Trial & Error: My Advice & Tips to New Dads
Furniture shopping makes me sleepy. That's not just a random comment. We're looking to put our house on the market in a month or two, and my wife and I have been discussing new furniture. I'm not looking forward to couch shopping. First of all, there's no way I'm getting what I want. Secondly, furniture stores make me want to take a nap on the comfy couches.
I'm partial to the couch we have now. It's got my butt print in it. I can think back to the countless times I've spilled something on it. I can think back to the times I've slept there after saying the wrong thing(s) to my wife. I've fed & burped both my boys on that couch. It's nostalgic every time I sit on it. We bought our couch and oversize chair in Alaska, and they are the only things we shipped back from the Great White North. Everything else that couldn't fit into two cars for the drive south was sold for well below market value at a garage sale. Sure, the couch has seen its better days, but I just love it. It's got a matching chair and ottoman that I love as well. It ties the room together, much like a good rug.
The recliner, on the other hand, can't leave my house soon enough. We got it from a military spouse for $150 and it's served its purpose. Its purpose? I'm glad you asked. Its purpose is to be the chair that my wife can claim as her own because I hate it. It leans too far back so every time I'm enjoying a carbonated beverage the bubbles build up and I sound like a frat boy every time I get out of the seat and belch. It's smaller than most recliners and doesn't fit my big butt very well.. It's not comfortable. At all.
With all that being said, I know it's time to get new furniture. I know this because my wife tells me this. I have forced myself to accept that we'll have new furniture with or without my blessing. I will have input. That input ultimately won't matter, but as a dad I have to look out for my boys. I don't want to get a piece of furniture that's going to be "off-limits" to the boys (or myself) for the next 13 years. Here are my important "must haves" for boy-proof furniture.
Stain Resistant- This is a must. Not just for my two sons, but for me. My wife gets extremely embarrassed by the fact that I wear a kitchen hand towel as a bib when I'm eating something messy. Whether it's Italian, BBQ or Mexican, if it can, it will, end up on my shirt. From the shirt, the next stop is the couch. Leather may not be a necessity (or something we can afford), but it's my first choice. The problem with leather comes with my next requirement.
Puncture Proof- Growing boys play. Growing boys play with swords and other "sharp" objects. Given enough force, even a wooden sword could puncture leather. I've never had leather furniture, but I've had pleather furniture, and as it dried it cracked... and cracked... and cracked. I don't want to accidentally sit on a sharp toy car (period) and slice open my wife's furniture. If I thought our old couch was uncomfortable to sleep on, I can't imagine what the cold floor in the garage must feel like.
Smell Proof- Boys stink. We can't help it. Growing teenage boys stink even more. If we have a couch with an absorbent fabric there's going to become a point when Febreeze can't produce their product quickly enough to cover up what these growing boys (and me) leave on that couch in terms of stink. Sorry, ladies, it's just who we are.
The bottom line in all of this is that I'll ultimately have no say in what couch & recliner we purchase, but writing about what I'm looking for in a couch will be solid evidence to be used at a later date when my wife doesn't listen to me, gets the wrong couch and then blames it on me. Isn't that what we're all looking for, the ultimate "I told you so"?