It Didn't Look That Big in the Store!

Its not that the bed is too big...its that the house is too small.

Our home was built in the 1970's, a time of avocado colored appliances, orange shag carpet, and smoked-glass globe-shaped light fixtures...and really small rooms.

The shag is gone, the appliances left with the first owner, and I got rid of the light fixtures myself years ago. The rooms are still small. Sadly, I can't fix that with a screwdriver.

Evan's room is actually a good size bedroom for a 5-year-old. He just has way too much stuff in it! His new bed was fraught with problems from the day we ordered it, problems that were an omen ignored by an un-enlightened and over-exuberant mom and dad that ordered the bed for a birthday present.


In reality, we didn't have to have the bed. We wanted the bed, sure enough. But our emotional drive to buy the bed clouded our judgement on the following issues;

1) Does it actually fit in Evan's room? (I told my wife that it wouldn't, she didn't believe me)
2) What will come out of the room to make space? (so far, nothing.)
3) How do we get it home? (we had a pickup truck, but it was destroyed by a deer)
4) How do you make the bed? (you use a stepladder, and it takes a team of experts)
5) What if he has "an accident" in the middle of the night? (no back-up plan as of yet)

Evan now has a cute bed, "big-boy size" instead of a toddler bed, but no place to play in his room. We were supposed to have it in his room nearly 2 weeks ago, to mark his 5th birthday, but there were some roadblocks thrown our way.

First off, the store only had one in white with pink trim. I'm sad to say that my son would have been fine with that, because pink is a color he's comfortable with. I'm not, so I nixed the pink bed on purely sexist grounds.

Secondly, it would be two weeks before the store could get another one. I thought that was OK, that would give us time to prepare Evan's room for the bed. Yeah, right. As if that was gonna happen!

Third, when the store called us two weeks later so we could pick up the bed, we no longer had our pickup truck to retrieve our treasure. Its in the body shop, being repaired after a close encounter with a deer. So we had to borrow a truck, but from who? I asked a co-worker, his was hundreds of miles away. I asked 2 others with similar situations. I was offered a truck to borrow, but when I got there, I was told that the windshield was busted, the air conditioning was dead (on a 110-degree summer day) and that there was no gas in it.

Beggars can't be shoosers. I accepted the offer and drove the near-dead Chevy pickup to the gas station, then the furniture store. Upon arrival at the loading dock (also non-air-conditioned) I stood for an hour, dripping with sweat in the heat of late afternoon, waiting for the shipping clerk to find all 5 boxes to he bed. But, as luck would have it, my frantic search for a truck, my 10 pounds of fluids lost to perspiration, and my patience on the dock were all in vain. The shipment was incomplete, and the parts they did have were the wrong color...PINK!

I bit the inside of my cheek until it bled, just to avoid losing my temper and saying some words my son should not learn until he's at least 18. We had been patient. We paid in advance. We had been screwed over again by a fate. I was turning red, and the girl behind the cash register could see it. Maybe it was too much sun, or the heat, or maybe I was looking around for some duct tape to wrap my head to keep it from exploding.

The girl picked up on my "negative vibrations" and called the store owner. He said that there had been a mixup, and part of the bed was sent to another store. To the owner's credit, he offered to deliver the bed without charge, and apologized for the mixup.

"Fine", I thought. I tried to look at the positive. At least now we have A DAY to get the room ready for the new bed, and I could return this junky pickup truck that much quicker. We worked without rest for the remainder of the day, preparing the bedroom. And sure enough, when promised, the delivery arrived. My wife made sure ther were 5 boxes and no pink.

My wife finished in the bedroom by taking apart Evan's old bed and, in a mild panic, wound up giving it to a neighbor, who apparently could make good use of a toddler bed in the shape of a fire truck...or perhaps she is skilled in all things eBay. Either way, the fire truck bed was gone. One less headache, one less thing to worry about. It was out of the way.

When I returned home from work, I anxiously opened all 5 boxes, to be sure all the parts were here. I was mentally prepared to build this bed and see my son gleefully slide from the top bunk to the floor, squealing with childish joy all the way down. I looked for the instructions. Box 1... box 2... box 3... box 4... box 5... no instructions. Come to think of it, no bag of screws, nuts and bolts, either.

My mental preparedness left me. I bit the inside of my cheek again.

We called the store, but the phone just rang and rang.

"What store in this day and age doesn't have some kind of answering machine?", I thought.

So to sum up, we have 5 boxes of un-assembled bed scattered about the house, a big blank spot where my son's old bed once stood, and no place for him to sleep tomight, because we can't build the bed without the missing bag of screws, nuts and bolts. The instructions would be a nice touch.

This would all be funny if it wasn't just so typical. The word "pathetic" comes to mind, but I choose not to think of my life in that context...yet. We called the store this morning, and after about an hour they had located the bag of screws and the instructions. The bed was done about two hours later. It would've been one hour later, but the instructions appeared to have been translated (badly) from Chinese into English, and apparently the manufacturer has never heard of this marvel of technology called a typewriter. The paper was handwritten, and probably photocopied over and over, such that I was viewing the 79th generation of the original.

And once again, baby wipes to the rescue! We wiped the whole bed down to get sawdust and splinters off the bed for Evan's safety. We also cleaned the slide to reduce friction for Evan's inaugural ride. Then came the reward: The gleeful laughter of a child having fun.

The end result is cute, but massive...and well worth all the hassle. My cheek will heal.

No comments: