The things you never thought you'd say to your kids, and wish forever that you hadn't...
This is a relatively old story, and it begins and ends with a couch. Actually, three different couches.
The first couch was a loveseat sleeper I inherited from my Mom when she moved in with my Bro Joe. We needed a couch, and it also worked as a guest bed, since it was a 'double sleeper'. Though, if you've ever tried sleeping on one you know why they rarely function as one.
It survived a litter or two of kittens, but the arms got ratty as the cats tended to use them as scratching posts. So eventually we decided to get a new couch, as we were having our sunday school class over and the couch was an embarrassment. (We'd tried slipcovers, they just didn't work.)
We weren't thinking rationally. Buying a couch to impress the Sunday School Class? That's a pretty big purchase. I figured it must run about $300 - $400! But we were panicked.
Besides, we had the money, so we bought a Tartan Queen Sleeper. I dubbed it 'Mary, Queen of Scots', because it was a red and green plaid pattern that I'd seen on kilts. (Shades of Bagpipes playing Amazing Grace...)
Here's a Pic of what it looked like...
Anyway, the Sunday School party went off well. Nobody commented on the couch, but I would imagine they might have refused to sit on the old one.
One month after the purchase, our two mixed breed teenage cats decided to use THIS brand new couch as a scratching post. I came home and noticed that the arms were shredded.
So the next day, the cats and I paid a visit to the local Animal Hospital, and I told them to trim their nails back behind their elbows.
I knew that declawing cats was a normal function, but didn't realize that it was to be done normally when a cat was a kitten, or a yearling.
Also, I didn't know that in those days, you declawed cats by cutting off the fingers. OUCH!!! I felt guilt for, oh I don't know, maybe a whole day.
Seriously, I did feel bad.
Anyway, we tried slip covers on this couch too, but eventually we had a windfall and decided to replace the couch. So Mary Queen of Scots went into the expandable, which I had floored in prep to make it a bedroom.
It was replaced by a huge thousand-dollar sectional that was not worth what we paid. That's another interesting story for another day.
One Day, I was sitting on our new couch and watching TV, when my two middle children (Dear Son aged 9, Dear Daughter aged 7, came wandering in and proceeded to block my view with a card table, chairs, and several blankets.
"What do you think you're doing!?" I said. "We're watching TV!"
"We're making a tunnel to crawl through."
"Well, we're watching TV. Go make a tunnel somewhere else."
So they dutifully dismantled the table and chairs and put them in the other room, and went to play upstairs.
Days later, I climbed the stairs to do some more work on the expandable, (I was putting in roll-insulation) When I noticed that Mary had been pulled out from the wall, and that the bed had been extended.
There was something dark on the floor behind the couch, So I went back there to find out what it was.
About half the back of the couch had been cut away with scissors. Apparently, the kids took me literally, and 'made a tunnel'.
They told me how much fun they had going from the back of the couch, through the body, and under the extended mattress.
I told the kids in no uncertain terms, MODIFYING FURNITURE WITH SCISSORS is WRONG.
Well, we discussed options that night. Reupholster, slipcover, or put on the curb. We eventually Free-Cycled it to someone. It was usable, It just had to be against a wall.
Sigh. It wasn't until years later that my wife told me the couch was about double the cost I thought...