Friday, December 09, 2011
Editor's Note: I am, in fact, a very satisfied Baby Bjorn customer and do appreciate the fact that pictorial instructions save money. Nevertheless, I feel entitled to have some good-natured fun with this. That said, I highly recommend the carrier and the cover. What's really odd is that, looking over the instructions without time pressure or being distracted by the baby (but still, after having assembled things properly), they seem borderline obvious, now! Perhaps the moral of the story is something like, "Assemble new baby gear as a sort of 'playtime activity', and not just before you need to use it."
1. Receive text from wife on way to work: "VERY COLD!! Cold strong winds. Maybe use baby Bjorn bunting. It's on table."
2. Think, "Hmmm. I meant to look at that when it arrived, but how hard can using a slip cover really be?"
3. Get baby dressed for morning stroller walk, being sure to put on socks snugly, due to the cold.
4. Put baby in ExerSaucer.
5. Get self ready for morning stroller walk.
6. Consult to-do list for any morning errands.
7. Recall that art studio is garden level, and has no elevator.
8. Pick up very cranky baby.
9. Remove pants and socks from baby, who gets too hot easily, like her old man.
10. Rock baby to sleep.
11. With baby on chest and netbook in lap, get about an hour's worth of work done on side project.
12. Feed baby.
13. Put pants and socks on baby.
14. Place baby in crib.
15. "Saddle up", by strapping Baby Bjorn most of the way on. Glance at picture on box. Think, "This should take about five seconds."
16. Put right sock back on baby.
17. Strap baby in.
18. Remove cover from box, roll eyes at "hieroglyphic" pictorial instructions.
19. Put right sock back on baby.
20. Realize that hood needs to be detached from cover, or it will cover baby's face.
21. Detach hood.
22. Discover that cover is too short by attempting to slip cover onto baby, as suggested by picture on box and common sense.
23. Put left sock back on baby.
24. Remove cover from baby and Bjorn.
25. Attempt to decipher hieroglypics.
26. Discover that there are two small slits in cover for straps on Bjorn. Also, conclude that cover orientation was wrong, and that cover must be strapped onto Bjorn first.
27. Place baby in crib.
28. Remove Baby Bjorn.
29. Unfastening and refastening the appropriate straps, install cover on Baby Bjorn.
30. Change baby's diaper and put pants back on.
31. Saddle up.
32. Find socks.
33. Put socks on baby.
34. Discover that cover, as installed, will not cover baby by saddling up and attempting to place baby in Bjorn-cover assembly.
35. Place baby in crib.
36. Put right sock on baby.
37. Unsaddle, and take cover off of Baby Bjorn.
38. Attempt to use picture on box as Rosetta Stone for hieroglyphic instructions on Baby Bjorn cover.
39. Install cover on Baby Bjorn in correct orientation and saddle up.
40. Hastily conclude that cover is too short by attempting to slip cover onto baby, as suggested by picture on box, knowledge of slit locations, and common sense.
41. Place baby in crib, unsaddle, and take cover off Baby Bjorn.
42. Put left sock on slightly cranky baby.
43. Turn on computer monitor across room so screen saver can mesmerize baby.
44. Realize that cover goes on after saddling up, but before last two straps holding baby in carrier are fastened by doing a slightly better Champollion impression.
45. Saddle up.
46. Put socks on baby.
47. Put baby in Baby Bjorn, except for last strap.
48. Slip last strap into cover and fasten.
49. Slip cover over baby and Baby Bjorn.
50. Unfasten corresponding strap on other side, slip it through its slit, and re-fasten.
51. In parallel with the next three steps, solve mildly interesting topology problem en route to snapping hood onto cover in the opposite orientation to that in which it shipped, and by pairing the following snaps together: hood snap 4 with cover snap 2, hood snap 3 with cover snap 1, hood snap 1 with cover snap 3, and hood snap 2 with cover snap 4.
52. Notice that baby is getting hot and cranky.
53. Consider putting off run to art store and doing carriage stroll instead.
54. Think, "What the hell? If she's still complaining by the time I get outside, I'll do that."
55. Go outside and see that baby is fine.
56. Formulate "Van Horn's Weather Codicil to Murphy's Law": "You never get a stiff wind, unless you really don't want or need one."
57. Take subway for one stop rather than hiking to art store.
58. Realize on platform that the walk would have been quicker.
59. Go to art store.
60. Take not being flash frozen over saving time and wait on subway again.
61. Make mental note to check cover for socks after removing it from baby at home.
62. Remove cover from baby and Baby Bjorn.
63. Place baby in crib.
65. Take pants off baby.
66. Take socks off baby.