Let’s get this straight; I don’t build things with my hands.
In the caveman era, I would not have been the guy making the clubs.
It doesn’t come naturally, nor have I been able to acquire the skills at this point in my life.
I’ve never been interested in how things are designed or put together.
Tools are people I think are fools, and hardware has something to do with computers.
Monkey Wrench is a Foo Fighters song.
Scraper is missing the word sky.
Bolt is the surname of a fast man.
Who is Phillip? And, why do I have Allen’s key?
My daughter is bunny sitting for the summer, and she asks me, “Daddy, can you build me a bunny hutch?”
Her hopeful blue eyes stare at me, and I melt.
I immediately reply with “Of course, sweetie. Let’s look at some designs and see what is best for the bunnies.” In my head I’m thinking, ‘I’m in trouble if she want’s anything more than a small square box’.
Suggesting to look at designs was my first mistake. There are some extremely nice bunny cages out there.
Suddenly my requirements included a cosy sleeping area, a grassed area for them to eat and play, a run long enough for them to hop a few times, and multiple opening and closing areas to control where the bunnies are, and for cleaning purposes.
What’s that saying? ‘Fake it til’ you make it’.
I had wood lying around, so my first trip to the hardware store was for nails. I thought I’d start simple.
While looking for nails, I picked up a saw. A wire attached it to the shelf so it couldn’t be stolen. So, here I had an electric saw with no power, with a plastic cover over the blade, and I still managed to cut my finger on the wire. Good start.
I located the nails. Who knew that there were so many different types of nails? Different sizes and finishes had my head spinning. I didn’t realise it’d be so specific. I just needed a multi pack of about 1000 nails, because I really had no clue what I needed. However, that didn’t exist.
I left dazed, with a few packets of nails and screws, wondering what I’d gotten myself in to.
Before I started building, I sketched, and measured, and sketched some more. Having the design on paper was not really helping me feel any more confident with actually building the bunny cage.
But here’s only one way to learn, and so I began.
I hit many design problems along the way, including the need to reinforce components of the design, and using an excessive amount of nails to hold the thing together. However, I was feeling more and more confident it could house 2 bunnies.
My daughter was incredible throughout the build. She helped where she could, provided moral support, and at one point said to me, “Dad, it doesn’t matter if it’s perfect, as long as the bunnies have a home, they’ll love it!”
I battled through my own doubts, knowing that this was an important moment in my father/daughter relationship. I started to laugh off mistakes, be creative and innovative when faced with design flaws, and enjoy the experience of using my hands to build something.
Meanwhile, my daughter reminded me that she loves me unconditionally. She also loved that I was able to get blue and pink outdoor paint to complete her dream bunny cage.
So I finished the bunny cage. It’s true; if you build it they will come. The bunnies have arrived and are loving their new home.
My daughter asks me, “Daddy, can you build me a dolls house?”