They all used to love me, the living room. I was THE room where everything happened. Pregnancy announcements, first steps, present opening, job offers, holiday bookings. Countless memories were made within the confines of my four walls. Then there were these:
Potty Training: The humans used to sit for hours reading to the mini human, feeding it, offering it drinks, while it sat constantly on a plastic receptacle. They’d never spent so much time playing with the kid. Suddenly, there would be a little trickling sound and the big ones would jump up and down excitedly, offering the confused creature some chocolate to smear all over its mouth. Then, while they were out of the room looking for stickers, more treats and a fresh packet of baby wipes (for the brown substance they’d given the child!), the mini one would toddle behind the sofa and I’d hear the trickling sound again. It was all very strange.
Creative Play: There was this one time when the two little ones had a sudden burst of artistic inspiration and decorated the wall in the corner with a rainbow selection of crayons. It was more Jackson Pollock than Leonardo da Vinci but the littlies (I think the lady human probably realised it was the middle one who’d led the wee one astray) were super chuffed with their effort. And I knew the big lady human would calm down eventually and laugh about it. Well, I thought she would.
Projectile Vomiting: The more I come to think about, the more I realise maybe the good old days weren’t always good. Violent sickness with no warning. Eldest child insisting he was fine now. He had completely recovered from that sickness bug. Well, maybe 90% because here comes the other 10%!! And on the sofa as well as the carpet, just for good measure. Down all the gaps too if I remember rightly. The lady human doesn’t do sick. It makes her sick.
Coal Decorating: I did chuckle back then. Fancy just having the sofa and carpet professionally cleaned and the eldest rugrat, for the first time ever, showing an interest in the artificial coal. Artificial in the sense you can’t burn it. But real in the sense you can colour in carpets and sofas with it. A bit like charcoal. I don’t recall any hilarity or taking of photos while exclaiming, “I must put this on Facebook!”
TV Blaring: I can recite the theme tunes to Thomas the Tank Engine, Ben 10 and In The Night Garden off by heart. So can the big humans. Often the big light box would be talking to itself. No-one was listening. The curly haired one was usually on a chocolate hunt, the littlie would be bum shuffling wherever she could, cleaning the kitchen floor in the process (more than her mother ever did) and the strange one could be found jumping around with underpants on his head. Still, it gave me some company.
Puppy Training: Strangely, once the little humans were trained, the big humans added a four legged creature into the mix and started all over again. And they say humans are evolved? They would cover the carpet with flat, white nappies and keep their eyes trained on the liver and white furball. And that trickling sound would again be rewarded with a treat. Cabinet and Sideboard weren’t too impressed though when the furball started gnawing at their extremities. They’d survived the teething of the infants (we heard the cot in the nursery sustained considerable damage with the first enfant terrible), all for it to be in vain with the arrival of the petit canine. (Rooms have a splattering of French too, you know.)
Photo Session. Oh I would chuckle at them trying to get a good family photo. The little ones all sporadically developed eye stigmatisms and looked in opposite directions. Or started fidgeting. Or crying. Or twining. In fact, that generally happens when they are all in close proximity of each other. The Waltons they definitely aren’t.
Anyway, when that talking, picture box is on, I can clearly see and hear the blond, bumbling buffoon telling people to get back to work. So stop procrastinating, phone some people and get me finished. The humans have been staring at exposed radiator pipes, cut-out carpet and plastered walls for months now, on the rare occasions they’ve been able to stand being in the same room as each other.
I can see the grey, gleaming, glossy kitchen. All new and clean. The lady human sprays stuff and wipes. She even moves the furniture to clean behind it! If you moved the sofa in here, you would think there was a working coal mine nearby, the amount of built up black dust. And she thinks that by just putting perfumed wax in the burner thing, I will smell clean and fresh. I know her game. I think it’s my time now. Oh, and they’ve done the garden too. Did I mention that?!! Did I?!!