I have the best Children in the world.
No, honestly, they are, and even the most devoted mother of Prayshuss Little Twirly Princess or Darling Mister Mini Man will have to step away from the scrapbook glue long enough to hand me the award on this one.
You see, we have new furniture. It didn't take much really to get it in the end, just several months of minor budget scrimping (you know, reducing the kids down to two meals a day instead of three, backing off the imported pate on Thursdays and regrettably reducing the Norwegian Lawn Boy's hours by two) and a fairly miraculous clearance sale find. So Thursday the fine Fed Ex man cracked three jokes, called me Ma'am AND My Lady and dropped a ginormous box containing one square black ottoman off on my doorstep.
The next day he returned, cracked exactly the same three jokes (which made me feel a leeetle less special), called me Miss and gave me two more ginormous boxes which coyly hinted at their contents by being remarkably chair shaped.
The children were mildly interested and willing to express approval of my choices (Ha! Like they have any say in things....) but Children 1 and 3 didn't really perk up until I mentioned that we were going to be getting rid of the Bane Of My Life Couch - the one with the broken arm (thanks Child 3!) and the horrid stain (thanks unknown Child so all blame is shared out equally!) and the un-fitted drop cover that needed twitching after anyone so much as looked at it. No one will want this couch - it's that horrible. I don't think we could even hope to pass it off on some hapless college boy looking to outfit his first apartment with a mattress found on the side of the freeway and a set of vinyl covered folding chairs stolen from a local Moose Club. So there are two options - call for a large-item pick up which could take ages, or set the Children free on the thing and reduce it to a whimpering pile of shredded upholstery. Guess which one they want! Just guess! Child 3 cannot imagine why I refuse to let them at it until I have a reasonable way of disposing of the remains.
ANYWAY - the point was about my marvelous Children.
Since we now have TWO chairs I actually like AND an ottoman it meant that Saturday became redecorate day. Now, I solemnly pinky swear that this is absolute truth. On Saturday my Children:
1. Happily moved couches, chairs and tables around in what felt like an endless working of one of those slidy square picture puzzles I hated as a kid.
2. Collected and moved the contents of a table-cum-bookshelf, including a large collection of fascinating but very heavy National Geographics.
3. Dusted as each surface cleared - without prompting.
4. Swept and swiped at counters while I vacuumed.
5. Pounded nails and re-hung pictures.
6. Willingly came and stood with heads to one side or another to give opinions on art arrangement.
7. Stood around with me and listened while I mentioned again how much I liked the new furniture and how horrible it was before and how much better it is now and...
8. Accepted without argument that they MIGHT be allowed to sit... well... near the new stuff but There Shall Be No Food Nor Shall There Be Drink Nor Shall There Be Excessive Breathing.
9. Did all of this without a single word of complain or even a theatrical eye roll.
And... and this is the trump card people...
After all of that when I was sort of flollopped on the remaining old couch and admiring our hard work Child 2 quietly began rubbing my neck, Child 3 immediately began giving me a foot massage and Child 1 out of desperation for SOMETHING left in need of pampering brought out its own Christmas lotion and worked on my hands.
Yes, yes I think I shall allow them to live. At least this week.