Thursday, January 8, 2015

Things That Annoy Me Thursday: Putting Together The Barbie Mall

"We can do this," I said, lifting the box upstairs.

I set the box down in Natalie's room. It was a Barbie Mall. This wouldn't be too hard. Right?

I mean, yes, I'm awful with putting stuff together. I usually end up in tears. And cursing. But I've matured since then.

I tore open the box--and immediately the cardboard dug into the flesh of my thumb.

I cursed.

Natalie's mouth dropped open. "That's not a friendly word!" she admonished me. "If we were at school, you'd be sent the office. With no recess."

I sucked on my wounded thumb. It was bleeding. I hadn't even started, and I was already injured And cursing.

"Let me get you a Band-Aid. A Frozen one," Natalie said grandly. She left the room while I began pulling out pink and purple pieces.

I cursed again. But it was okay, because Natalie wasn't around.

Seriously though. I paid almost $60. Why wasn't part of it already put together?

Natalie walked in and carefully placed an Olaf Band-Aid on my thumb. "You'll be okay," she told me seriously. She eyed all the pieces. "Can you DO this?"

I frowned. "Of course I can!" Was I teaching her that we needed a man to build stuff? "We don't need a man to build this." We are not a family that believes a man is head of the house or any of that. Girls can do anything boys can do. Except pee standing up.

I picked up the instructions. "Let's begin," I said in what I hoped was a confident voice.

But then I was immediately baffled. The first step had a photo of a piece I couldn't find in the pile of plastic. I dug around as Natalie tore open the bag that contained new dresses.

"My Barbies will LOVE these! They were just telling me to bring in new dresses. They're bored with the ones I have," she explained.

I dug around some more. Where was that confounded piece? Maybe they forgot to put it in?

A curse word played at the tip of my tongue. I wanted to say it. But I looked at Natalie surrounded by new dresses and swallowed it down. I don't want her to say when she's older, "I thought the f-word was a term of endearment growing up because Mom said it so often."

I eventually found the piece.

I began to build.

The thing is, I thought the Barbie mall was going to be small. I had cleaned off a little corner of Natalie's room for it to be stored.



"Where is this going to go?" I asked Natalie, peering around. We're in base housing, and base housing doesn't have a lot of space. Unless you're high ranking. I lust after the double garage in the higher enlisted area. Could we live off base? Yes. But I break lots of stuff, and if you live on base, you just have to call housing maintenance and someone comes and fixes the problem. For free. It's weird though. Tommy's bedroom is much bigger. Meanwhile, Natalie's room seemed to be built as an afterthought.

I was pleased that I had built the mall on my own, with minimal cursing. I did curse once more, because a piece wouldn't click together as it was promised to do. Then I realized the piece was upside down. Natalie told me, "Use friendly words please," in a prim voice.

Tom popped in and I went, "Look! I did it! Only I didn't realize it was so big."

He gestured to the box. "It says it's 4 feet."

"You know I don't understand math!"

"It..." Tom began, but then stopped because he probably remembered how numbers didn't really make much sense to me. "I would have helped."

"No. I have to do this on my own since you'll be leaving soon," I said diplomatically. He's deploying. Again.

I had to re-arrange Natalie's room. There is no extra space.

I posted this on Instagram, and it made the OCD people crazy. Sorry.

But hey!

I built the Barbie Mall by myself!


  1. Good for you! If I see something that looks that complicated, I definitely just have my husband do it... I kind of panic and am terrible at spatial relation things... so yeah. That would have been a nightmare. It looks awesome, though!

  2. Good for you! I know from seeing my dad put together my toys growing up that it is really a pain!

  3. Good for you! I love putting stuff together. In fact if that was a well paying job, I'd totally go for it!

  4. Well, at least it turned out really cute (despite being huge). Personally I am SO thankful that my kids are older and don't ask for many gifts that require assembly because the thought of building toys stresses me out. I agree with you though if you pay $60 for something you would really think that they would put some of it together.

  5. High fives for building it yourself! Those things are a pain in the neck to put together. I haven't had to build any yet, but I've watched other parents struggle.

  6. Nice work. We once got this toy kitchen that took forever to put together. It keeps falling apart anyway.

  7. You go! I am not good at putting anything together.

  8. Awesome job. I hate to admit when I buy something that needs to be put together, I make my girls. I am terrible at following directions.They do a much better job.

  9. I'm impressed...seriously. I have never put a single toy together because I am "challenged" in that aspect of my life. In fact, I bought toys for Dannika when Nick was deployed, and they just had to wait until he got back for her to play with them... mom fail.

  10. Awesome job!! I'm the putter together of stuff mostly because it seemed that Chris was always gone when I really needed something done so I just learned to do it:)
    I think Natalie's room looks like a girl's paradise!!!
    And, it's really good that Natalie wasn't following me around this morning while I put up all the Christmas stuff - there were lots of unfriendly words coming out of my mouth!!!

  11. Great going on puttng that together.
    Natalie's room looks like my son's room did at that age, our solution was a Loft bed, it gave alot of space under his bed for all his Hot Wheels racing towers etc.
    Thanks, love reading your blog:)

  12. Yes, you did!
    Impolite language and all. You can't imagine the horror I feel that Scarlet heard me call one of that cats a.. fat f***. Which is wrong on two levels. Two f words. I hate the word fat!
    Moving on. That thing is huge!

  13. I'm glad you saw ti through. I'm thinking I might not have. Those instructions looked horrible! Looks good put together, though!

  14. It turned out so great!! Im horrible at following instructions. Ps gonna follow your blog now its awesome :)

  15. That thing did turn out huge! I actually love putting stuff together--decals and confusing instructions and all, if it didn't cost so much, model building would be my hobby--but I know if it's not your think it wouldn't be a ton of fun!

  16. You should have known girls have more stuff, assign Natalie the bigger room and Tommy the smaller one.

  17. Great story! I love your girls can do it all attitude! Kid assemblies are the worst. A couple of days after xmas I was putting together some car tower and I really wish they would use words instead of stupid pictures with arrows. You did a good job!

  18. I'm a little "OCD" too, but not enough for that picture to bother me. I'm used to living in cramped space - and the truth is, most space that involves kids WILL be cramped. There's no getting around it, because they seem to grow to fill the space their in. Doesn't matter if it's three feet or thirty - they'll fill it.

    Congrats on the build though - you go, girl!


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