my life!
So we pulled up at home with the new couch and Tucker was so excited he started pulling cushions off the old one and throwing them out the front door! He was all too happy to help unload the old, sweep and mop the floor, and bring in the new furniture. That’s when the stress hit me.
A new couch makes the dusty ceiling fan and dirty baseboards stick out like a sore thumb. I spent hours scrubbing every inch of the living room, bringing it up to “new-couch-par”. Then the kids tried to jump on it! I threw them out the back door and pointed at the trampoline. Then they tried to eat on it. I shuffled them to the kitchen and pointed at the table. Wow, keeping up with this new couch is going to be a chore!
All of that extra polishing is well worth it when my 8-year-old walks into the room and says “wow, this is like being at Aunt Heather’s house!” (Aunt Heather’s house sets the bar really high, and all my kids are waiting for that day when I somehow jump over it!) I considered that to be the highest of compliments from Tucker, so I replied with “don’t you dare bring those Doritos into my living room!” Did I mention this is going to be hard to keep up with?
On the bright side, when my husband, who doesn’t watch football, decided to throw an impromptu Super Bowl party at 3:00 yesterday, there was plenty of room for everyone to sit, and the baseboards were already clean! I have now decided impromptu parties are the best ones. Only your truest friends show up, you don’t have to spic-n-span the house, and cans of bean dip are just fine; you don’t have to go all out with your mom’s best recipe for 7-layer dip! We had pizza and hot wings and lots of potato chips and the kids were joyfully gathered around the table gobbling it all up and what did Tucker say next?
You’re gonna love this part….
Tucker says to Jordan, “Jordan, you know what? We’re young, wild, and FREE!” (in his monster growl voice, I might add.)
Jordan replied: “I’m not FREE! I’m FOUR!”
Now that my friends is why I like living in a zoo…