Assembly required

Here’s today’s lesson: when a manufacturer offers to charge $200 to send out a crew to assemble the furniture you’ve just purchased, pay the $200. Otherwise, your new bed might arrive looking like this:

I wish I could say that we spent some serious cash on a new table, maybe a mahogany wardrobe or an antique dresser that blends in with our country farm house. But no, we slapped our credit card down for furniture neither stylish or timeless. Think, Ikea-styled bunk bed.

It was a matter of necessity. In Baby Huey fashion, Hadley outgrew her crib — about 6 months ago — and recently relocated slumber activity to Cayden’s bed….which is my old bed, acquired by my parents in a land called 1974.

The problem with this sleeping arrangement is that Cayden’s bed is intended to sleep one individual at a time. And while they’ve successfully sardined themselves in there, on a couple of occasions the Barbarian has ejected her brother from his own bed.

Because we wanted to keep the kids in one room, the only solution was to start stacking bodies in bunk-bed fashion. And that’s why I swallowed my antique-only pride and agreed to buy a modern, boxy bed better suited to a college dorm room.

Even after the family of flat boxes arrived and Martin had spread the guts of the beds out on the carpet, he remained optimistic. “I think this will take me an hour or so to build.”

Suuure it will.

Assembly took two days — about 8 hours, plus a trip to the store to exchange ill-fitting parts, and unknown number of curse words.

The full bed was relatively easy to assemble and the twin wasn’t too bothersome. But stacking them proved tricky.

But Sunday evening, the project begun Saturday afternoon was complete. The finished product isn’t very inspiring — it looks like something that cats or hamsters climb to amuse themselves in a pet store. But our two hamsters love it.

And wouldn’t you know it? After Martin painstakingly screwed that sucker together and we wedged it in their room, those rotten kids are sleeping together on the top bunk.

Ungrateful little hamsters.