My First Ikea Trip – Wow.
I have never been to Ikea before. I think it is safe to say that I am in the minority on this one. I have passed it on the NJ Turnpike hundreds of times but never felt the need to go. I assumed it was just a place you went to furnish your apartment with a futon or entertainment center. Over the years I never really thought much about it and added it to my list of other never-beens which included things like sledding or seeing Cats on broadway.
Today all that changed. Today was the day the husband and I decided we would not only go to Ikea but take all 4 kids with us. We were on the hunt for reasonably priced bar stools for our soon-to-be created breakfast bar and it was off to Ikea we went.
We piled the kids in the van and headed for the Turpike. Armed with snacks (juice boxes and goldfish) and a Team Umi Zoomi dvd for the car ride we were ready. After a minor setback (taking the wrong exit) the husand and I were excited to see the big blue building with yellow letters. Look where we’re going! we shouted to the kids (who thought they were going to Wal-Mart).
As we approached the building the twins started yelling about the huge revolving doors at front. Stay close by us and don’t wander off PLEASE we instructed. Okay, okay the twins answered (with just a hint of annoyance). No sooner did the words come out of their mouthes when they became stuck in the revolving door, with us on the other side! Not only were they stuck, the door was now jammed so the husband, I and the little kids are trapped outside with 20 or more other Ikea customers. O-M-G.
screaming coaxing the twins through the doors we were able to start our Ikea shopping spree. We got a map and a little pencil (everyone else was taking one so they must be important) and headed to the nearest elevator. When the elevator doors opened it suddenly became obvious that we were not in Target anymore. People and furniture displays were everywhere and me and my crew stood out like a sore thumb. It was clear that we were Ikea virgins and everyone else knew where and what they were doing.
We started following the arrows on the floor hoping bar stools would appear. After 2o or so minutes of looking and repeating:
Don’t touch that! Stay together. Where is J?! Why did we bring the kids on a Sunday? M you need to keep up, don’t walk away from me. Yes J I know you are tired, we are almost done.
I spot an Ikea employee – it was like seeing a mirage in the desert. The employee instructs us to take 2 lefts and we would be in the bar stool area.
Two lefts later there they were, bar stools of every color and size. You would have thought we were at a park the way the kids took off trying out all the stools. It is now VERY crowded and I am feeling slightly overwhelmed. I make the husband pick the stools and now it’s off to find “self-service furniture”. Weaving in and out of the crowds, trying to keep track of 3 kids and the husband was not easy so I was happy to see an arrow for Kid’s Ikea – big mistake!
Somewhere in between stuffed animals and lights that look like stars L started to have a meltdown. Usually these are stopped with a juice box or binky but when the binky went flying down the aisle I knew we were in trouble. Let’s stop and get something to eat at the food court, maybe they are hungry? the husband suggested. I strategically pick a table in the far, back corner as the husband goes to get food.
The meltdown has progressed to what I can only compare to something out of the movie ”The Exorcist.” All eyes are on me (clearly no one here has taken the Mommy Oath) and M is telling me that the floor (on which L is thrashing) is dirty. I stare out the glass window at the dozens of winding staircases and feel like I am trapped in some sort of maze from a sci-fi movie.
Once L’s exorcism is over we try to navigate our way to pick up the stools and get the hell out of Ikea. After what seems like an eternity we have managed to pay (only having to get in line 2 times due to the receipt tape being empty and the husband not scanning 1 stool) and now have to get the boys back to the van. I am carrying L, pushing an empty stroller and constantly
screaming looking to make sure all 4 kids are in tow. As the van door opens, and a red soccer ball goes flying across the parking lot, I am done.
The ride home was quiet, the husband and I don’t have much to say. The little kids slept and the twins argued and took in the scenery of the Turnpike. Overall the kids were good (except for L). What did I expect from 4 kids at Ikea on a Sunday? Did I yell too much? Maybe, but there is no sense in beating myself up about it now. Live and learn! Wow is all I can say of my first Ikea experience. I hope to go back there someday and I can promise you I will go without kids!!