Monday, March 1, 2010

couching the family

( from left to right..Nigel, Bandit and Charlie..note-I didn't name
any of them. They all came to us named. Only
Charlie's suits him)

We had hardly any furniture when we moved into our house almost five years ago. I had three kids, one on the way, and no chairs...or tables..or a sofa.. About six months before we had moved, a friend of ours offered us a houseful of furniture. She had inherited it from an estate and had no where to put it. In fact she was rather eager to get rid of it. She offered to give it to us-even to pay for moving it to our house! What a windfall! Or so it seemed. At the time we were living on a shoestring. Our mortgage payment was excessive..I wasn't working..we had three kids. There wasn't a whole lot left over at the end of the month for "luxuries". The meager amount of furniture that we did have was o.k., it served its purpose. I was pretty pleased with the idea of having some new things...perhaps a place for people to sit down.

One night, my friend called me rather frantic. "There is a lot more furniture than I first thought! You have to make sure that you have room for it!!!" I assured her that we did. So, I doing what any sensible person would do. I held a garage sale. I sold every stick of furniture that we had-anything we didn't sell, I donated-or threw away. With the exception of our beds-my house was empty. I believe we made a whopping $134.00. Sammy was not pleased. Change for him is very hard. Letting go of possessions, even harder. "But Mama! I loved that couch!"Sammy had a hole in it." "I liked the hole!" "Sammy, the dog threw up on threw up on it..Oscar threw up on it, I WANT to throw up on it!..I don't even know what the original color's is time to throw it away." "Can't we save it?" "For what?!" "For later!"..."Sammy..change is good...things change all the time.." "No Mama, It's not." sigh. I did finally convince him that we were better off with out the couch-but it was a challenge. There were bribes involved..markers, paper..a "Wiggles" dvd...but in the end it all worked out. Sort of.

The problem was that I couldn't get in touch with my friend. Messages were either misplaced or ignored. We spent a lot of time on the floor. About three months after the garage sale, I got a phone call. "Oh! You must think I was crazy going on and on about the furniture! I'm so sorry, but life has been really hectic. I will have my assistant call you about it next week. She will set up the delivery time with you." That was four and a half years ago. It was also the last time my friend ever spoke to me. I still don't know what happened. I valued that friendship, and I was really sad to find that the feeling wasn't reciprocated. We had no other option at the time but to sit in our mostly empty house listening to "The Wiggles" almost non-stop. Perhaps Sammy was right..we should have kept the stinky couch..Maybe all change isn't good.

Shortly after we moved into this house, I decided that I had had enough. We were going to get some furniture come hell or high water. Nothing expensive, just a place to sit. I was hugely pregnant at the time and attempting to get up from sitting on the the floor was near to impossible. I looked like a deranged Teletubbie rolling back and forth trying to get the momentum to stand-only not as colorful.

We decided on a couch and love seat from a discount furniture store. It was not well made, or even pretty..but it was cheap. Cheap being the operative word. I thought that if we treated it gently, it could last us for a while. I made up a set of ground rules. No eating on it, no shoes, no jumping, rolling, drawing, no pets. Basically, you were allowed to sit on it gently IF you didn't breath to hard. Within the first week, Oscar threw up on it more times than I care to count, Lily peed on it..and the sneaky dog jumped up on it while we were sleeping ripping a hole in the cushions with his paws. I learned to live with it. Better to sit on a stinky couch than roll on the floor like a children's television character.

This year, we bought yet another new couch. This time it is going to be different. I moved the stinky couches into the playroom-keeping the nice new one in the living room. For the first time in a very long time I can sit down without fear of what I'm actually sitting on. I don't have to share this couch with the kids. They can do whatever they like with the ones in the playroom. I finally have my own space..I can stretch out..this baby is mine!

The other night, I walked into the living room with my laptop and a nice cup of coffee only to be met with four kids sitting there. On my new couch! "Why are you sitting here?? You have couches in the playroom." "But Mama...we like your couch...and there's no room on the playroom one.." "What do you mean there's no room.?" "Go look..." So I did (see picture) What else could I do but say "Scoot over..I want to sit down.


Kim Wombles said...

I love your tags on this post almost as much as I love the post itself. :-) I love the deranged teletubby image.

Jen said...

Tags are excellent lol. In the early years we were short on furniture too. Glad it worked out in the end, even if you do have to share with your lovely dogs:) Jen.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laugh. Love the picture, but miss the quote.

Love, Ei

kathleen said...

Hi Kim-I WAS a deranged tellietubbie! Oh..I was enormous.

Hi Jen, yes it did work out in the long run..and I do so appreciate having a couch to sit on now...not sure how much I appreciate the dogs though..

Hi Eileen-I was so caught up in posting a picture, I forgot about the quote this post, I promise

kathleen said...

Hi person whose name I can't translate..yes the hardship is over! With good results. Good holidays to you too.

Chelli said...

I SO needed a good laugh. Thanks for delivering!

As Noah would say, "scoove it"!

Clay said...

It's evident that the Queen needs her own throne, preferably a vinyl or leather lay-back chair, and the rule, "No kids allowed!" taped on it.

Pee and puke would make me get rid of anything, no matter how much it had cost.

kathleen said...

Hi Chelli! Glad I could help..hope your week is going o.k...
Clay-yes! I do need my own throne..sigh..hanging a sign would only make them laugh. Normally, I would agree about throwing the couches was an incredibly tumultuous time (deserves a whole other post or two) and I was so not thinking straight. Thankfully, the days of pee and puke seem to have abated...meaning they at least manage to make it to the bathroom now-all bets are off though, when they get there..:)

Hua said...

Hey Kathleen,

I'm glad the furniture worked out somehow in the end. Glad everyone has a place to sit.

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For more information about joining, please visit or email me at hua [at] wellsphere [dot] com.

Director of Blogger Networks

kathleen said...

Thanks Hua..I'll do just that. :)

Vi said...

Hi, I'm contacting you on behalf of, a blogging site dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging discussion about the challenges of autism, aspergers and ASD. We are interested in syndicating your blog on Please contact for more information if you are interested in adding your blog to Autisable and reaching even more people with your story. Thank you!

kathleen said...

Hi Melinda-I am. thanks for the compliment. :)