Thursday, July 2, 2015

Two Tales of a Linen Closet

Several weeks ago, Sky decided to stand on Pink's desk chair to reach something on the top shelf of the linen closet. At the time, I was reading a bedtime story to Stow, so I didn't hear the conversation between the two of them that resulted in him standing on the chair. Though, I did hear some bickering before I heard the crash that sent me running to the hall to see what had happened. When I got there, Sky was on the floor, the chair he'd been standing on splintered beneath him.

Besides a bruise and a scrape, Sky managed to survive the chair collapse relatively unscathed. He WAS pretty traumatized though. And, Pink was beside herself over the fact that SOMEONE BROKE HER DESK CHAIR!!! Note to her brothers: Guys, Pink totally has your back. Unless, that is, you break her pink desk chair. Then you are On. Your. Own.

Once the post-traumatic-chair-stress chaos settled a bit--and believe me, it took awhile-- I went to show the chair to Ren. In typical Ren fashion, he looked at the chair, and said rather nonchalantly, "Chairs shouldn't do that."

Sometimes, Ren can be the king of understatement.

It's true, given Sky's weight and the specifications for the chair, it shouldn't have splintered like that. This is what I told the representative from Target when I called to complain, though it took approximately an eon to get through to anyone (Hey, Target, you might want to work on clarifying your "Contact Us" page. It's not entirely obvious that, even though someone purchases an item online using her Target card that she should choose neither the "online experience" nor "card services" number but the "store experience" one because, you know, why would that be obvious?) and again when I talked with a person from KidKraft who followed up with us.

In my conversations with representatives from both places I emphasized how dangerous it could have been--I can only imagine what might have happened if Sky'd been trying to reach the top of the hutch on his desk and did a suddenly and forceful face plant into the desk. He could have been seriously injured. When I talked with Ilan at KidKraft, I pointed out that chairs like these that are made for kids need to be made to support them when they climb because sometimes that's just what kids do. I also asked that he let me know exactly what the company would do to make changes so that something similar doesn't happen in the future. As an after thought, I asked if there was any way he could hook me up with a new pink chair since the original chair was out of production, and Pink was driving me batty with her desk chair woes. I was calm but clear in my expectations. I didn't threaten him or get too over the top about what could have happened since I figured the possible alternate outcomes were pretty obvious.

Within a few days, Ilan hooked us up with this:

AND, this!

I was thrilled. Pink was thrilled. And, even Stow was thrilled (I mean what's not to like about having your very own big boy desk?). But what stuck with me the most from this experience was that as we wrapped up our final conversation, Ilan thanked me. "I can't tell you how much I appreciate the way you handled this experience," he said. "In my line of work, I get very few chances to tell someone that it has been a pleasure working with them, but I really want to thank you for being so gracious about this."

Both Target and KidKraft did right by us. They showed genuine concern about the faulty product and Sky's injury. They acted quickly to respond to our requests, and they followed up several times to let us know how they planned to do things differently in the future. So, that's all good. But, I can't help thinking about how entirely grateful Ilan was, and it motivates me to remind us all (myself included) that it's so, so, so much better when we can handle upsetting situations calmly and respectfully.


For a few weeks after this happened, all was quiet with the linen closet. Then, last weekend, I discovered the real cause of the chair collapse. Someone (or thing) had clearly jinxed our linen closet. After all, it was just as Sky was about to root through one of the top shelves for a missing key that the chair gave out. Now, I know why.


This is Sky's Kindle. You know, the one I hid from him back in the summer of 2013(!), the one all of us had looked everywhere to find, the one we'd given up on, even as I still suffered from the occasional pangs of guilt for losing something that cost more than we normally spend on gifts for the kids, the one that we replaced in the summer of 2014 because enough is enough already?

Yeah, that one.

Seems the linen closet was intent on keeping this little secret hidden, and it almost got away with it, too. But, then I decided to have a garage sale and do some long overdue cleaning and reorganizing, and the secret of the closet was revealed.

So, I think we can finally stop worrying about linen closet related freak accidents. Plus, now we have an extra Kindle, which is good because heaven knows where I'll decide to hide one the next time!

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