We have a chair that my parents gave me when Biggie was born eight and a half years ago. It’s a super-comfy rocking recliner in a weird sort of beigy colour. We call it “The Stinky Chair” because – well, because it’s getting a bit old now.
Two children have been breastfed in that chair, two children have napped (and occasionally weeed) in that chair, two children have snuggled in that chair. And I may not have mentioned that Otto had reflux, and threw up constantly for the first six months or so. We wiped it up, and washed it off, of course, but there’s only so much you can do.
Over time, the chair became my “office” too. With my notebook on my lap and a side table beside me, it’s my favourite place to work when I am at home. And to play, too, of course – I often spend evenings in the stinky chair with the PC on my lap, emailing or BSWing while we watch TV.
It’s not usually stinky, but it is fairly amazingly grubby, beyond anything that upholstery shampoo or even steam cleaning can fix. But it’s amazingly comfortable, and it doesn’t make any sense to buy a chair now and a sofa in six months or so – I’d rather hang on to it until we can replace everything at once.
Anyway, that’s all background to the way I have spent the last few hours. You see, last night I realised that the stinky chair had had it – it really *was* stinky. Fraser couldn’t smell it, but it was quite vile. I figured I’d call a rubbish contractor today and get rid of it.
This morning, Fraser smelt it. And so did I. And it *wasn’t* the chair. We had no idea what it was, but my stinky chair wasn’t stinky. Grotty, yes. Stinky, no.
So we have spent the evening searching. We’ve had to go through all the toys, all the boxes of toys, looking for what one of the kids had hidden somewhere. Along the way, we threw out three bags of rubbish – broken toys, scraps of artwork, dried-up felt tip pens, discarded beads and sequins. My new theory was that an animal had fallen into the chimney of our firebox and died.
We found it just now – at least, we think we have. One little milk carton. Strawberry-flavoured. At least, it was strawberry-flavoured once.
But I still think I’m going to call a chimney sweep tomorrow. It’s nearly five years since we used the fireplace. With winter on the way, the occasional open fire might be nice.
And meanwhile, I have my chair.