Before having kids, I used to enjoy fixing things. I have a certain amount of technical aptitude and, other than one ill-fated attempt to fix a television set, I generally succeeded. Now that I am a Father, I have brought up my “fixin’ stuff” game to a whole new level. It begins when they are still all cozy in the womb, with all of the cribs, strollers, swings and seats that come in more pieces than E.T. ate of Reese’s. I was never sure why the manufacturer of an item that, by its very definition, is meant to be assembled by people existing on very little sleep would want to create a forty-eight step assembly process for an item with zero moving parts. It only took me three tries to assemble the crib correctly for our first child. On the first try, I’m pretty sure I built an Edsel.
Tonight, I ventured into a realm of mechanical engineering and repair that I have not known. Instead of packing for vacation, which is sorely needed unless I plan on making this vacation clothing optional (which is not an option), and working out (in case it ever does become an option), I spend part of the evening in Zhu Zhu pet surgery.
This was the first time I have worked on a fake hamster, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last. Several small screws (and a couple of terrifying moments where I thought I had broken it) later, I had managed to remove nearly all of the Pomeranian hair that had tangled up inside the wheels. After a battery transplant and a ten minute search on the garage floor for a microscopic screw, Patches was back to his old, annoying self. Tonight, in an effort to ensure this never happens again, I will remove all of the hair from the Pomeranian.