This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I hear the loud “thwack” and I know it’s not good.

Sure enough, this was the sound of yet another toy colliding with the drywall in my hallway, this time with such force that it left a lovely dent motif. The wall, which was painted long ago by the family who lived here last, is a shade of taupe I can’t seem to replicate at any of the home improvement stores in my entire metro area, so I know these flaws won’t be easy to cover up. This is what happens when you give wooden toys to a 3-year old with undeveloped spatial intelligence and an overactive imagination. I’m looking at you, Melissa & Doug.

I think I see the Little Dipper.

I’ve considered offering guided tours of my home, but instead of focusing on its architecture or design, each exhibit will be a menagerie of property damage. “There was once a ceramic replica of the Eiffel Tower atop this table,” I’d muse reminiscent. “But it’s in the landfill now, in 3 pieces, because my son thought it was a good idea to whack it against the sofa a few too many times.” Although that Parisian knick knack only set me back ten bucks at TJ Maxx, I still mourn the loss of such treasures.

Something’s missing here…

As we moved on, I’d warn you to watch your step as I motioned to a ragged piece of floorboard underfoot. Someone whose name starts with “E” and ends with “lliott” decided to drop a heavy box on the floor, corner-first, gouging out a piece of its smooth, polished oak in the process. But don’t worry; I covered that wound with name-brand packing tape to protect your feet. It’s classy. You’re welcome.

A little brilliant, a little ratchet.

Other items on the tour include our Christmas tree, which was once fully decorated but is now bare on its lower half, having been subjected to little hands pulling ornaments off one by one. The string of lights now weaves awkwardly around its bottom branches and in certain areas even kisses the tree skirt.

Just kidding – we don’t have a tree skirt! We tried, though…

I Blame Pets, Too

And that’s all just from the kids. Don’t get me started on our two hairball-prone felines who love to sharpen their claws on our furniture. Have you ever wondered why all the sofas in my house are covered in microfiber? For one thing, they were on sale and I love a good deal. But more importantly it’s because they clean up so easily. Pen marks? Booger smears? Peanut butter? Hit that fabric with a damp cloth and a little Dawn dish soap and they’ll be clean again in no time. Plus, microfiber hides at least some of the cat-talon poke marks.

We Give Up

We’ve come to accept – even embrace – the reality that we won’t have nice things for a long, long time. Someday we’ll have an ornately decorated Christmas tree, furniture with delicate fabric (maybe even leather!), and smooth walls. But for now, it will look like a hot mess. Which is to say it will look like a couple middle-aged cats and two sweet but obnoxious little boys live here.

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