I bought this chair when Bennett was born.
I nursed all five kids in it, rocked them to sleep in it, and continue to read them while sitting in it. (Okay, not this exact chair, ours is covered in a variety of stains and no bookshelves in this house look anywhere as neat as those.) Before I sound too much like Mother Earth, I should add that the chair is now on its way home from the Chair Hospital, where it has been serviced after taking part in one-too-many of the boys’ wild schemes. That’s right, this poor chair lives up in the Boys’ Room, and is often at the base of some elaborate Babel-like structure which often has Efram somewhere in the middle holding things up, and Bennett perched on top. The poor chair has also been wedged against their door to block adult entry, and has even been hauled into their bathroom for some schemes I’d really rather not think about. Well, the chair buckled under all the stress and cracked. It no longer rocks, and barely stands up on its own. I was ready to send it to the glue factory, but M took pity on it and called a furniture repair company. A lovely man came and picked it up two weeks ago and today, it returns home … repaired, resplendent, triumphant.
As for the repairman, you’d think I’d have been embarrassed to take him to the boys’ room and show him the heap of wood, explaining how it had suffered for so long. But that wasn’t the embarrassing bit. I pointed to the ottoman it came with: “Uh, you’ll have to take that, too.”
“Really?” he asked. “Have the boys been messing with that as well?” (I had given him the whole sob story on the way up.)
“Umm.. no.” Why didn’t I lie here? Why didn’t I say, “Sure! Those crazy kids!!” Why did I have to tell him the ottoman was just fine until I, once a candidate for Mother Earth, had, after witnessing one-too-may of these crazy schemes with the pathetic chair at the bottom of them, picked up the ottoman and dropped it a little too emphatically?
“You dropped it?” he said.
“Well, it was more of a throw than a drop.” I replied.
In my defense, I didn’t throw it at a child. But sinking to a new low, I did throw it. M gave me the “you’re just as bad as they are” look… but apparently I wasn’t shamed enough to change the story.
To be honest, I gave him a similar look last night. He was making seltzer in the kitchen (he got a Sodastream for his last birthday; because nothing says Old Man like seltzer.) I recall reading the instructions (which is something I rarely do) and being warned NEVER to add any flavor before making the seltzer. But we never add flavor, so I filed the information away. Well, the nice people at Sodastream sent us three little bottles of flavor as a gift. I asked M to make me a bottle. He went into the kitchen and thought to himself, I wonder what would happen if I put the flavor in first? I heard a loud explosion and when I ran into the kitchen it was raining seltzer. Not a drop was left in the bottle, and the entire kitchen was doused, but the ceiling took the worst hit. I gave him the if-the-boys-would-have-done-this-you’d-go-mental face. But he countered that if the boys would have done this, he’d still be the one cleaning it up and while whooping with glee, they’d be figuring out how to make it happen… again.