December 17, 2012

Trampoline of Hell

We've come close in the past but this was the real test. The Architect and I had set aside the day to assemble the new trampoline - one of those Anxious Parent ones with safety nets, and mats over the springs, and zips to make sure the kids don't fall out of the ten centimetre doorway.

The trampoline was a present from my parents for their grandchildren for Chanukah. Chanukah is the Jewish festival of lights, traditionally celebrated with gifts of coins and doughnuts - or, in my offsprings' case, gigantic, expensive trampolines.

The gift was a surprise for my girls, but my 13 year old son was in on it - firstly because he guessed when the truck arrived with a giant box bearing the logo 'Trampoline' (I know, the kid is smart), and secondly because my husband and I were scared to be alone together during the assembly, and needed our son as a referee. So the girls were told that the giant box bearing the logo 'Trampoline' was a 'table', and were shipped off to friends down the road. This wasn't an issue for the 5 year old, who cannot read, but was worrying when accepted by the 11 year old, who clearly either needs remedial English tuition, or is quite frighteningly gullible.

Our trampoline doesn't fly. But it did lean.
The first part of the assembly went very well. We removed all parts of the trampoline from the box and counted the parts carefully. Unfortunately the next part of the assembly - actually assembling the fucking thing - was slightly more complex. It took about 45 minutes to get all the springs into place, and then another 25 minutes to remove all the springs once we realised we were supposed to put the safety net on BEFORE the springs went in. We assembled the poles with the elastics facing in the wrong direction, which means nothing to you but meant something to us when we were unable to hook the net to the poles. And we couldn't screw in the screws properly, because I broke the special screwdriver trying to unhook the prematurely-installed springs.

However, the greatest fail was that of The Architect, who dug a ditch in our uneven garden to level the trampoline's surface. As we don't actually have a shovel, he was forced to do this with a pink plastic spade and a drinking glass. So focused was he on his task that the ditch turned out to be several centimetres too deep, causing the trampoline to lean dangerously to the left.

So the pink plastic spade was re-engaged to fill in the hole, and eventually the trampoline was leveled. And neither my son or I said one word to The Architect about his monumental stuff-up, although we *may* have done an interpretive dance of scorn around our perfectly constructed trampoline.

In the end, though, the girls were thrilled and the assembly was a huge success. My back is broken, The Architect's spirit is crushed, and my son has sworn never to work with us again, but they are but minor hiccups along the path to family bliss.

So Happy Chanukah to all, and may your Christmas presents come pre-assembled. And if they don't, may I suggest that you invest in a spade?

26 comments:

  1. Well I can see how the lawyers need to be called!
    For a trampoline and also never EVER try to pack a port-a-cot up together EVER.
    You will need your lawyers number on speed dial.


    x L

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  2. Lisa @ Giving Back GirlDecember 17, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    I had a similar trampoline assembly situation but as I'm the "handy" one around the house (big time copout by my husband giving me that label), it was just me and an old handyman/former soldier I'd recruited from the local newspaper to help me. His spirit was almost broken when he was putting the springs in so when I offered to step in and help, we formed an instant connection over the springs as we both pulled and struggled to get the beasts in. But when the safety net didn't fit (and I had to order another expensive one over the telephone coz we were out of "warranty") and he had to hack down a huge branch of a very nice tree, then handed me a whopping bill, for something I'd spent a hunk of time helping him with, our relationship was irrevocably severed. ps I once sowed a very acceptable plot of grass using my kids plastic beach toy as a rake.

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  3. Oh god yes. I remember those portacots. IMPOSSIBLE to collapse, even harder to assemble. A reason to stop having children if ever I heard of one.... x

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  4. LOL. Your comment is funnier than my blog post! LOVE IT!

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  5. The Architect should have totally gone and bought a proper shovel. He should be up for any excuse to buy another item for the shed. I know I would have.

