My daughter and I stood waiting for my husband to back our rented cargo van into the loading space in the IKEA parking lot. On our store cart sat a box spring and mattress for a queen-size bed plus 18 cardboard boxes whose contents contained my daughter’s yet-to-be assembled bedroom set which we were going to move into her new apartment. I’m not sure why my husband, daughter and I thought we could handle this move on our own, but we were wrong. However, let me say in our defense that we were not naïve. We had four years of moving her into college apartments under our belt, but for this move, we needed Superman or at least two guys on a steroid overload.
After my husband backed up the van, I opened the rear doors. Already inside the van was a sofa that my brother had donated for my daughter’s new digs. I looked at the full cart, and I looked inside the van, and I knew we were in trouble. The box spring was first to go into the van and that was not bad. The problems started when we attempted to maneuver the mattress into the van. We pushed the mattress half-way in, but it would go no further. In the front cab, my daughter and my husband pulled the mattress toward them. I pushed the mattress from my location inside the van where I was sandwiched between the box spring, sofa and mattress. Since I was underneath the mattress, I was not aware that shoppers had gathered to watch this performance.
“Push! Just a little more!” my husband yelled.
“I am pushing! I’m pushing as hard as I can,” I groaned in a very loud voice.
“Just a little more – Push! You can do it!”
I was surprised when a man leaned into the van, and even though he could not see me, asked, “Do you need help? Should I call an ambulance?”
“No, I don’t think we are that bad off. We’re okay,” I gasped.
After we got the mattress secured, I inched my way out of the van and saw the crowd. The man who had asked to help saw my puzzled look and said,
“We thought you were giving birth.”
“Get outta here! Me? Hey, I might be able to push a mattress into this van, but I’m not pushing anything out in this van.”
Disappointed that no new baby named IKEA had arrived on the scene, the crowd dispersed and we moved on to our next phase of labor and delivery. Lesson learned: Next time she moves, we hire professionals or at least an OB/GYN.
This is an essay from my new book Try and Avoid the Speed Bumps. I figured it was safe to publish it here now too.