If you had told me a few Saturdays ago, “Anna, Mini is going to destroy a mattress today,” I would not have bothered to ask which mattress it was that he would be destroying. I don’t waste time on formalities, you see. I would simply have asked you to direct me–immediately–to the most expensive mattress in the store.
Because I know my son.
Picking out the most expensive thing to covet, purchase, destroy, or otherwise consume is a Viele family tradition. We mastered it generations ago, and now it takes no more than a superficial glance to gravitate towards a consumer product of high price. And, when you are two, you could care less about actually buying a mattress upon which to sleep. You are way more interested in finding the best, most expensive one upon which to jump, smear unidentified toddler goo, and/or otherwise render unsalable. For sport.
We were shopping for a new mattress recently, directly after taking Mini to My Gym on a Saturday morning. And you should know that part of the tradition, at the end of My Gym, is to get “socks, shoes, and stamperoos!” on all available body parts of your child. The “all available” body parts clause is actually something that is reserved for Mini: most kids are happy with one stamp on their hand, maybe a second on the other, non-dominant hand if they are extra fancy. But for Mini, the practice is one stamp on each hand, one stamp on each foot, and one (or two) stamps on his belly, so that by the time all of the ink comes off, it’s almost time to go to My Gym again.
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, the stamp pads will be near the end of their run, and the ink will be faint and less prone to bleeding all over the damn place. By the same token, if you manage to convince Mini to stick with the smaller, less-inkable-surface-area “Mymo” monkey stamps and avoid the My Gym logo stamps, you can also contain the potential for ink running disaster. But on this particular Saturday, it was like a crazy perfect storm of kid-themed ink disaster: new stamp pads, My Gym logos all over the place, and even as I was putting on Mini’s shoes I knew the ink wasn’t quite dry.
So you can see that, when Mr. Right-Click removed Mini’s shoes to avoid getting the mattress dirty–the mattress on which Mini was climbing and trying to jump and just generally be an average 2-year-old boy hellion, the situation was ripe for ruining a mattress. And which mattress was Mini jumping around on, for less than ten seconds in total? The $20,000 mattress, of course.
Why are there such things at $20,000.00 mattresses, anyway? It’s not like we were shopping at Hästens. No, sir–I know better than that. I know if I walk into a store like Hästens, I will immediately become convinced that I need to spend more on a mattress than I’ve ever spent on a car, even if under saner circumstances I will assure you that there’s no reason to spend more than, say, $3,000 on a mattress–tops. How can any mattress be worth more than that? Are the coils made of solid gold? And even if so, is this a good thing?
Once we discovered what had happened, naturally, the anal retentive store manager walked by and said, “That’s our $20,000 mattress!” Which really pissed me off. And it was kind of fortuitous, too, because I wasn’t able to get really pissed off at Mini, or at Mr. Right-Click for taking his shoes off, or at myself for not better attempting to control the fallout. I was able to contain and focus my rage upon this annoying store manager, who was acting like it was her $20,000 mattress to which Mini had just given a jailhouse tat, and violating all of my hard-won retail sensibilities in which accidents happen, boys will be boys, oh yeah !and it’s a mattress showroom, where people are trying mattresses out all day long, covering the mattresses with their nasty body odor and secretions, and touching it with their filthy shoes, and surely this kind of thing has happened before and I’m sure you have a policy in place. Oh no! instead, she tried to make us feel worse about the situation, and immediately got on the phone with the store’s corporate office–which of course was like, “uh, we’ll just replace the top, this happens all the time,” (just as I suspected)–and hemming and hawing, hand-wringing, and hair-tearing.
To make a long story short (too late): we are enjoying our new mattress, which didn’t cost $20,000, and doesn’t have any ink stains, either.