The first thing we did with our summer vacation time was to put up a swing set in our back yard. I use the word "yard" very loosely here. I live in a townhouse and our yard is really about the size of our living room. Technically, there are parks around and we could use swings there, but then we have to wait our turn, and it IS summer in Miami, so it rains like every 5 minutes. Better to have a swingset right outside our door so they can play for 10 minutes at a time and then come in to prevent melting, literally!!
So, off I went, hunting for the smallest swingset I could find, hopping from toy store to super Walmart and back. We finally found what we wanted and brought it home to begin assembly. Now, it might not seem like a good idea to begin assembling it at 6:45pm, but it's Miami, people, it's about as hot as the devil's testicles here during the day, so.... off we went. Well, the little diva did NOT want Mama out of her sight, so I kept getting called back in to tend to her whiny highness. So hubs worked on by himself with the occasional help of our 11-year-old nephew (right, by himself!). I heard the occasional swear word coming from the back of the house, but there wasn't much I could do about it with the kids and related duties at hand. After I got the baby to bed, I went out to help. Thinking that we'd be done soon, I let the little man stay up to see the project finished and try out his brand spankin' new swingset, about which he was squealing and jumping up and down excited.
Right, well, I'm wondering if the instructions that are included in the box are like a cruel joke or if they just forgot to pay someone to write them. There are precisely 12 "steps" in these instructions. They are so detailed and explanatory (dripping sarcasm), like "Attach legs to corner fittings". They show a picture of the hardware involved, but actually, they put the really really important information, like which way the pieces should go, in tiny print to be sure that no one, like a man who would be assembling the dumb thing, would ever read them. So we got this thing about 90% assembled, and it is 11:30pm. Great. I call the kid outside to let him test out his new swing set. All that's left to do is to hang the swings, and I figure he can "help" us do that. Well, hmmm..... turns out, the top bar of the set was supposed to have round holes on tip and slots on bottom. Right. Ours had the slots on top and round holes on bottom. So the swings couldn't be hung until we took the ENTIRE thing apart and flipped the bar right side up. Doh!!!!! After a little explaining and a promise for endless swinging in the morning, little man was allowed to climb on the bars, slide a few times, and then he was sent off to bed, a grumpy little beast. Hubs and I then proceeded to dismantle the set, flip the bar, and reassemble. Did I mention how fun it is to fit the screws into the holes and get them threaded into the screw-catcher thingies in the dark?!?!?! We got done at 1:30am. My legs are now beautifully decorated with these lovely red welts from the mosquito festival in my back yard, but we are the proud owners of an adorable little swingset (which we upgraded to include the tire swing and baby swing, of course), which thankfully does fit in our itty bitty postage-stamp-sized yard. See?
And now we have some very happy campers! Woohooo for summer!