Baby Furniture // Some Assembly Required

We’ve got only a few days until our baby is due to be born into this world. We’ve spent weeks remodeling several rooms of our home, with the amazing help of my fiancee’s parents and we’re finally relaxing in the home stretch. But we had one important task to complete: putting together the baby furniture.

Two nights ago, I built the dresser. This thing looked like a handsome and eminently usable piece of furniture for the baby room. It also looked pretty easy to set up. While the end result certainly wasn’t a long road full of trouble, the instructions could have been a bit more helpful.

Witness:

furniture instructions

Yes, the one sentence instruction for Step #1 covers building the first third of the dresser. I could handle that, but was truly thrown off by the diagram. Without getting into the nitty gritty, I’ll simply say that the illustration at right did not exactly represent how the pieces looked in person. I guessed on a few aspects, using my experience with knockoff-Ikea bookshelves and vinyl record cubes.

There had to be some logic here. Surely the higher-ups at Big Furniture wouldn’t leave me in a lurch before the warranty expired.

I plowed onward with increasingly concerned looks glowing from my right, as Kaitlyn observed the entire process with the kind of side-eye normally reserved for bewildered gorillas. Things were maybe Not Going Well.

cat in a box

But then our younger cat, Sterling, popped out of the box to remind us of the important things in life. Stuff like love and cuteness and cardboard. I mean, look at that face. It’s too stupidly cute not to smile. I was energized, ready to finish this thing.

The dresser was completed without much hassle, in the grand scheme of things. With hindsight, I can see what the cryptic instructions were really saying. Compared to furniture I’ve built before, it wasn’t so bad at all. The instructions didn’t seem to have been coughed out of Google Translate, at least, which is its own little victory.

I felt the unmistakable warmth of triumph rising within.

There was only one problem: I’d unwittingly scuffed the drawers as I finished piecing them together on top of the completed frame. Tiny but horrible marks dotted those smooth dark surfaces. It felt like a gut-punch just when I expected relief and maybe even some eye-rolling applause from the lady. I wanted to be hero for the night; instead I was ready to be slaughtered on the spot.

Thankfully, Kaitlyn sprung into action with guidance from Pinterest and some strange mixture in a bowl, glazing the scratches with a jeweler’s eye, zooming across the surface. Silent concentration; I stood back and watched, clenched as can be. Shit was getting serious.

Finally, she stopped. We both sat down, tension slowly escaping the room, still not looking at each other. I got up and said, let’s move it into the room, at least.

Once we got the dresser in there, under the bright new lights in the freshly painted room, we took a hard look. The marks appeared to be gone as they were going to get. There was a palpable exhale between us. We eventually hugged and sat down and watched some Fringe together, and all was right for the night.

completed baby dresser / changing table

It looks pretty darn alright, huh? Now, onto the crib.

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