Saturday, December 27, 2008

Some Assembly Required???

Christmas morning was a blast. The children opened the million or so presents they received from Santa. Smiles on faces everywhere. The smell of eggs Benedict coming from the stove. The dog content with the days events kept watch from her normal perch.... the back of the couch. And then it began. "Mommy, Daddy, can you put this together?"

As a parent, we assume this position of assembler with utmost appreciation. We remove toy after toy from their boxes, all the while keeping a smile on our face. This is no work for the weary. As we place the finished product into our child's hand we march on with bravery, and grab another toy from beneath the tree. We give the occasional smile and wink to our partner for a job well done. Of course the occasional laugh is also heard when we realize that the box we selected contains more pieces than a one pound bag of M&M's. As the perspiration runs down our foreheads we are quickly reminded that somewhere lost in the small print of the Parent Contract, we did indeed sign on the dotted line right after: "Some Assembly Required."

I have to admit that the thought of breaching that contract on Christmas morning did indeed pass my mind. After my husband opened the Playmobil Circus, I was quickly handed the box. "This one contains material," he yelled. "I'm not doing material today." And that's how it began.

Buried under a direction booklet the size of War and Peace sat a myriad of bags, each filled to the brim with yellow, red, blue and white pieces. And so I dug in.

I propped up the lid as to refer to the picture on the box. Obviously the Playmobil people had snuck in some accessories during the photo shoot to help fool parents into believing how incredibly cool this toy was going to be. I of course bought into that thought, and that is why it was currently sitting on my couch awaiting a playmate.

Then, just three hours later, the words echoed through our living room: "Ladies and Gentlemen, children of all ages, welcome to the greatest show on earth."

Maybe you didn't catch the beginning of that last line. Yes, it took three hours to put together. All complaining aside; the children love it. There were even enough seats in the arena to accommodate their Lego friends. Not to mention the available parking spaces for their new Matchbox collection.

The Playmobil Circus was a hit. Children smiled. Parents smiled. And the dog, three hours later, still laying on the back of the couch seemed content with the new toy.


liquidambar said...

It's not just the toy parts that are complicated. Have you seen the directions to board games lately? Only 45 easy steps before you're ready to play ...

Jenn H.

Marianne Thomas said...

Merry Christmas and thanks for the link to my "Fire Drill" post!

Good luck with your novel!