Life Lessons from IKEA

Oh dear God… What have I done?

I stared at the box and felt panic creep into my throat. I can’t do it. Do you see me, God? I’m shredding my hands just trying to get the box open. This is too hard. I give up.

But I couldn’t give up. I had three incredibly excited children waiting for new beds and nine humongous boxes threatening to take up permanent residency in the middle of the floor.

Just then, Jordan walked in with a scissors. At least now I could proceed with the first step: open the boxes.

Jo has been waiting to do a bedroom switch-a-roo with her littlest brother since March. Ben had the biggest room and Jordan thought it would be prime real estate for her sewing machines. All of a sudden, all three kids wanted in on this Extreme Home Makeover, but I told them we had to wait until the end of the summer.

Not sure if you’ve looked at the calendar lately, but my “end of summer” happens on Wednesday. That’s when the kids head back to school. This was literally the last weekend of our summer vacation. So, Saturday morning we hopped in the minivan and headed to Cincinnati to the mecca of do-it-yourself furniture: IKEA.

Sunday, we realized we bit off more than we could chew. At least, I did.

Alas, there are lessons to be learned from putting together multiple beds and shelving units in one day. Here are a few:

1. You don’t need words to understand what someone is saying. I’m guessing this picture will save me from some future hazard.

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2. Don’t assume you have a better plan than the creator. Follow the directions. In order.

3. When you get off course in life (or IKEA mantling), return to the last right decision you made. Don’t agonize over lost time, just pick up from there.

4. Two heads are better than one. Each child helped me put together their own bed. The next time I need one-on-one time with my kids, I’m going to buy more furniture to assemble. It was precious. Here’s Charlie…

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5. Listening to Christian music will curb your desire to cuss out loud. Not that I ever get the urge to swear. I’m just saying…

6. Trust in the master plan. You can’t see the final product when you’re up to your neck in the individual pieces.

7. Hard work makes for a good night’s sleep. For everyone. Even the dog, who seems to think she got a new bed, too.

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