Allen keys. They’re the spawn of the devil, aren’t they?
For the third weekend in a row, I’ve been slaving away in the boys’ new room with dodgy 80s music burbling away in the background inserting connecting bolt A into back panel B. (That sounds awfully rude, doesn’t it?)
First we swapped over the boys’ bedroom and the guest room as the initial phase of Operation ‘Bedroom Move’. Then I assembled two small chests of drawers to sit in the bottom of their built-in wardrobes. And finally came the biggest task of all: putting together a new bunk bed.
For someone who is about as skilled with a screwdriver as I am with a surgeon’s scalpel, the mere mention of ‘flat-pack’ – it’s no coincidence that it comprises two four-letter words, is it? – is enough to send me into the kind of cold sweat normally associated with a drug addict going cold turkey.
Suffice to say that I’m really not a DIY kind of guy. I’m much more from the GSI school: Get Someone In.
Anyhow, unusually for me, on Saturday afternoon I decided to grasp the nettle, take the bull by the horns and generally mix my metaphors and make a start on the bed in the hope of at least getting one bunk assembled so that Toby could sleep in it that night.
One hour later and progress was, it has to be said, slow. I’d managed to lay out 62 pieces of wood and 211 screws, bolts, dowels and little plastic mushrooms (hole covers, apparently) of varying sizes into a series of neat piles on the bedroom floor.
At that point I decided to call in the cavalry in the form of someone far more qualified than I when it comes to complex construction projects: Isaac. Yes, I know he’s only seven, but he’s a dab hand with Lego. And, as it happens, Allen keys.
We were soon attaching bits of wood to other bits of wood. Well, I say ‘we’. It was mostly an enthusiastic Isaac – Toby also wandered in to ‘help’ at one point, stayed for about two minutes, then promptly shrugged and left – who did the actual Allen key-twiddling while I attended to important supervisory matters such as working which way up the instructions should be, changing music playlists and fetching potato-based snacks.
Long story short: by bedtime we had the upper bunk completed. Toby declared himself delighted and slept in it that night. (Well, until 2am anyway, at which point he relocated to our bed as usual.)
Sunday morning was spent assembling the lower bunk and putting the two halves together. Incredibly, there were no pieces left over – in defiance of the 17th Rule of Flat-Pack Furniture. (Not to be confused with the 16th Rule, which is “the one piece you get the wrong way round is always one that requires you to disassemble the entire construction and start all over again”.)
And so phase two is complete! The boys’ room is starting to look like the finished article. We still have lots of little touches to add before it’s complete – additional lighting, storage, that kind of thing – but I’m quietly very pleased with how it’s looking, as are the boys.
Now I need to start on the new furniture for Kara’s bedroom. It never ends, does it?