Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A New Respect for Cardboard

Late yesterday afternoon, I stepped onto my front porch to watch an eighteen wheeler kick up dust as he bumped across a hay field of tall grass just waiting to be cut. Inside was a nine foot by four foot crate carrying two months' worth of research and waiting.

Knowing my sons will likely be over 6 foot tall like their daddy, I wanted to get them beds that (1) could bunk if the boys wanted that down the road and (2) were as long as a full bed without the width, which wouldn't fit too well in the room they share.

Although I thought this would be an easy task, I quickly learned there are very few companies that make XL twin bunk beds--three total, one of which charged more than all the beds in my house combined, a second which "might" still be making the bed in a color other than white--but they wouldn't know for sure until mid August, and the third in Ohio that makes custom beds for a reasonable price. You can guess which one I chose.

My sons' mattresses arrived two weeks ago. Out went the toddler beds and in came two new trampolines. Since then, Wyatt and Emerson have slept eight inches from the floor on lime green sheets as they waited.

And yesterday, the beds finally arrived to be welcomed by a crowd of grinning youngsters.

Armed with a fully charged power drill, it still took me an hour to remove a double handful of mega screws, dismantle the crate, and place each piece indoors before the threatening thunder to the north descended on my doorstep.

Thankfully, my daddy then arrived to help me haul the pieces upstairs and assemble them. We work well together. Me on one end, him on the other, we struggled to heft the 50-75 pound solid wood under-bed drawers and 3/4 inch bunkie board sheets of particle board up the narrow stairwell without dropping them, denting a wall, or destroying the new paint job.

In the end, two boys climbed up in two pretty awesome, very sturdy beds. And the price for my labor was two scrapes on my hands...caused not by the jagged edges of the packing crate or a screw that jumped away from my drill but by the crate's cardboard lid.

Cardboard. In other words, just a big paper cut, which I could have avoided. The problem was I was careful with the big stuff. I took the time to ensure I had a good grip on a piece of wood before I took each step, to ensure that I wasn't in danger of tripping over a child or hitting a light fixture.

But I didn't respect something as flimsy as cardboard. I never considered it a potential danger, so I simply yanked it off the crate's top and sliced open a top layer of skin that's still sore today.

Yes, it's not the big stuff in life that gets to me, breaks me, cuts my heart to the quick. It's the weak, small, seemingly insignificant things I never expect...like cardboard.

1 comment:

  1. Well Jennifer, you are certainly the jack of all trades! Kudos to you, for tackling a job that I probably never would. Too much of a wuss. Wait for husband. Husband will assemble. Wife will bake a pie. Etc...