Big boxes are always the best, and the big box the Boy’s grandparents brought wrapped for his sixth birthday was driving him crazy.

Big boxes are always the best, and the big box the Boy’s grandparents brought wrapped for his sixth birthday was driving him crazy.

“No, open that one next,” his mother directed, pointing to one of the smaller presents. The Boy politely unwrapped some clothes. I noticed by now he’d developed a slight twitch. Birthdays are stressful.

Finally, it was time for The Box. He ripped into the paper and I knew this was going to be a lot of fun for everyone but me.

The Box held a Transformer, one of those Hasbro toys from the 1980s – giant alien robots that can change into cars – that became multiple cartoon series and most recently live-action movies featuring various parts of Megan Fox.

More specifically, this robot/car was Bumblebee. It had guns, a laser cannon, and it changed into a really sweet Camaro – which the Boy wanted done immediately.

I don’t think the Boy’s grandparents were thinking about me when they bought the present; the directions on how to turn the toy from the robot into a Camaro were in Swahili. That would have just been mean.

“This toy is for children,” my wife said about a half-hour into my transformation attempt, the toy still looking more like a robot than a car. The Boy hovered nearby, still twitching. His grandfather sat contentedly on the couch. Was that a smirk? No, it was a full-blown smile, mainly because grandfathers didn’t have to do things like this anymore.

Most parents have horror stories about putting together toys with “some assembly required” on Christmas Eve, but they bring that on themselves. I was minding my own business when this happened.

After the third try at step four, I wondered why it wasn’t so hard in the movies.

Bumblebee: I’m going to get you, Blackout, you evil Decepticon.

Blackout: Uh, do you need help?

Bumblebee (struggling to change into a robot): No, no, I’m OK. But can you hold on a second? I’m having a little problem sliding my rear passenger side quarter panel up into Release Plasma Cannon position.

Blackout: You’re leaking some kind of reddish fluid. You might want to have that looked at.

Bumblebee: Oh, great. I had groceries in the back seat. Couldn’t you have had the decency to attack the city before I went to the store?

“Are you done yet?” the Boy asked as I held back words I wouldn’t want him to repeat in kindergarten. I guess he wanted to play with his new toy before he outgrew it.

“Give me a few more minutes,” I said, then did what any sane man should do. I gave the half-transformed Transformer to his mother.

She finished it in about three turns of the wrist.

Yep, I can’t wait till Christmas. Maybe the grandparents will give the Boy a little nuclear fission science set. I’m sending it home with them.

Jason’s latest book, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at