Small children are like mice. They utilize at-hand materials to create little nests, cozy spots just big enough for a bed and a lookout. If left in the forest I think children would do better making shelter and staying dry and safe up in a tree than would adults. We recently got a new couch and Child Harbat immediately got to work, seeing the potential in large structural-slab cushions, roof-spanning pillows, and the possibility of knocking out a pillow wall and expanding over the coffee table. For a little girl she’s remarkably adept at handling massive cushions and muscling them all into place. Blankets are repurposed as curtains, shelves are made from corbelled pillows, table legs buttress soaring walls. For her the couch wasn’t just what it was, it was what it could become. And this Sunday it was built and rebuilt into habitable spaces with room for stuffies, book spaces, sleeping nooks, flashlight storage, roof access panels, and hidden doors. When the electronic apocalypse occurs and we’re back to eating with our hands and making stone tools, I know who I’m going to look to for home-building expertise. Not I, the architect, but my daughter, the couch-fort constructor.
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