The gratification of a Home Depot purchase

A little while ago Little Sister was gifted with a bedroom set from a friend. It was something that my friend’s son had grown out of and it coincided with Little Sister growing out of her convertible crib, luckily enough. While she has enjoyed the new furniture immensely the bed has been a source of irritation for a while. A wooden twin size bed with a trundle underneath, it is able to hide a multitude of sins.

Seemingly overnight with the addition of the bed an easy hiding spot was born. When asked to clean up the space, Little Sister easily found a spot for it all – in the trundle. It became home to clothes, toys, shoes, books and other items a child would cast upon their floor and subsequently drive some mothers crazy. With this new additional space came the common request for her big sister to spend the night in her room – a scenario that pans out maybe one of five times it begins. This is mostly because an agreement can rarely be reached as to who will be sleeping in which part of the bed. It also up until recently (as in a few hours ago) had one very strange quirk.

The main bed on top is a twin sized mattress set atop a bunky board which is used in place of a box spring. I had never seen one before acquiring it and if you fall into the same category, think of it as a stabilizer for the bed that is wrapped in fabric and only an inch or two in height. Under that board are three pieces of wood that served as bracing to hold the bed up entirely.
Often times, after being on the bed and acting wild and crazy, (somersaults, throwing herself backward in an exaggerated flop and such) I would hear the wood on wood sound of contact. Seconds later I would hear her yell, “Mom, a stick fell”! Then I would take the linens and the mattress off, pull the bunky board out and slide one of the pieces back in place. I have done this maneuver more than thirty times by now.

Today, it happened again and when I went to repeat my process, my husband, who was about to get on the treadmill, got involved. At his core, he believes in finding a solution to the actual problem, instead of addressing its symptoms, which usually is much more labor intense and also immensely successful at eradicating both the problem as well as the symptoms. He’s a hard act to follow.
This particular moment saw him a bit irritated as he explained that we might try screwing the boards in place, which he began to do. He wasted no time in getting to it and prompt split the board effectively shearing an end off. At that point he said something about “pilot holes” and “taking your time to do things correctly” and I decided to take over, something I am routinely unqualified to do when tools are involved. I would need replacement wood, I thought. Which could only mean one thing; I would have to go to Home Depot on Labor Day Weekend.

Though it is not on par with Macy’s on Black Friday, a home improvement store on a three day weekend shares the same fervor. The aisles are crammed with folks who have never used a hammer, but have decided to build a deck over the weekend with that extra day. There are people who have an additional day off to fill wandering the grounds with flatbed carts piled high with plants, dirt, birdseed, industrial degreaser, lightbulbs and a doorknob, cutting off electricians and plumbers who have worked on a project all week and had no choice but to run in today for the one part they forgot. If you are in need of paint, I would recommend bringing along a light snack and maybe a novel, because you will be there for a while. The parking lot provides spaces for Mini-Coopers for trucks that haul lumber. It can get ugly.

Because I was not in a position to discuss anything further with my husband (I wanted to be Betsy Bad-a** who followed through on this debacle without any further input) I grabbed one of the other sticks and took the girls to the store with it. I didn’t have much information about it other than to say it was definitively tree like in nature The girls and I gravitated toward the lumber section while we avoided the people who were rushed and stacking wood into carts four pieces at a time as well as the people who were having lengthy discussions about trims, sanding and attaching it while taking up too much space with an empty cart blocking two lanes. I laid the piece I brought near others until I found a match. You might have heard of this particular type lumber by its more common name; a 1×4, but I only know that now because I checked the receipt.

I came home ready to take on the world or at the very least ready to mark the place where I would need to cut the wood in order to gain additional boards. My husband met us at the door and explained on the flip side of those boards, the ones I had slid into place about thirty times, were holes where screws once went (helpful hint, this is what a pilot hole is!). They had been there all along and had mostly likely been taken out when dissembled thinking that the new owner would realize they were needed. Oh. It was never a quirk, maybe I should tone down the personification of all things…

I brought out the miter saw (a term I know because I just googled “electric saw types”) and an extension cord. With a little supervision (he appeared with the first battle cry of the saw blade turning) I cut my boards (a process equally terrifying and exhilarating). I am hoping that today was the very last time I slide them into place.


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