Ryan and Cole have been asking for scooters. Their friends in the neighborhood all have scooters and they have been wanting to join them on their scooter rides. I held off to make sure they really wanted them, and they have kept asking for them, so Wednesday night I got both boys a new scooter.
Thursday after work was scooter inaugural day. It was drizzling off and on, but they still wanted to try them out. Ryan’s scooter popped out of the box. There was a release lever I had to adjust, and his was ready to go. He zipped around in the kitchen while I opened Cole’s.
My palms turned sweaty, and my heart started beating fast, when I opened the box to Cole’s scooter and saw a bag of nuts, screws, washers, and other silver things, I had no name for. There was also something that looked like a hybrid wrench, a piece of paper with a drawing of a scooter that looked like it was made by a 3-year old, the handle bars, and the front wheel. It all clunked out of the box.
I am NOT mechanical. Assembling things together is one of the things I hate most. There is ALWAYS a part missing, or part of the directions that don’t make sense. If I had known I had to actually attempt to assemble Cole’s scooter, I would have waited until someone could help me. But I was already too far in it. I had my 6-year old zipping around in the kitchen on his scooter, and my almost 4-year old, with his big blue eyes looking at me, asking me when I would have his scooter together. This is what “they” mean when “they” say parenting challenges you in ways you never imagine.
I picked up the directions, and the first step was:
Assemble back wheels with washers, axle, and spring washer
What is a spring washer exactly? Are there summer and winter washers too? The wheels were already on the deck. Did this mean they weren’t really on securely, or someone nice from the factory did the first step for me? I decided the latter, and moved on to step 2:
Insert axle through rear axle bearings
Uh-yea. I had no idea what that meant, so I hoped it was still a step I could skip thanks to the nice person in the factory in China. Step 3:
Slide a plastic spacer and third washer onto axle bolt followed by second wheel
Yay- it was my lucky day. Clearly this step was also done too. Step 4:
More mumbo-jumbo about axels, washers, and nuts. Then I noticed on the bottom of the directions, it said the assembly is for general use, and you may need to refer to the back side for more specific directions. I knew it was too easy. I read through the “specific” directions once, than twice, and then a third time. They should have had a class in this mechanical language in school. Step 1:
Slide metal washer down over the stem of the front forks. Slide the stem of the front forks up into the main frame until it is seated on the metal washer at the base of the front forks stem. Place the clamp bracket assembly over the stem of the front forks so that the nut and bolt face towards the foot deck. Ensure the slot in the fork stem of the front forks faces towards the foot deck.
Dear God…what did I ever do to deserve this? Forget Iron Chef- they should make a reality show on who can assemble kid’s stuff in under an hour.
I won’t bore you with steps 3 and 4 of the instructions, but it got down to clamp nuts, 13mm spanners, and minimum / maximum heights. Ryan was a great help- he held a lot of parts still for me while I twisted the hybrid wrench around the bolt. I just kept hoping,-somehow- when I was done, it would be a scooter.
I finally had it together and had Cole get on it to try it out. I was feeling pretty proud of myself, until he touched it, and the front handle bars, slid down all the way into the front pipe-thing. If Cole was about 24 inches shorter, he would have had one cool scooter. Instead he said, “I don’t think that is right Mommy.”
So I took the damn scooter apart and started all over again. Somehow the directions made just a little more sense, but that was probably because now I had read them fifty times, instead of just three times. Half way through, I realized my error. Silly me. It was right there in step 1: Ensure the slot in the fork stem of the front forks faces towards the foot deck. The small slot was not facing the foot deck- I had put it on backwards.
I was humming “Hallelujah” as I screwed the final nut or bolt back on again. My kids were not impressed. Ryan was looking at me, and pointed to the front wheel. The handle bars were now turned backwards. If Cole had Inspector Gadget arms, he would have had one cool scooter.
“They” say the third time is the charm. I unscrewed all those fricking bolts, nuts, and autumn washers- again. This time I had Ryan hold everything- the frame, the handle bars, and the front wheel while I assembled it. Finally, when I was done, I kid you not, sun streamed in through the window, and I knew this was a sign. The moment of truth came when he stepped on it. Nothing fell down. His arms worked with it. Everything lined up right. Cole had one cool scooter!
I am not going to go crazy and start buying stuff to assemble myself like bookcases, and desks, but I am glad I was able to figure it out. It only took three times, I had a slight headache when I was done, I had a washer left over- not sure if it was a spring or winter washer- but my son finally had his scooter.
Pictures of the final products & the kids enjoying them:
Love his curled tongue
They found mud, and the scooters were now 4X drive scooters. Their first ride gets thumbs up