Couch Hunting from your Couch

Toddlers are a couch’s greatest enemy.

Okay. That might be a bit of hyperbole. Surely cats that love to claw the corners or cushion-shredding dogs pose a greater threat. A good house flood might do the trick, as well.

But, in my house, the toddler reigns supreme. And his aim? My wonderful, beautiful, oh-so-carefully-chosen couch.

Think about it: a couch is the heart of a home.

It’s where those late-night Netflix binges happen and where early morning coffee is consumed. The couch is where you sit anxiously until it’s time to leave for that big job interview, and it’s the place where you flop down at the end of a long day’s work. Even the barest of bare bachelor pads have a makeshift couch of some kind.

Yep. Couches are a requirement for any home.

And, have you ever noticed how much a couch is the starting point for the room? Everything starts with the couch and builds from there. The recliner has to match, and the coffee table has to fit just so. Picture frame colors coordinate with the color of the couch’s fabric, and rugs need to accent the couch perfectly. It’s like the couch is the melody, and everything else in the room plays off those notes to create an interior design symphony.

That toddler, though. He’s like a cymbal-player gone mad. He comes crashing in with noise and nuisance, and the couch can’t do a thing about it.

The couch endures the jumping. It’s like a strange form of torture to watch the cushions and pillows mashed again and again by those tiny little feet, whose owner is simply excited by the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song.

The couch endures the disassembly. What’s great for making a living room fort? You guessed it: couch cushions. They’re pulled off and forced into structures they were never meant to create, only to be mashed back into place in a hurry when the toddler is whisked away for bath time.

And, the couch endures the spills. Oh, the spills. The toddler doesn’t discriminate: juice, cracker crumbs, milk, fruit snacks… they all end up sunk in the crevices of the couch and ground into the carefully chosen fabric of each cushion. And you can only flip those cushions so many times before there aren’t any sides left without a stain. The couch is forced to bear the wounds of his past.

This terror of toddlerhood has lead me on my latest, greatest adventure: to find the best bargain couches the internet has to offer. And let me tell you, it’s not easy. Couches range from expensive and gaudy to cheap and threadbare. It’s still the heart of my home, though, right? I need something that breathes life into my living room without sacrificing hardiness. Because, let’s face it: the toddler has to stay. Nevertheless, I’m plagued by my search for a new couch.

Because, as much as I love my couch and the comforts it affords me, I know that it’s going to have to be replaced. The toddler will be too much for him; he’ll lose this battle eventually. But, like any noble soldier, he will eventually need to be relieved of his duties. So, here I am, sitting on my couch and searching.