Home Improvements

We got a few areas of the house measured for new carpet this weekend, which set me spinning like a top thinking about other minor improvements I’m going to tackle in an effort to undo the years of damage wrought by our boys. Like moving the furniture around, because it always looks better when I move it into a new arrangement. Then I wonder why I didn’t think of the new arrangement sooner. The answer: because it wasn’t the right time then, silly, but now it is.

The room which I like to think of as the library because it has built-in book shelves and a piano (and because it makes me feel very upstairs in a Downton Abbey sense) has taken a pounding this summer by two sensory-seeking little boys who love books to death. Truly, these two are book killers, which flabbergasts their mother, a devoted bibliophile. So you don’t want to sit and read books with me, fine. But must you shred the books, my little opinionated people?

I dream about getting new drapes, ones with no applesauce or Doritos stains, which aren’t crushed and perpetually wrinkled from two sensory-seeking boys hiding in them. I dream also about new throw pillows in hip geometric patterns and fashionable colors like teal. I’d have to lock them up, of course, only bringing them out when we have guests (which is currently never). Otherwise, they would go the way of the old throw pillows and be employed by the two boys who use them to wipe their faces, their hands, and their bums.

I think about buying a cool mid century modern lamp, but then I remember that to Jack, lamps are  “things made to drag around by their cords” and also “things for throwing off the deck.”

Special needs individuals are especially rough on stuff, you may surmise.

A few more lessons in housekeeping, courtesy of my children:

1. If you want it to live to see another day, you must lock it up.

2. If you want it to be cleanable, get it in leather, vinyl,  laminate, wood, plastic, or microfiber. We shun fabric-upholstered furniture like Dracula shuns garlic.

3. Murphy’s Law applies. Plan on something happening to your stuff. If it doesn’t, it will be a lovely miracle.

4. Stuff is ephemeral. It doesn’t last and, ultimately, it doesn’t matter.

5. A house is for living in. It’s the setting for the raising of a unique pack of wonderful boys. It’s absolutely not a showplace.

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