It was IKEA field trip day, and Christmas Eve with my in-laws day.
Now, I haven’t shopped at IKEA in years. I haven’t needed one of their Swedish-named, everything needs an Allen wrench, “How is that bookcase in such a little box?” products in a long time. I think the last item I was there, I went with my former roommate Doug to pick up a Swedish wardrobe for the apartment we shared.
This all comes back to the secret gift for the gifts. Yes, we got little gifts for them already, such as a Derrick Rose / Chicago Bulls jersey, toys, etc, but my wife dreamed up getting them bunk beds for their bedroom. The idea was that the kids would camp out Christmas Eve in the living room, we put the beds together Saturday night, and surprise them Christmas morning. Of course, we had to go to IKEA first to get two twin-sized foam mattresses, new bed linens, blankets, etc. We spent a nice day at IKEA perusing the wares, seeing all the stuff, and $563 later we got all of our needs. We also had a pretty nice lunch at IKEA — the food court is a lot better than I remember. They used to only have hot dogs and Swedish meatballs.
[Side bar — I’ve been on the hunt for a new, bigger, faster, stronger home office desk for nigh on three years now. I’m pleased to say I found it at IKEA. They have this VIka model where the customer can selec the table top and the legs, and put it together yourself. I found exactly what I wanted for about $130, so I expect to pick that up separately Q1 of 2012. Happy happy joy joy.]
In the evening, we drove over to my in-laws for dinner and presents and all that. The in-laws were there, my sister-in-law and her family as there, etc. We had conversation, dinner, the kids ran around, and plenty more presents were opened.
And now commences the Great Bunk Bed Odyssey. The kids camped out as planned in the living room, but my wife fell asleep next to them. Okay, I get it, she’s pretty tired. So I guess I’m doing this myself. I still had the original mattress, box spring, and all the furniture in the room, so it was some tight quarters when trying to put two beds together. Still, I was prepared with all of my tools.
As usual these days, the almighty Allen wrench is the primary tool to screw everything together. I don’t know why, but it is. At around 3am, I needed to I woke up Nums, as I had the headboards and footboards together, as well as the first bed together. However, there was no more room until we could get the old bed out of there. Once we did that, I spent the next three hours getting the second bed together, putting the ladder together. I woke up Nums again around 5:30-6am to help me get the top bed lifted onto the bottom bunk. After 6 hours of Allen wrenching, my thumbs/hands were achy and nearly non-functional.
Why? Duh, some of the screws go in smoothly, while others need a lot of elbow grease to get them in. I overcame most of the hurdles, until I hit the last wrinkle — the holes between the ladder and the two bed frames didn’t line up, and not just a little. At least a good inch off. Argh. Well, what to do? I tried using smaller screws to fasten, instead of the large joint connectors provided to me, but they didn’t work.
Solution? I said “Screw it!” literally. I figured I’ll drill the requisite new holes, and use the same joint connectors. I didn’t what was wrong, but I didn’t care at 6:30am. Finally, the bed was done. I woke my wife up again, told her to finish with the bed mattresses and linens, etc, and I’m going to put my head down for a nap, and fell asleep briefly next to the kids on the living room floor.