“Some” Assembly Required?

Wednesday started out like most days around here – with a trip to Walmart. {i’m horrible at getting everything we need in one trip!}

My goal for that morning was to get our game room upstairs in better shape, so I had window valances and other home decor items on my list. How the two bags of chocolate donuts ended up in our cart, I will never know. {::whistling innocently::}

As often happens to me at Walmart – especially with a distracting 3yo in tow – I went a little off script that morning. During a quick tour through the toy aisles in search of a Mater the Greater toy (why are these so hard to find??), I spotted this bad boy:

homestyle kitchen plain

Since I knew I would be clearing out a lot of my 3yo’s old toys from the game room later that day, I thought perhaps this would be an excellent replacement for them. And while you may just see a simple Homestyle Kitchen, this is what I saw:

homestyle kitchen with words

Wait? What’s that about annoying noises? Closer inspection revealed this tidbit of information:

noisy burners

Ok, well, that’s alright. It would just be another small drop into our General Noise bucket already happening at home.

We went to buy the Homestyle Kitchen, and although my son was (a) dressed in a blue shirt with blue plaid shorts, and (b) LOOKS LIKE A BOY, the cashier asked “Oh, is this for her?” I tried not to embarrass her as I answered “Yep, it’s for him.” But she was embarrassed anyway, and well, there ended another awkward shopping trip at Walmart.

Of course when we got home, my son was incredibly eager for me to assemble his Homestyle Kitchen. I understood that some work would be required, but I wasn’t prepared for what transpired over the next TWO AND A HALF HOURS.

For one thing, everything – every door, handle, fridge basket, accessory, etc – was connected in large “clusters” (that’s how the directions referred to them) of webbed plastic sheets that had to be clipped apart in order to liberate each piece.

plastic clusters

This was an unbelievably painstaking process. Those aren’t the words I chose while whispering under my breath during the build, but you get the idea.

Also painstaking were the gajillion little screws I had to thread through plastic in order to get each piece to stay together.

I mean, they were everywhere!

homestyle kitchen faucet 2

One of TWO screws needed to create the faucet. Really? They couldn't just make one that snapped together?

homestyle kitchen doors

Two screws per door. There were four doors. Plus an oven, dishwasher, microwave...

And of course there were a lot of screws necessary for the overall infrastructure of the kitchen itself.

back of homestyle kitchen

Wait, you don’t see them all? Here, let me help you:

back of homestyle kitchen arrows 1

Wait, I may have missed a few:

back of homestyle kitchen arrows 2

Okay, okay, maybe that’s just how it felt to me.

Turns out there were “only” 56 screws used in building the Homestyle Kitchen, which was still enough to make my hands look like this:

red hands

I promise, those are some red hands. My thumb in particular was sore and swollen for two days! Boo hoo.

But I suppose it was all worth it when looking at my grand finished Homestyle Kitchen:

finished homestyle kitchen

Oh, and of course it’s worth it because of my 3yo son’s total enthusiasm for it! He’s cooked us many pots of Goldfish and Honey Nut Cheerios since its completion.

eli with homestyle kitchen

Isn't "she" cute? {sheesh!}

*one of the funniest parts of this story is that my son asked me once in the store “What does the box say, Mom?” I told him “Homestyle Kitchen,” and now that’s how he refers to it every time he mentions it. As in: “I’m playing with my Homestyle Kitchen!”, “Anyone want food from my Homestyle Kitchen?”, etc.

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  • Oh man. My hands hurt for you! I have never seen a toy kitchen with that much assembly . . . although I normally pass those jobs off to my husband and pretend they don’t exist.

  • Nicki Woo

    Oh looks horrid. And beautiful at the same time. You did a fantastic job, and the smile on that cute little yummy face says it was worth the 500 million gazillion screws 🙂

  • Rosey

    Hubby put one together for our little man the night before Christmas. Needless to say, he should have started earlier and was very tired on Christmas morning…but here it is almost May, and our son still plays with it every single day. Well worth the pain of assembly, I think (thought I’d have to confirm it w/hubby who is too happily snoring at the moment to disturb).

    Your write-up had me in stitches! Loved every second of reading it, and the red arrows were priceless (and accurate, I might add). I hope your new Homestyle Kitchen remains a big hit. 🙂

  • SavvyLittleWomen-Kate

    I laughed out loud at the 2nd pic with all the arrows – SO funny!!