It seemed like a good idea ... buying a huge swing set that we could put in our back yard to keep the children happily entertained for those times when we cannot dart out to the park. And yet, if we don't dart out to the park, the kids are prepared to chew limbs off of each other.
I've been thinking about this type of purchase for a while now. And then, while I was shopping last week at Costco, I spotted "the" one I wanted.
And everyday since then, I've been thinking about it.
Dreaming about it.
Fantasizing that if I had it, my whole life would be transformed. I wouldn't have to be out of the house every waking moment of the day. Sure, we'd still go to the park and go do fun things every day, but my sanity and survival would no longer depend upon it.
So today, after convincing Charlie that the $1,500.00 for this play structure is money well spent - especially when a similar play structure from Rainbow runs around $3,000.00 - we loaded up the van and with Charlie following in the truck, drove to Costco.
Costco, Costco ...
O how we love thee!! So much to buy, so much to see!! Food, cars, clothes and baked goods galore! It's great to get everything in one store!! Just about any earthly supply, whatever it may be!! Now all we need is a money tree!!
We drove home, unloaded the six boxes and slide and then we looked in the boxes and only saw lumber. And screws. And something that might look like a trapeze in 50 pieces.
While the kids took a nap, Charlie and I sat down and watched the TWO hour instructional video while thumbing through the 74 PAGE instruction manual.
I don't think that my masters thesis was 74 pages long.
Then we measured our back yard and were not sure why we thought our back yard was 60 feet wide, when it's only 35. We should know this, considering we did all of the landscaping ourselves and laid every last inch of sprinkler line and drainage pipe.
This monstrosity that we purchased is 19 feet across and will take up more than 1/2 of our yard. Once it is constructed, it will be visible to aircraft that fly over our house on approach to the airport. Assuming we ever get it constructed. Nothing, I mean NOTHING, is pre-assembled.
This play set is so "Do It Yourself", they even include the finish that you are supposed to use to treat the wood. We grabbed at our hearts and saw the gates of heaven when we read that the estimated time for completion, for two adults, is approximately 16 hours.
Two adults. Sixteen hours.
Two adults with four children under four who are constantly asking "Where my HOUSE?! WHERE MY HOUSE? YOU BUILD MY HOUSE?!" can probably add a couple hundred hours, frayed nerves and an aneurysm to that estimate.
This is why people pay twice as much for a Rainbow model.
They install it for you.
Since it took Charlie almost three hours to put together a rocking Moose that we bought from LL Bean, because our little "helpers" kept hijacking his tools, I'm holding hope that we'll get this fortress built by Christmas. 2010.
And here I was thinking we'd have it assembled by tonight.