Daddy's Coming Honey!

No Assembly Required

Was a full weekend: In-laws came in to visit, we ate at the new and famous restaurant in town, The Cookout, the old and famous Homeplace, celebrated the birthday of my old and balding (even faster than I am) cousin-in-law Adam. Oh, and we also mentioned to build a bed and a chair. Completely from scratch. Chopped down the wood and everything. What? Not a good liar? Then I’ll tell the tale in the truth genre. Oh the part about the restaurants was true. They’re everything everyone says they are.

When we purchased the crib and rocker, from a place out West, Carrie began to count down the days until its arrival. We also planned for the child’s grandparents to all be present for the “ribbon-cutting” ceremony. I knew I would need at least one person to hold the crib still as I fashioned the pieces together (I like the word “fashion”, for it implies I did more than just screw things together). We had to remove the futon and old-fashioned TV (remember when they used to not be flat?) and now they’re in the preacher’s office, needing a place to go. If you are in need of a bulky television set and an uncomfortable college couch that transforms into a less comfortable bed, contact us.

When the items arrived, I wasn’t sure if I should tip the FedEx guy. Wasn’t sure if that was the norm so I didn’t. I told him to have a good day. That’s a fine tip right there. We should all have good days as often as possible. Everything was in its right place. When we opened the boxes Carrie felt the wood, admired the color. Both the crib and rocker are of the same color wood, a dark, rich wood.

I had Grandpas one and two come up and “help out.” I’m not too ashamed to admit when I need help, but I am man enough to declare that I don’t need help with directions, and that any man who isn’t a fool will need help with the assembly of large, bulky objects. Clamps alone don’t save you enough time. So the grandpas came. We played 70s music. I read the directions carefully, even deciphering the confusing bit about the product label vs the warning label (one of which was not in the right place). All the screws and rods were provided, and the manufacturers even threw in an L-wrench, also known as an Allen wrench, because some guy named Allen thought he would name it after himself instead of what it looks like. Jerk.

The crib and rocker look a little something like this:

The crib did come with one flaw: A small crack in the wood on the edge of one of the rails. We fixed it with wood glue and duct tape. Not in the ghetto way. THe duct tape was to hold the piece together until the wood dried. Then we refinished the crack with a marker. A wood marker, not a crayola. As I said, not ghetto. I don’t mind the crack. Like I told Carrie, it gives the crib character.

The crib is strong. I tested the weight. That thing will hold three bears, a giraffe, a monkey, a penguin, and an elephant. That’s more than John Denver can say about his grandmother’s feather bed, who until now held the record: 8 kids, 4 hound-dogs, and a piggy they stole from the shed. Still, our mattress isn’t made from forty-leven geese, but instead some manufactured material that, unless directly ingested, is perfectly safe. As for the rocker, it rocks smoothly back and forth, not quite as pendulum-like as a classic rocker, but rather a mechanical motion more akin to a Kalamazoo trolley being operated by an old man. And it comes with an Ottoman you can put your feet on. By ottoman I mean a footstool, like the dog from Beauty and the Beast. I would never condone purchasing a Turk to put your feet on. I think the International Criminal Court would frown on that too.

So everything came together quite nicely. The gathering of men was a mutually beneficial man-gagement that needed not be explained. They knew I would need help holding the pieces together, yet also knew I could manage to perform the actual task and wanted to demonstrate that to them. I knew they wanted to be there to assist, yet also knew they wanted to see the son/son-in-law they are still proud of. Fathers helping their sons build as fathers for their sons: The line runs deep like the rings of an old tree, one that is cut down for timber to build a cradle, a cradle which will hold the babe who will then grow to be a man which will then chop down another tree to build a cradle. Ah, the circle of life.

No, none of us ever chops down a tree and builds furniture from it ourselves. Rather, one set of men with machines mass cuts one section of forest after another, while another man hauls the lumber off, another set of men shaves the bark off and cuts the lumber into workably rectangular beams, while then another cuts and measures pieces to assemble, while perhaps another molds the pieces, another paints and polishes, another assembles the primary pieces, while another packages, another sells, another delivers, and another opens and assembles, while finally another sleeps, cries, and poops in it. Then we toss it. Or pass it on, if we’re conscientious.

I wish I could teach my son master carpentry, the ways of choosing a tree and felling it (I always wanted to use the verb “to fell” and I finally get to), using its wood to craft with your skilled hands a perfect specimen of furniture. But do I feel less a man for assembling an idiot-proof crib that my wife purchased? No. Not at all. I made a baby. I’m not walking out on that baby. And I prepared the crib and rocker for that baby. What have you done today?

This is what happens after you build the crib and have the child.”>This is what happens after you build the crib and have the child.


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  1. * Lisa L says:

    Nice job, Caleb!! That guy in the video is soooo gonna be you!! LOL

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 4 months ago

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