    That said, my father used to tell the story of when he bought an above-ground pool when I was very little. Apparantly, the first thing you saw when you unboxed it was a very large label with suitably huge text saying "Honestly now, have you read the instructions?". :-)

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  6. Lisa @ Blithe MomentsDecember 17, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    My other half and I fixed the toilet together last weekend. It took no less than three trips to Bunnings, two of which were the result of my other half breaking extra bits of the toilet as he attempted to fix it. This would not have been a problem as Bunnings is 5 minutes away from our house, except that we had somehow managed to wear matching outfits that day, were helped by the same guy in the toilet aisle each time and the same checkout operator each time. Oh and once it was fixed I then had to clean the entire bathroom because of his rather "excitable" use of tools and water.


    He had the good sense to retreat to the kitchen and make me a gin and tonic at which point all was forgiven!

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  7. Why would anyone want a trampoline ? Doesn't it waste your kids precious energy ? I mean, they could be wrecking the house, instead.....

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  8. Glad it worked out for you guys!
    I always get the giggles when working with Hubby and there are monumental stuff-ups - not the best idea...but then I just giggle more.

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  9. We managed to assemble our trampoline okay, but under estimated how HUGE it would be when we ordered it. Now we end up with all the neighbourhood kids coming over to jump on it, I think I need to start charging them for usage lol

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  10. so familiar! dolls house, barbie car - barbie shop. trampoline -normal one- all on Xmas Eve. Not to mention swing set! bought through trading post in "89!/\ AAAAgggHHHH

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  11. My parents bought a trampoline like that for my kids about three Christmases ago. Took them 6 hours to assemble. Took Cam 12 minutes to sustain a greenstick fracture of the left elbow. #truestory #butheyhavefun

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  12. You are so right. I will dismantle it immediately. And then I will send my kids to YOUR house...

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  13. CLEARLY it didn't have a safety net.... #badgrandparents #surfinstead

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  14. Someone get that man a shovel for Pete's sake! I thought every man owned a shovel?
    I can relate though. Santa brought our boys a trampoline last Christmas and it took my husband and brother a couple of hours to assemble, in the dark, Christmas eve. Well worth it though! Try jumping on it - THAT will give you a laugh. Fucking exhausting.

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  15. That's hilarious Kerri!

    As a divorced mother I have tried to take to these momentous tasks with gusto. At least doing them solo, I only end up arguing with myself. I've done the swing set, furniture, bikes (minus a small hiccup where I trapped a small child's leg in the stand). But the trampoline was almost my undoing. I nearly hit a neighbour with a catapulted spring, after he stick his head over the fence to see what all the grunting, groaning & swearing was all about...which made him come help me put that last goddam spring in place :-)

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  16. There's a reason you don't know where I live, Kerri.......

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  17. You definitely deserve a medal for dodging a divorce...both of you deserve a medal each, I imagine! Those kinds of shared moments aren't conducive to harmony! I speak from experience; and I freely admit that I am one of little patience!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Kerri; Happy Chanukah and Joyous Jumping!

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  18. I am waiting for one to be delivered. I'm a single mum so there isn't the risk of divorce. (Have also had to do furniture, bikes, slide set etc)
    I will rethink asking my new partner to help after that post! Perhaps I'll ask my ex to do it on his own. ;)

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  19. Santa gave the kids a swing set a few years ago. Unfortunately my husband is not much of a handyman, however he IS a thinker. Our friends would come over for my husband's Christmas Day birthday celebrations in the afternoon - I know, poor bugger. Could his mum not have crossed her legs till Boxing Day? Anyway, he decided, as their present to him, every person in attendance had to add something for the swing set. By the end of the evening we had a fully constructed apparatus, the kids were happy, and husband hadn't lifted a finger. As retribution, everyone went off and had kids the following year, so we didn't do the usual Birthday/Christmas party, and he was forced to erect a giant trampoline on his own. I'm surprised to say it's still standing!

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  20. Hilarious!!!! could not stop laughing at their misfortunes!! sorry!

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  21. Debbie J. HuddlestonAugust 28, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Don't worry if you have your back broken and your son has promised to never work with you guys again, the most important thing is that your girls were thrilled and happy about it. Trampolines are really fun and it can be a whole family thing plus it is a great form of exercise as well.

    TrampolineSprings.com

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