Trampoline Perseverance

by shara.anderson on May 22, 2013

It was last October that the kids received two giant boxes via FedEx.  It was an early Christmas gift from their Grandpa.  It was a trampoline.  I was eager to set it up, but my wiser and more practical husband thought we should wait until spring and so we did.

Spring happened to wait to come this year until May.  When the forecast finally cooperated the kids and I set out to set up their long awaited trampoline.  We set out in the morning eager to take on the task.  We got the frame set up before lunch with only 1 minor incident of Sawyer dropping a pole on Ella’s head.  Ouch!!

We ate lunch and then excitedly worked our way back outside to venture into the second box of pieces and parts.  I read and reread the directions to make sure we were lining everything up correctly.  “Place the warning label between two of the legs on the frame”.  Check and double check.  We put on all 96 springs as the kids counted the correct spacing so they would be put on correctly to give the trampoline even pull in all directions.  My fingers were sore, but we were moving along smoothly and Cade and Ella were still actively helping while Sawyer slept and Addie played in the dirt.  We proceeded to put on the pad that covers the springs.  I encouraged Cade and Ella to tie them quite tightly.  The enclosure was attached to the jumping mat and then the poles attach to the enclosure.  The kids were so eager and ready to jump and we could taste how close we were to completion.  It was time to raise the poles.

I was feeling quite accomplished and proud of myself until I raised the first pole and tried to set it in place in the frame only to realize it was NOT going to go.  So, I pushed and maneuvered and jostled and manipulated and all kinds of other things.  To no avail.  It was not going.  It was evident that everything was about 1 1/2 feet off of where it should be.

So, what did I do?  I promptly called Kirk.  What a better way to connect with your husband then to call him frustrated and frazzled and let him know your problem when there is no way he can help you over the phone.  I know he appreciated the phone call.

I really didn’t like being defeated.  I WANTED to have this done…just me and the kiddos accomplishing something…NOW!  They were bummed, I was frustrated, and it was about this time that Addie came up and said, “Mom, I really don’t want to show you this!”  Now, when Addie says she doesn’t want to show or tell you something you know a confession is about to follow.  She moved her hands away from her tummy to show me that she had completely destroyed her pretty dark pink shirt with scissors.  Part of me was definitely not happy, but the other part was thinking that the poor girl had been left to her own devices all day and was finding ways to use her time.  Needless to say she was banned from scissors for a time.

SO, back to my dilemma.  I was pretty certain I knew what had to be done, but just to be sure I called the customer service number in the trampoline manual.

“Hi, I’m currently setting up our trampoline and the poles will not go in the joints.  It seems like everything is off by about 1 1/2 feet,”  I calmly explained.  After taking a model number and looking around the sweet voice on the other end said, “Yeah, the manual is wrong.  That is how it is with our trampoline with 8 poles, but you have the one with 6 poles.”  O-KAY…

Um, you do realize I’ve just spend the entire day putting together a trampoline with children and they are devastated to find out they aren’t going to be jumping within 20 minutes and my 1 1/2 year old is now screaming in his crib and my 3 year old now looks like she is dressed to go to an 80s rock concert with her newly sheared shirt?

A post-it note!  I would have taken a post-it note in the manual.  Just something to tell me that the warning label had to go over the T joint instead of between two of the legs.  Magic marker, pen, pencil…ANYTHING!!

Ok, I didn’t actually say any of this, but I did clarify that the only way to rectify the situation was to take off the pad (which was WELL tied down) and all 96 springs to move the jumping mat a foot and a half.  Yep, I was right, that’s what we had to do.

I got off the phone and gave the kids the info and a pep talk.  Yes, the manual is wrong.  Yes, it’s the company’s fault.  We can either sit and whine and fuss (much like I’ve done here) or we can buck up and work as fast as we can.  After all, we are now pros and we know how this thing goes together.  Cade and Ella rose to the occasion (as did Sawyer who was now awake) and we untied the pad which was NO small feat.  Then we took off all 96 springs.  We turned the mat 1 1/2 feet, put all 96 springs back on, put the pad back on and tied it down, and got the poles in place.  The best part was that the kids were jumping on the trampoline when Kirk drove up the driveway that evening.

I figure if nothing else my children learned a little about perseverance that day (as well as why most people don’t take their trampoline down every winter).

Blessings on all of your assembling,

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