Ever been to IKEA? It’s fantastic, like a theme park – Chuck Palahniuk be damned if he doesn’t like it. You need shelves, beds, furniture and can’t drop a lot on ’em? IKEA’s your place, so long as you’ve got the means to transport some big flat boxes. Unless you’ve got a problem reading picture instructions (in which case might I recommend avoiding air travel), IKEA’s awesome.
All of which brings me to my thesis: IKEA is Lego for adults. This weekend I was tasked with transporting and assembling a crib for the incoming spawn. This is not my first venture into do-it-yourself modular Swedish furniture, so I know what to expect: Informative pictograms, lots of little pieces, and an entertaining afternoon snapping/screwing things together. Sound familiar?
Okay, so Lego is from Denmark, not Sweden – fjords are still involved. When I was a kid, I loved getting a Lego set, laying out the parts, and following the steps through to create the thing on the box. Today, I can do the same thing, but after I’m done I can put books or a baby in it, which would be impractical with the Fire Breathing Fortress.
The plans are another similarity. Beyond the warning labels (which are occasionally chilling), no words are used. The plans are all images and numbers, and while I’ve heard complaints about this format, I think it’s a pretty clear way to get the information across. It’s got the added benefit of being translatable to anyone who has two arms and two legs and knows what a screwdriver looks like.
Even with this total absence of words, I can tell where this foot and screw go …
… and how to adjust the mattress height to fit an infant rather than a toddler, as well as how to convert it to toddler-height or (eventually) a day bed.
(granted, there’s no step for dealing with bored dogs)
At the end, I’ve got both furniture and a reasonably satisfying evening project.
With this last addition, the nursery is just about complete. We’re in week 36 right now, so it’s nice to have things reasonably squared away, at least with regard to baby furniture. And I get to pretend I’m a carpenter.