The people who created IKEA are a bunch of crafty bastards, you guys realize this, right? They lure you in with the promise of finding things you can’t live without- bright colored pieces of furniture, great looking accessories and to top it all off, meatballs. Someone finally found a way to craftily market balls and wood to the general public, who willingly devour them right up. . . terrible joke, I know.
One of the things about living here is that IKEA really is one of the best places to get stuff, even through it’s a 2 hour drive. Once you get there, you play the Parking-Lot-Buzzard-Game, looking for a fresh kill of an open spot. This can take up to half an hour sometimes which only increases the already unbearable pressure on yours and your companions bladders. Bladder pressure grows, tension mounts, and soon the scene is set for a meltdown of epic proportions—and you haven’t even gotten into the store yet.
We recently had to go there and once we found our fresh kill spot and managed to park the truck in a spot meant for a circus car, it was time to heard the family in. I applied my Braveheart makeup and gathered the captor children along with the captor’s au pair.
The Bigger Captor had to “work” so he stayed home. It’s common knowledge that he despises trips to IKEA and forcing him to come could only be detrimental to our marriage. Besides, if he’s not around to tell me what I can’t buy, then we all enjoy ourselves a tad more.
Once we made it in the door, we proceeded to do what everyone else on the entire planet is doing; waiting in line to use the 3 bathroom stalls that the store has provided. The Tiniest Captor seriously needed a pants change and the Smaller Captor was trying his best to convince me to let him stay in the play room. It’s about 1 1/2 feet deep of plastic ball crawl balls and inside looks like a war of the lillaputians. As fun as that might be, the Small Captor was easily twice the size of the other kids, and the last thing I needed was for him to hurt some kid when we don’t even speak the same language.
Having an international incident in IKEA was not the afternoon I was going for.
Finally we fed everyone (meatballs of course) and managed to round up a cart, so we set about hunting down the items on the list. This means trying to navigate every section of the store while not running over someone’s ankles, and keeping the Smaller Captor off of every piece of furniture.
We probably walked past 4 other child meltdowns before we even made it out of the kitchen section. Which brings me to a point. The store offers these sort of “Chutes and Ladders” type shortcuts that you can use, but be warned, these come with a price.
I realized too late after using one, that what I needed was back in the opposite direction, which meant ignoring the bright yellow arrows on the floor and being that jackwagon salmon that swims upstream when everyone else is trying to get to the ocean. Not an easy task, I assure you. I’m fairly certain I was scolded by a number of people, but I was NOT about to take that chute all the way to the bottom just to try again.
After that fiasco, I took the cart full of baby, stuff, and the Smaller Captor back towards where we needed to go. Upon entering the kids section, the Smaller Captor kept asking if we could buy the Tiniest Captor something. NON STOP. Pick your favorite politican- he was just as relentless. But I perservered! On that floor anyway. . .
Once downstairs, trying to navigate the maze to the warehouse portion and the checkout, we found ourselves in the rug and carpet area. Sitting atop a pile of rugs, looking ever so lonely was a giant, stuffed, grey elephant.
The baby saw it, and turned to me. She gave me the biggest sad baby face you could ever imagine. Her bottom lip stuck out far enough you could land a plane on it. Imagine Puss in Boots, with the sad cat face, but on the Tiniest Captor. She knows how to work those baby blues. Dirtball.
Needless to say, I am weak.
I gave the girl the elephant and within seconds she held onto the trunk and its feet, laying her tired baby head on it and petting its fur. Other shoppers stopped to say aww and things I can’t understand while smiling and nodding at the pair.
I know it’s not a great picture. I don’t have a fancy iPhone with a good camera. That got stolen the LAST trip into IKEA. I digress- enjoy this as a dose of cute for a moment. Then remember that IKEA is the devil. They make you hike 15 miles to get anywhere, and put traps out so that you purchase things you don’t need. But your baby does. Damn you IKEA.