glitch in the matrix
shocking kids is just enough
We got rid of our couch. And the chair. And the ottoman. They served us well over the many years, and now they will serve others well. Hopefully the others will manage to keep their children and animals from peeing on everything. We were not so lucky.
The new (leather, and easily cleanable) sofa and chair were bought on Saturday. The old couch and chair and ottoman were hauled off on Sunday. And the new stuff was delivered yesterday evening – late. That left us with a full day of one giant, empty room.
With most of the furniture gone, the room seemed massive, and it got vacuumed like four times because it looked so nice and clean. The kids LOVED having the empty room. They ran around and built forts and did somersaults. Incidentally, this is also the room with the gigantic TV. Only, with no furniture to perch on, the kids seemed to completely forget about the television.
In fact, even with the new sofa and chair, they still seem to have forgotten the TV. They've spent all day dragging the kitchen chairs into the room, laboriously draping them with blankets and pillows. They've created forts and hideaways and even a hospital bed where they snuggled and read books and I had to walk briskly into the other room and cry a little bit.
Only once did the wee-er one ask to watch Elmo, but she soon found her new bilibo and sat in it like a tiny Will Smith in MIB taking his exam. Then she put it on her head. Then she spun it. Then she used it as a stepping stool to reach the "hospital bed."
Yesterday and today the kids were kids. Sure there was screaming and fighting and crying and all of that, but it wasn't frantic and was sorted out between the two of them for the most part. They integrated some of their Christmas presents into their forts. (Snap Circuit lights! Toy car seats!)
And we read. I ashamedly admit that I didn't know much about Neil Gaiman's Coraline until we started seeing previews for the movie last week. So I checked the book out from the library. It's kind of intense for the wee-er one, but he loves it.
I spent part of this afternoon lounging on the new sofa, reading to him and the wee-er one, with Ike propped on my knees, and it felt like some kind of storybook "so THIS is how it's supposed to be to stay at home with your kids" moment. Of course, a few minutes later there was running and screaming and I was shouting for everyone to be quiet or quiet would be forced upon them. But for those few minutes things were really nice.
You know what else? It wasn't just the kids. After they went to bed yesterday, my husband and I hung out in the kitchen and the playroom. He folded clothes and I read a book and dozed and nursed, and somehow we had a conversation. It was nice.
Now, I am a big proponent of television. I love it. When I grow up, I want to write TV shows. When you find the right things to watch, television is more than just escapism. It's humor and empathy and fine storytelling and surprising and artistic. It's educational and interesting and worrisome and nostalgic. TV and I are longtime friends. But during these past two nearly-TV free days, this house has become humorous and empathetic and full of stories and surprises. It has become educational and interesting and worrisome and nostalgic.
How about that?
Switch around some furniture, add a few toys to the mix, find a good book, try to stop saying No so much. It sounds simple. If it's so simple, though, why did it take a new couch to figure it out? Why has there been such a gap between the days when the kids are just kids? No homework helps. The wee-er one getting older helps. Me having to sit still and nurse Ike-a-saurus helps – heck me being at home helps!
Whatever the mystical occurrence was that spawned these past two days, I hope it sticks around. Kids being kids are fun to be around.
And maybe that is the most educational, interesting, worrisome and nostalgic thing of all.