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Childrearing

Being A Parent Means You Can’t Have Nice Things

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Being A Parent Means You Can t Have Nice Things couch jpg

Last week, my husband and I realized a years-long dream and finally had a beautiful new sofa delivered to our house. I say years-long because we thought it would be smart to wait until our kids were done with their I’m A Total Asshole Around Nice Furniture phase before bothering to get something really nice in our family room. The last week, however, has proven that this phase is probably never over. Our kids are five and seven and the last week, trying to keep our new couch intact, has felt as futile as trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. And this is why being a parent means you can’t have nice things.

We long ago stripped our end tables of the pretty and breakable knick-knackery we had accumulated before our first child became mobile and assumed her new life mission of destroying our decor. We took down the picture frames she was able to reach because we envisioned shattered glass (which would have matched perfectly with our shattered dreams). We put away our nice throw pillows because she enjoyed coloring as a toddler and we could not trust her pudgy little hands with their Crayola-sanctioned weapons.

The one thing we could not put away or hide was a couch. Unless we were willing to go full Golden Girls and cover it in plastic, we would have to wait until our kids were at an age where they would understand us when we told them not to wipe boogers on the couch cushions. Where they would not require a bottle or sippy cup of milk (that could spray everywhere) in hand to function. When they would not barf without warning and ruin a whole cushion beyond repair.

We put down new flooring in our family room and decided we could not bring our nasty frat house couch back into the newly pristine living space. It had seen its share of baby vomit, diaper blow-outs, crayons, markers, spilled drinks, and general wear and tear- it was definitely time. Frankly, it sort of smelled. I could not WAIT to trash it. We bought a gorgeous dark brown leather sofa figuring that at least it’s leather and we can wipe it down and hopefully, it wouldn’t stain. I guess we didn’t consider the myriad other ways it could be “injured”.

In the last several days, the kids have jumped on it with their shoes on, went running at it full-speed and slammed it into the wall, placed books and toys on it that were coated in an indeterminate schmutz and scratched at it with their evil, little puppy fingernails. Oh, and last night, one of them had a random bloody nose and I got to wipe blood droplets off the cushions. WTF!? Is nothing sacred? We waited until they were both in elementary school thinking we were solid but we are still having to defend this poor couch to the death. It feels like every five minutes we are issuing a new directive- “Don’t do hand-stands on the BRAND NEW COUCH!” “Don’t bring your lip gloss on the BRAND NEW COUCH” “HONEY NO NO NO STOP BLEEDING!” It’s been a tough week, to say the least.

Somehow, the couch is still unmarred despite my children’s best efforts but I know it won’t be that way forever. After all, kids will be kids. We had a close call again last night when my husband and I were watching football and he had a beer. He started to nod off with the mug in his hand….and guess where it went. If you need me, I’ll be stopping a few Golden Girls at Target asking where they get their fancy see-thru plastic couch covers.

(Image: vichie81/Shutterstock)

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