Oh how I have been jonesing for a trip to Ikea since, well, since the last time I walked out of Ikea back in July of '08. Yeah, that was just a few months ago, but when you say a month and then add "of" and the last 2 digits of the year, it sounds like a really long time.
I tried to convince Jason to take me a couple of weekends ago. By "take me" I mean load up all the kids and let's go together because I knew there was no way he was going to let me be gone alone for half a day after he got up at dark:thirty and then slung coffee for a full 8 hours. I'm sure he would have been pleased as punch for me to take all of the little angels with me and go by myself, but there was less than a snowball's chance in hell of that happening.
Turns out, he didn't feel like going that day, with all the early rising and coffee laboring he endured that particular morning. But since he was off last Saturday AND I indulged him by not complaining when he said he wanted to spend most of the morning and a better part of the afternoon fishing with his buddy, he agreed to go that afternoon.
And what an arduous journey it was. "Arduous" is never a word I want to equate with a trip to Ikea again. It's like saying "disgusting birthday cake." Birthday cake should never ever be anything but fluffy, sweet and delicious (and preferably chocolate), just as a trip to Ikea should be fun and carefree, like white fluffy clouds. But arduous...never good.
For starters, Missy, who is pretty much completely potty-trained, Praise Jesus, was having some "difficulties." Let's just say that the first leg of the trip should have been a 30 minute trip south, but it took almost an hour because we had to make 2 pit stops for her to just go in and sit. And sit. And sit.
We finally arrived a bit later than originally intended and to my delight I was able to check the boys into "Smaland" or whatever the Swedish word is for the place where little people can play while their parents shop in relative peace for exactly ONE hour. It only took about half an hour to get them set up and checked in, so I took care of this while J. took Missy to the restroom. Again.
We got about halfway around Ikea, to probably the farthest point one could be from the restroom, when Missy decided, with great urgency, that she needed to go yet again. Lord, help me. I took her, she did some bidness, and then... the horror. I flushed the potty and too promptly squatted down to help Missy with the pulling up of the pants. Except that as the toilet was flushing I had unwittingly put my face even with the bowl and TOILET WATER SPLASHED OUT AND LANDED RIGHT.ON.MY.LIP. Pardon me for saying, but I threw up a little in my mouth. Consider this a PSA: When you are helping your child pull up his/her pants after pottying, be sure you are safely out of the designated toilet splash zone. You are welcome.
We worked our way around the store, but I was quite mistaken that we could actually complete our shopping in under 60 minutes, so I went and removed the boys from "Smaland," while J. kept shopping, only to discover their misbehavior while they had been playing. Sigh. I asked Jason where we went wrong that the boys can't act straight for a mere hour. He assured me that boys are boys and they get into trouble. It's their nature. Double sigh.
As it turns out, we picked up some great finds! A small chandelier to hang over our dining table, an under-the counter rack I jokingly refer to as our new wine cellar, some boxes for organizing our "home office" and a few other odds and ends. We made it home with all our goods and our children in one piece. But next time, I'm really going to rally for going alone.