Real Life Aptitude

I fancy myself as a person of above average intelligence. I don’t believe in IQ tests, but I did get a 1400 on my GRE without studying. That has to count for something, right? Well It didn’t matter much back when I was getting my master’s degree. And it sure didn’t matter a whit last night as I was taking the Scandinavian Furniture Aptitude Test. Better known as the Loft Bed From Ikea Hell — twenty four thousand pieces and instructions in some Scandinavian language with exactly four pictograms.

Most of the pieces looked exactly alike. They all had holes drilled in similar looking patterns but with tiny differences in hole spacing and hole circumference that would become crucial after, say, the next six complicated assembly steps. I’m sure some of that Swedish text on the instruction sheet must have translated like, “These pieces may all look alike, but pay attention to the crucial tiny differences. Be glad you’re not an American.”

I had to disassemble and reassemble no less than four times. I’m talking Major Subcomponents. I got a headache. I got sweaty and sore from holding my body in mid-crouch so that beam A, slot B, and freaky hardware gadget C could all become close friends. I did finally get the bed part done, but not the cute little ladder/slide and, most importantly, not the bed rails. Poor Mr. Freshpants ended up sleeping on the floor for most of last night.

But he’ll get to sleep in his full-up bed tonight if it kills me. Mr. Freshpants is ready for a Big Boy Bed. I’ll dismantle his crib tonight and store it away for the next baby, if any, that God sends our way. (If you’re a baby, we’re always good for a place to crash.)

And Petunia is now crawling. Not very quickly yet, but she has the moves down. So up went the gates this last weekend. And so there is yet more baby proofing to do. As our family becomes more complicated, so does our Infrastructure. Each new project is like a little Real Life Aptitude Test. I can only hope most of that stuff will have instructions in English.

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