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Crow's-Feet Chronicles: Crib assembly in a small window of time
By Cindy Baker Burnett
Jul 10, 2017
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"Wanna come to Chicago to play with Oakley and help me get the new baby’s room ready?" my 8.5-months-pregnant daughter Lizann asked in a text.

“I can’t be ready before right this minute,” I replied.

Chicago is a long way from me; but, fortunately, I retired from the airlines with life-time flight benefits. In a few short hours, I was dragging my roller bag up the steps to my daughter’s and son-in-law’s front door.

The next day, during my 20-month-old-granddaughter’s nap, Lizann and I began tackling the assembly of the new baby’s crib. Suddenly, I had flashbacks of putting toys together on Christmas Eve. No matter how prepared I was, there was always that one toy that required batteries found only in a discount store in Tokyo.

The organic-ey wooden toys were the toughest. If they needed assembly, the problem is they split and break because wood is wood and it swells and it shrinks. We tried to force it and the next thing we knew, it split; and not only were we disappointed, but we were public enemies number one.

But this was a crib. How hard could it be? I already knew that we needed to be prepared for some frustration when dealing with anything meant to be a structure, such as a dollhouse, any sort of racetrack, outdoor fort, or play kitchen. Those are the kind of things that require putting in major hours to get them to where your kids can play with them.

Lizann and I spread out the written directions and all the hardware on a flat surface. It seemed simple enough. The tricky task was convincing my mega-pregnant daughter to let her 70-year-old, arthritic mother do the heavy lifting. At times, Lizann and I were both in twisted gyrations, trying to align the railing with the crib ends. When she would slide her knob into a slot, my knob would pop out of alignment. Sigh. Repeat. Sigh.

While balancing the railing on my shin, l reached to pick up the bracket and mounting screws. The directions said, “Drill 2 pilot holes for each bracket (3/16” drill bit) and install bracket on the wall with screws provided.” I may not be up to the minute with new-fangled cribs, but that seemed odd. Why would we attach a baby crib to the wall? Oh well, what do I know? 

When I read, “Place window corner here,” I knew we were in trouble. There was not a window where we were placing the baby’s crib.  

It’s been three months, and I can now reveal the mystery: Baby crib directions had gotten mixed with drapery directions.  

Lizann and I get the Gu-HUCK award. 

cindybaker@cableone.net