While searching for a tiny piece of hardware last spotted on either the book shelf or the piano, I moved the couch.
Never, never move the couch.
My experience with moving couches usually consists of finding at least two hundred tiny toys that have slipped back there, bits of paper, bug casings, and huge footprints in the carpet. The process includes gathering usable toys and bits of toys, chasing a child out from behind the couch, throwing out handfuls of detritus, removing the child again, taking garbage out of the child’s hands that the child has decided is actually so valuable he can’t live without it despite not having remembered it existed until two seconds ago, vacuuming up the floor, removing the child from behind the couch again, and replacing the couch without having found the thing I was looking for. In this case, the couch was a dual-recliner, so add in heavy lifting.
This time, looking for a tiny piece of metal, I was flat on the carpet looking under the couch when I saw a folded newspaper in the wooden frame. I pulled it out and found myself holding a boat made of newspaper.
My reaction: ???
Sitting with this in my hand, I couldn’t remember the last time we’d made paper boats. Yes, periodically we’d gone through paper boat binges because of Curious George Rides A Bicycle, which gives step-by-step instructions. But Kiddo#4 hasn’t developed a significant interest in Curious George, and Kiddo#3 was never much for making the paper boats. Although they did do it once.
This paper boat was nowhere near hat-sized. About an inch thick and palm-sized, it had been made with more repeats of the initial folds. What this tells me is I’d become bored with making a flotilla of paper boats and begun experimenting. And at what point would I have become bored? Probably at twenty or thirty paper boats.
Either that, or one of my geeklings had decided to experiment with floating the boats, and we thought a thicker boat might repel water for longer.
In the interests of science (and because we knew you readers would want to know) my Patient Husband unfolded the paper boat. The date on the paper? 2002.
- Definitely folded for my oldest geekling, although it’s unclear whether boredom or scientific questioning accounts for the experimental nature of this boat.
- This boat had worked its way downstream through the frame of the couch for approximately eight years before coming to port at the bottom. I do clean behind the couch, and I do grope through the interior at least twice a year looking for That Special Lost Toy.
- This boat had survived a move from Angeltown to Angelborough without falling out of the couch
As a great artist once said, Time keeps flowing like a river to the sea, to the sea. And this, apparently, would have been the right vessel to take on the trip.