It all started with a supportive remark.
“Don’t worry, Keith. It’s really easy,” they said to me before sending my clueless self out with a crib that needed to be re-assembled.
To give you a little background, over the weekend, members of a local church who have been reading about my impending son held a baby shower for the little lady and I, and among the items we received was a beautiful white baby crib and changing table.
Upon looking at the crib, which already was assembled, I had two thoughts: 1) “Wow. This pregnancy thing might not be a sophisticated prank after all. Maybe I’m really going to be a dad here in a little while.” 2) “That thing is going to have to be taken apart in order to get it in the house. Are there any instructions on how to put it back together?”
But I’ll get back to that in a couple of minutes.
The real reason for this column is to thank the members of Midway Baptist Church for throwing a shindig for people who don’t attend their church and who they didn’t even know. That was a wonderful thing for us and was totally unexpected. My girl was fighting back tears of joy on the ride home. It touched her heart.
And after the shower (I guess that’s what you call it. I’m a guy, after all…), we went home and I performed a quick tally: 470’ish diapers and more than 3,300 baby wipes. Two darling little “receiving blankets,” which I can only assume will be used to “receive” the little guy — whatever that means. Various lotions and oils and smell-good stuff, all of which I’m certain I will become intimately familiar with in the near future. Bibs. Washcloths. A stuffed animal. Baby books.
“There is no way we’re ever going to use all of these,” I said of the wipes when they were placed neatly in stacks on the shelf of the changing table.
“Oh, OK,” the little lady said with a chuckle, turning and pregnant-walking (okay, waddling) out of the room in order to avoid laughing directly in my face. “You go on believing that for a few more days, honey.”
And then I turned to the crib. Piece of cake, right?
Now, to be fair, I got a crash course on crib assembly when the former owner helped me take it apart for transport to Strange’s House of Mirth. “Seems simple enough,” I thought at the time, shoving my pockets full of different-sized screws and bolts and whatnot.
But then I started trying to put it together while the little lady sat down in the nursery rocking chair with a camera. I think her whole purpose for being there was to laugh at me and offer helpful tips like, “it’s falling down again, baby.”
“I only have two hands,” I replied, sweaty, frustrated and with a little more colorful language than I can indicate here in the newspaper. (See attached picture. At that moment I was strongly considering using duct tape and zip ties.)
By then, she was holding her pregnant belly and guffawing, red-faced with laughter.
So the question I have is this: What kind of alchemy is necessary to put together a baby crib?
If there are any engineers reading this column, could you please explain to me how I can fit a screw directly behind something three-quarters of an inch away and screw it in with a screwdriver from the side?
Seriously, I think in order to put it together I needed two friends, a vice and some sort of witchcraft.
But in the end, the crib is together (I think), and while I’m sure we don’t have everything yet, the nursery is just about there.
And we’re just waiting for our little boy Mason to arrive…
Keith Strange is a staff reporter with The Mount Airy News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.