Posted by: Paul | January 9, 2010

The Flatpack Challenge

Adam’s new bed arrived today. He’s making the jump from cot to toddler bed, and in preparation we had been leaving the drop-side of the cot down for the last few weeks and, like the good little boy he is, he had never climbed out.

On returning from a drive through the now rather deep snow, in an effort to save some space I thought I would rid us of the bulky packaging and make sure all was OK with the parts, but not assemble it tonight. All my tools were outside in the garage and there was no way I was going back out there right now. As it turned out, the bed could be assembled by allen key. An allen key was supplied. The old cot was held together with allen bolts. So I changed my mind and decided to put the new bed in place today rather than waiting for tomorrow. It being teatime, I realised I had set myself a time-sensitive challenge. It was 5.45. Bedtime is 7pm. I had 75 minutes to dismantle the old cot, stash it somewhere, and assemble the toddler bed in time for Adam to take his first night’s sleep in it. The toddler bed had just 14 bolts. How hard can it be?

I turned my attention to the old cot. Removed all the toys, stripped the mattress, moved the cot to the middle of the room. Interrupted by Toby The Cat, who had clearly come to watch me fail. He wandered round the cot a couple of times, sniffed it, and then leapt onto the adjacent chair where I had piled the duvet and so on. This knocked all the soft furnishings onto the floor. Toby The Cat ejected.

In removing the side panel I looked at the bolts holding on the base of the cot. They were not allen bolts at all, but needed a screwdriver! What to do, what to do… It’s minus 2 outside. There must be something I can use. Spotted a ruler in the spare room – is the edge thin enough? Yes! Game on.

Cot dismantled 5 minutes later. Now 6pm. Carefully pile the different panels on the floor where the new bed is to go – I will build over them. Bring in the parts of the new bed. Where is the allen key? What on earth have I done with it? Of course, it’s with the bolts – which are under all the bits of the cot. Move cot panels. Find allen key. Continue.

End and sides of bed are coming together well, when up the stairs comes Adam, accompanied by Mummy.

“Look what Daddy’s doing, Adam! Making a new bed for you!”
“Bed! Bed! Bath!”

Mummy departs to the bathroom. Adam picks up all remaining bolts and runs off. Chase ensues. 6.15 pm. Remaining bolts reclaimed variously from under our bed, in the bin, in the computer cabinet and behind the wardrobe. Toby The Cat smirks. Construction continues.

6.30 pm, construction is complete, and site is tidy and ready for use. Adam, duly bathed and very exciteable despite the proximity of bedtime, does a couple of cackling laps of his room, before leaping into his new bed. Then out again. Then in. Out. In. Out.

“It’s going to be an interesting night,” said Mummy.

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