The Ikea Curse

the monster at ikea wearing no pants

Back in our childless days trips to Ikea were borderline enjoyable. Although they often turned out fruitless (how many times did we try to buy that Expedit bookcase I can’t count), at the very least we would leave with some picture frames and a two dollar hotdog for the trouble.

Since the monster whirl-winded into our lives we have braved the Ikea behemoth on only two occasions. Both times: big fat fails. The first adventure was on a very wet Saturday just before Lachie turned one. Troy was working a million hours and I had to get out of the house before the newly walking monster sent us both crazy with his whinging. Any slightly sane person would have turned back at the sight of the cars backed up to the main road trying to get in to the car park, but in my stupidly sleep deprived, desperate to get out of the house state I persisted.

The plan was to have some lunch at the cafeteria and then continue on our way happily meandering through the neat kitchens and perfectly proportioned bedrooms. Have you seen the Ikea cafe on a weekend? Bedlam. We made it halfway to our cheap Swedish meatballs before the monster went in to complete meltdown mode. So I carried my hungry, cranky, almost-toddler through the mind-numbing furniture maze to make it to the check-out and find the line-up at least thirty-five minutes long. At this stage I should have abandoned my collection of storage boxes and melamine plates and run for the door but again I persisted. I danced, I made faces, I pleaded and cajoled. And when that didn’t work I begged the monster to just bear with me a few more minutes. We made it to the hotdog shop on the other side only to have the monster drop our shared 3pm lunch on the floor. I swore never again would you find me at Ikea on a rainy weekend.

However, like most bad experiences, with time, the memory of the pain lessens. So we found ourselves yesterday again at Ikea on a rainy weekend. The cafeteria line looked bearable and at least I had another set of hands to deal with any Ikea-induced tantrums (mine or the monsters): this trip was going to be a piece of cake. That was until reaching for a piece of almond chocolate cake I smelled the distinct whiff of vomit. The monster was covered in his breakfast. So we passed up lunch and cake and sped for the bathroom. Fortunately I had a spare nappy and t-shirt in my bag (a rarity). Unfortunately there were no spare shorts.

The next twenty minutes spent in the home office section went approximately like this: Troy measures desk, we try to discuss options, monster starts screaming to be put down, I put him down and he runs very quickly in to the crowd of oncoming shoppers, with no pants and the demeanor of a drunk being chased by an angry publican, I catch up to him just before he collides with a trolley. Repeat. Super fun times indeed. Under duress we made a decision and ran head for the exit. Waiting at the check-out Lachie finally hit the lying on the ground screaming stage. Yup, we’re those parents that have the half-dressed toddler lying on the floor of Ikea yelling til your ears bleed. Even a two-dollar hotdog couldn’t save the day so we just paid and got the hell out of there.

Until next time.

Tell me do you have better luck when going to Ikea? Or are you cursed too? Anyone else love those two-dollar hotdogs at the exit?

  1. Sleeping Mom said:

    We just went to Ikea two weeks ago and got out in the nick of time. My two-year-old was already cranky, and I just thank my lucky stars he didn’t have a meltdown while we were there. Thankfully the kids area kept him happy. But he kept wanting to stay at certain places and didn’t want to leave.

    • lauragofton said:

      It’s hectic isn’t it, just running around like crazy trying to get everything before you all fall apart.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 Laura

  2. I had to laugh when I read this post.

    I know the Ikea run well. I used to have a policy of never going with my son, but relented when I had a whole house to furnish and no childcare. Big mistake!

    I’ve found subsequent trips easier when going with a friend of mine, who has two kids. We comandeer a cafe table for the morning and come equipped with lots of snacks, colouring books, toys, etc. Then we take turns running around Ikea like a mad woman while the other watches the kids. It’s still stressful but at least no meltdowns.

    Hats off to you for going on the weekend. I’m impressed!

  3. lauragofton said:

    What a great idea to share the childminding with a friend. Couldn’t imagine trying to furnish a whole house with a toddler in tow. Would definitely be wishing for online purchase options in that instance.

  4. Carly Electric said:

    As Hunter was screaming, I looked at the time and realised it had been going on for 2 hours. I stopped, we cuddled, I sang songs and swayed. As I was trying to pay for my cushions I realised I was THAT mum with THAT screaming kid…. We got her into the car and 20 seconds later she was asleep. Ahhh Ikea, such a love hate relationship I have with you!

    • Laura said:

      A love/hate relationship it most definitely is! It is quite an overwhelming environment, even for us, so I guess I can understand why little ones feel quite over it within a short period.

      Enjoy your hard-won cushions!

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