The wonderful everyday: isn’t that IKEA’s catchphrase? Well, it wasn’t too wonderful one of the days last week when I decided to take a trip up to their Ballymum store!
Even before moving house I’ve had an list as long as my arm of stuff that I wanted from IKEA. Patience is a virtue I don’t possess, though. Instead of waiting until the weekend and heading on my own without the kids or indeed one evening, I took a notion to go last Thursday with two kids and a hop-a-long mother on a crutch in tow. What was I thinking?!
I figured I could check Aidan and Sarah in to the onsite creche called Småland. That way I could run around the store, pick up my bits, pick up the kids, pay for my stuff and head home. Who the hell was I kidding? When we arrived in the car park mother realised she had forgotten her disabled parking badge so myself and herself ended up having a row before we even got out of the car! She was telling me to park in disabled spot anyway because she clearly looks like a permit holder. I, on the other hand, said I wasn’t parking in a disabled spot without her permit. I won, of course, so I offloaded her at the entrance, found a normal parking space, unloaded the kids and headed in.
At the Småland check in desk I was informed that the next session wasn’t starting for another half and hour. Cue disappointed and moany kids.
Granny took off, or should I say hobbled, in to the store to admire the lovely vases and fake flowers. The kids took after her and me too with my heart in my mouth thinking one of them would smash half of the stock and attempt to pick the ‘leaves’ off the flowers!
After half an hour I left granny to admire the cushions as I headed back to Småland to offload the kids for an hour. Or so I thought. It turns out that the creche only takes them for 45 minutes so I knew I had to be extra quick.
Granny, however, didn’t get the memo. You see, she only has one gear due to hip issues and speed wouldn’t be her forte. She also insisted on looking and feeling every cushion and throw she laid eyes on. She does not make any snap decisions when it comes to parting with her money!
Armed with a trolley I informed granny that I would have to leave her side if I was to get my shopping done before going back for Aidan and Sarah. So, off I headed like I was on the telly with Noel Edmonds and playing Supermarket Sweep. I threw a few lamp shades in, eight cushion covers and the same amount of cushions. Toilet brushes for the jacks were added, as was new chopping boards, a rug, plant pots and a few picture frames.
Time flies when you’re having fun and all of a sudden it was almost time to pick up Aidan and Sarah. Before leaving granny I gave her instructions to simply follow the arrows on the floor so I figured she wasn’t far behind me. Of course I was wrong! I re-traced my steps and granny was nowhere to be seen and I didn’t have time to look for her. She would have to wait to be found because I then had to leg it back to Småland.
Not content with 45 minutes of play Sarah decided to have a meltdown and insisted she was not leaving. I had to bribe her out with the promise of treats from the coffee shop but told her we had to first find granny.
Taking the kids back on the shop floor wasn’t ideal but I figured I’d just grab granny and head to the restaurant. Wrong. Again. Granny was nowhere to be found. At the end of my tether I just decided to get her name called out but when I was on the way to a customer service desk didn’t I find granny sitting back and a pink and white striped armchair and not a bother on her! She got tired apparently and decided to take a rest!
At the restaurant, I warned the kids not to be hanging from the metal railings like monkeys. Some chances. They picked out their treats, granny got her dinner and we sat down to eat. Over dinner granny told Aidan and Sarah that she’d treat them to a toy from the kids section, which was lovely and all that but the last thing I wanted was more shopping. There was no going back, though.
Off we all went and spend the next hour in the kids’ section because neither of them could make up their minds as to what they wanted. In the end Sarah picked a teddy and Aidan a mini bedroom set and then it was time to head to the warehouse to collect a few things, pay and get the hell out.
Aidan and Sarah w begged me to get one of the huge big trollies and push them round so, for an easy life, I did. Except it wasn’t easy. It never is! They fought like cats and dogs over who would sit at the front and Sarah got her leg stuck in it and howled like a banshee. Out of the place I thought I would never get.
When we got out granny stood at the exit like a queen when I left the kids and the trolley with her and got the car to collect them all. The three of them all put their arses on their seats while I had to unload and pack everything in myself.
Photo frames were the main thing I went to IKEA for and I bloody well forgot to get them. I never want to see the place again, not even on my own. I’ll just fork out the money to have things delivered in future.
You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter - @_itsjustaphase_; Instagram - @itsjustaphaseblog, or you’ll find more of my musings at www.itsjustaphase.ie.