Assembly Required – On Christmas Toy Setup

Christmas toys. They come in boxes. They look small and tidy. And easy. They lie.

Take the teeny, tiny trampoline I got for my girls for Christmas this year, for example. It came in a small, flat box, it’s only about 3.5 feet wide, max, and it didn’t even have springs! Piece of cake, right? Hell, I could set that up myself. Or not.

First of all, the instructions were merely a series of unclear pictures that would put IKEA to shame. But I pressed forward. I was going to set the trampoline up before I made dinner! It would take me 30 minutes! HAHA.

I managed to get the curvy bars into the netting slats in a way that looked kind of sort of correct. But I wasn’t strong enough to snap the curves together, stretching the netting out to make a circle.

I had my husband do it. He took one look and came outside with me. He knew I would need reinforcements. Of course, he also had trouble making it a circle.


When we finally did do it, we realized that we had 18 slats one side, and 12 slats on the other. Also we’d put the thing in backward. So, we did it again. I, of course, assumed we’d taken care of the inequality thing. We had not. This is important later. So, wonderful, finally we have our circle.

 I mean, almost.

Anyway, we got that sucker flattened right out, and started screwing in the sides. We did all of them. Wrong.


The two holes are supposed to line up. Oops. We unscrewed them. You can see, since we are using the stonework of the patio to stretch this thing out each time (which isn’t easy), the hinges are already battered. We continue and do all the screws correctly.

Remember that unequal slats thing?

Yup, we have to undo the whole thing again. By now we’ve “set this up” like four times.

Finally we are almost done! We just have to rescrew the very last screw. Only…the holes in the hinge no longer line up. No, seriously. So what does any sane person who’s been setting up a teeny, tiny trampoline for more than an hour do?


That’s right. You take a hammer to that sucker. Of course.  What could possibly go wrong?

But somehow it worked, even though I protested the whole time. (I’m not big on hitting things with hammers).

Toward the end, he’s like, how did that happen?

I’m like, I don’t know. Maybe from pounding the thing into the ground with a hammer? Just throwing out ideas, though.

Still, after about 2 hours of work, we made this.

And it was worth it.


About parentwin

Parent of twins, blogger, writer and journalist. I write things. Sometimes people even read them.
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1 Response to Assembly Required – On Christmas Toy Setup

  1. At least it’s the parent who is supposed to set up the trampoline. We got my son a couple of transformers that are supposed to be for kids his age and up. We could barely figure out how to transform them using the really awful book of picture instructions. A trampoline might have been a better choice for us because once it’s done, you’re done. We’re going to have to keep transforming the transformers every time the boy wants to play with the darn thing in a different form. Gaaarh, why do we do this to ourselves!

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