The white living room carpet is not to be confused with the boring beige carpet in the kids' room that received a makeover last spring courtesy of Lily and Jovie. Nor is it to be confused with my oft-abhorred kitchen floor, which has become much more manageable (and hopefully slightly less bacteria ridden) thanks to the steam mop I got last Christmas.
The white living room carpet's biggest offense is that it's white – something that I didn't consider a problem when we bought the house six years ago. Back then, I was just excited that the various area rugs conveyed with the house – they did such a nice job at covering up the careworn wood floors.
But then we got the dog.
And really, it's not the white living room carpet's fault we got a dog – a dog that has been known to use the carpet as both toilet paper and a convenient repository for his throw-up.
Just like it's not really the white living room carpet's fault (or the fault of the boring beige carpet in the kids' room) that next, we had children. Milk spewing, juice-spilling, Play-Doh squishing, muddy footing children. Two of them.
As it turns out, a perpetually shedding, occasionally vomiting beagle mix and a pair of perpetually careless, occasionally grubby little girls are a lethal combination to a white living room carpet.
Some might even say that it's the real victim here.
But not me.
I finally decided a few weeks back, while watching the dog casually drag his butt along one particularly foul corner of the white living room carpet, that it was time for it to go.
|The aforementioned corner. The Bermuda Triangle of funk.|
Of course, being me, I wanted to do something to mark the occasion. Really send it off to the landfill in style. So I decided to throw a messy carpet party.
Originally, I'd planned to invite a bunch of the girl's friends over to really annihilate it during an afternoon of carpet debauchery. But life has been exhausting lately and moving at a pace I'm barely able to keep up with (how is it that I'm running with the 5-minute-mile people when I should be back with the 12-plusers?). Organizing a playdate, much less a play-extravaganza just felt overwhelming.
So then yesterday the girls are playing with a friend. And they're bickering about something or other. And I'm cranky and out of sorts and tired of refereeing. I decided we all needed redirection. And silliness.
"Girls," I said. "Want to have our messy carpet party?"
And they did. So we did.
I put out paint and glitter and muddy boots and Play-Doh and fluorescent-colored snack foods and instructed that all messes had to be confined to the carpet. And that this was a one-time deal.
So the girls went to work.
They were a little tentative at first. Unsure about how far they could take their destruction. But I egged them on. Who's going to put on these boots to stomp around in? Let me get some more glitter and "fairy dust"! Are you out of paint? Allow me to grab another bottle!
We finished off the soiree with a little hot chocolate party (on the carpet, of course). They got to pour their own beverages.
There was nary a napkin or paper towel to be found.
"Mom! My hands are messy," Jovie cried.
"Just wipe them on the carpet!"I told her.
It was glorious.
With all the heaviness in my head these days, it felt good to be be a little reckless. To be the fun mom for an hour. To remind myself that things are just things and that my relationship with these kids will always be more fulfilling than my relationship with my furniture. To realize that making the mess is just as important as cleaning house.
Our new area rug is smaller, darker, cheaper and shaggier.
It doesn't know what's coming.