Sailboat through time

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.


  1. Sara Ann Denson

    Couldn’t help noticing that the oldest’s paper hat looks a little like a storm trooper helmet. 🙂 Love your mom posts! I can totally relate. Keep ’em coming!

    1. philangelus

      They weren’t into stormtroopers yet when we took this, so that’s pure fortune. LOL!

  2. Nikole Hahn

    Things don’t fall in-between the cushions of the couch anymore. I miss that because oftentimes I would change. With enough change, I could treat myself with something. My toes dipped in-between the cushions of the couch yesterday and encountered cleanliness. Still no change.

    1. philangelus

      There’s a card game called Chez Geek where you can gain three hunger points from a card called “change in couch,” which has a picture of a pizza delivery guy on it and the roommates triumphantly presenting him with handfuls of quarters. 😀

  3. Nikole Hahn

    I would find change…I meant.

  4. Diinzumo

    My couch steps are similar, only it’s “remove cat.” I recently moved two sleeper sofas to find a million cat toys, an earring, paper bits, leaves, unknown detritus and the remains of dead palmetto bugs (the genteel term for “very large flying roaches”).

    Hard to believe so many years and a move has passed since that photo.

    1. philangelus

      I know! When we had Funny Paper Hat Day, Kiddo#4 was only six weeks old. When I started this post I knew we had the photo but it didn’t occur to me until I pasted it in just how dated it was. 0.o

      We grew up with palmetto bugs, only we didn’t know what they were because they were something of a rarity in NY. One of the perks of living on a landfill right next to the sewage treatment plant.

      (The cat toys are an interesting addition to the mix. I didn’t find any of those.)

  5. Ronnica

    Wow…that’s awesome. We once found a coupon from 1991 in our hand-me-down couch (this was only a year or two ago). Hadn’t even realized the couch was that old!