This was one of Beck Vass' most read columns in 2018
Ah, the joys of kitset furniture.
Since having children, like many Kiwi families, I've discovered the Mocka* range.
It started with the highchair and has extended to a few other things, including the under-the-bed drawers for our daughter and, most recently, a small three-drawer dresser for our imminent arrival.
With this sort of thing, I tend to be all in. Determined to build the thing myself. I don't need a man's help, us sisters can do it for ourselves… and all that.
But at 37 weeks pregnant, this proved somewhat difficult.
As soon as I opened the box (three weeks after it arrived) I regretted this one. It had about one million more parts than I was expecting.
When a friend said she had built this and it was "definitely a two-person job" it was like a red rag to a bull.
I was doing it on my own and nothing would get in my way. Not even my watermelon stomach.
Of course, as these things go, I was also overly optimistic about being able to do this with our girl, almost 6, and our boy, 3, "assisting".
I will be Cool Mum and let them help me, get them to pass me the right screws, and teach them about looking for Screw Type A. It will be educational and fun.
But they were more interested in the (minimal) polystyrene packaging - which was just as well because the screw types pretty much went from A to Z.
That's fine. I will let them make a little mess. It won't take long to clean up and at least they'll be entertained for a bit.
What you can't see in the pictures is that this scene scattered further - down two hallways, into four more rooms and, being quite static-y, the polystyrene stuck itself to door frames, the tiled bathroom walls, our kitchen table, along the dining chair legs and in my hair.
It was as if Elsa herself had come and weaved some icy magic through my house.
The kids wouldn't listen when I said stop. I tried to make them clean it up with a brush and shovel but it was too full of static.
We were heading out shortly and I had merely intended to make a little start so I could build it in stages over the next few days – nothing too taxing on my body (and mind).
A few hours later, it was so lovely coming home to a polystyrene-filled house and trying to bathe the kids, cook dinner and clean the mess to stop them making it worse before bedtime - when we had just lost a precious hour due to daylight saving.
I yelled at the kids for not listening (because, of course, yelling is always the best way to get kids to listen), burst into tears and had to unblock the vacuum four times as I simultaneously handled the mess, my feral children who don't listen to me, and wiped mascara smears from my eyes.
My husband got home and offered to help multiple times.
I just want to be left alone to build my drawers.
We got the kids to bed.
And then I damn well stayed up late and built the bloody drawers by myself, with no help and no one pestering me.
And there were only a few bits left over. Which I am sure were spare parts. It was another win for the sisterhood. Sort of.
*This column was not sponsored by Mocka. But I feel like it should be.