This is a story about one of William's birthday presents. It should be a simple story, but turns out there were a lot of themes wrapped up in this one large box.
William adores cars and trucks of any kind, and when he received about $100 in birthday money from assorted family members I thought it might all be put toward a ride-on of some sort. I refuse to get into the Power Wheels business, and spent a long time researching pedal-operated tractors and a lot of other cute vehicles on amazon, all of which were quite expensive. Then I revisited the good old Cozy Coupe (or rather, the new version - the blue truck). I was worried he might already be too big/old for this, but was assured by some friends with bigger kids that it was plenty roomy (and it is).
So, with two quick clicks I had a big box on the doorstep just in time for the weekend. Saturday morning was spent outside on the shady front porch with two eager kids "helping" put together William's new truck. Now, I had read warnings of the difficult assembly of these devilish plastic products but I have put together a lot of things in my day and was not deterred.
Well, they weren't kidding. After 90 minutes of assembly the thing was together and functional but something wasn't quite fitting right where the roof supports joined the front, and I had made a blatant mistake and forgot to put on a hubcap (though that I could blame on the neighbor boy stopping over to sell me something for a fundraiser... or the kids moving the pieces around on me... anyone but myself, of course). But William was thrilled all the same and I was spent so we left well enough alone for the rest of the day. His outfit even matched the truck.
By the time evening rolled around I'd had a chance to read some of the reviews and comments other people made on assembly, and realized that my issues were pretty typical. So after the kids were in bed I took on this beast with renewed enthusiasm to make it Just Right.
In addition to the suggested tools of hammer and screwdriver I also busted out a can of Pam, a utility knife, an old steak knife, and (not pictured) a rubber mallet, pliers, vice grips, and some WD40. Phew. While the cats circled nervously I sat on the floor in the kitchen at 10 o'clock at night chiseling plastic out of the misaligned front support joints and lo and behold, the thing actually went together. I did a little happy dance, and spurred on by my victory decided to take on my axle-hubcap mistake. That proved a bit more challenging, as I had to remove the little "acorn nut" from the axle which is, by design, not supposed to come off. I struggled with it for half an hour, cursing, pep-talking the stupid thing, and wiggling it just enough to give me some hope. But in sheer exhaustion I called it a day at 10:30, and as my last act I soaked the nut with some WD40 and left it for morning.
Sorry, this is getting to be a long story. Anyway, sure enough, a fresh approach in the morning and I had the nut off after 5 minutes with the vice grips. I don't think the kids have seen me that happy in awhile - I may or may not have sung a few notes of the Hallelujah chorus.
I put the wheel and hubcap back on as they should have been and that was my Victory for the weekend.
All of this seemed like a fitting Father's Day weekend activity. I wrote back here about how much using tools and making stuff always makes me thing of my dad. And with Don gone a lot I my handy-manny skills are often called into service.
So, it was a nice weekend - a satisfying one and a fun one and the weather was pretty. Now we are chugging through a cloudy afternoon and crossing our fingers that Daddy will be rejoining us sooner rather than later. Will keep you posted!