The Graco® Lovin Hug Swing (
After several hours of studying the directions, I was finally able to complete step one. I opened the box. Laugh all you want, but that sucker had nearly 18 layers of tape keeping it shut. My wife suggested cutting through it with a knife, but after the CD Rack Assembly Incident of '01 that cost me close to a pint of blood, I think it'd be safer to burn the tape off with a lighter.
(Note: A little advice for future dads out there—don't throw the box away. You'll need something to punch much later in the process, and I found that cardboard is fairly soft on the fist.)
The next step is to pull the seat cover over this intricate web of metal rods and snap it into place. Simple enough, right? I'd like to see you delicately pull a banana peel over, say, the Batmobile, and seal it shut. And do it without Batman kicking your ass.
So, the next 45 minutes went something like this:
Knock over beer.
Stub toe on chair.
Curse some more.
Apologize to Steven, my 50-inch HDTV, for cursing—some of which, I promise you, were used in context.
Snap pieces into place, chug beer, throw chair out window.
Moments later, I began work on assembling the legs. This part was not nearly as easy as the seat cover. It came with four long curved polls, two straight rods, some brackety-things, a pile of screws and an Allen wrench. It also came with a bottle of Advil. After several hours of attaching, detaching, reattaching, kicking and smashing against the hardwood floor,
"Take a deep breath," she said.
"See, it's simple. All you have to do is stick piece A into slot B."
I'll tell you where you can stick piece A …
"And voilà! The leg is together."
I hope you stub your toe.
I'd like to say that I was able to finish the project that night. I'd also like to say that
After conquering the swing, I finally had a chance to sit down and enjoy the moment. I was proud of myself. I usually leave projects unfinished, but I stuck by this one because I'll do anything for my child-to-be. It even brought a tear to my eye—not for sentimental reasons, but because
"Now put this bouncy seat together."