Normally we go as a family unit but as The Stented Missus was back to work and the nips were still on holidays, it was just the three of us. Mistake number one.
Over the last two months, in particular, I have spent an obscene amount of time in Ikea for one reason or another.
To be fair, we tend to go there every few months for three main reasons -
- Breakfast - 'cause it's decent and cheap as chips for a family munch
- Creche - the nips love it and we get 45 mins of kiddy freedom - win/win
- Buy - products that the Stented Missus tells me we need
But, honest to God, lately, it feels like I've taken up residence there!
To be fair, I don't mind going there. In fact, I kind of like it as long as it's only every few months. We always kick off with the food, breakfast before 11 am, or dinner if you miss the cut-off point.
The logic of food first? Feed the nips to avoid any possible meltdowns... so much for that theory.
That said, love it or hate it, I genuinely feel like Ikea has become like social media - it's a necessary evil that needs to be fed every now and again!
Two weeks ago, we decided to get Nip#1 a new desk for her room to go with her cool new wall that yours truly painted during the summer. Normally we go as a family unit but as The Stented Missus was back to work and the nips were still on holidays, it was just the three of us.
Mistake number one.
Ikea... meltdown city
Putting things in context, the nips' routine was all over the place - well, it was Christmas and normality always gets a kick in the jimmies. So it's fair to say, they were fairly 'tired and emotional' - just not the Eamon Dunphy kind!
But sweet Jesus did they lose it over the tiniest things. Nip#2 can lose her shit on a regular basis so it was expected to happen. The old 'my legs aren't working' trick happened in record time but I refused for ages because guess what? There's nothing feckin' wrong with her legs - thank Christ.
After a good 10 minutes of her roaring at me demanding I pick her up (we're still in the car park btw). I caved because sometimes you have to do what's easiest even though it's not the right thing from a lesson learned POV. Dad 0 - The Nips 1.
If/when Nip#1 loses her shit, you know she's proper bolloxed with a capital B. And boy did she lose it - over a feckin' trolley!
She was insisting on one of the long trolleys but as I was only there to get two items (the desk and matching chairs), I only needed a regular trolley. Mistake #2. Dad 0 - The Nips 2.
So much for me thinking quick in, quick out and no messing.
Ikea... toilet accidents
Nip#2's toilet training was flying. The very odd accident every once in a while but for the most part, it was great. Until the Christmas holidays that was!
For whatever reason, she just decided it was OK to wee and poo herself at random - nearly every time. I thought it might be a kidney infection so I got her wee tested. Absolutely nothing wrong medically so it was literally happening because .... well, because she just could.
So heading out to Ikea - or anywhere for that matter - was loaded with the potential to turn into a bit of a mess.
Any parent will know that moment. The moment when the facial expression changes slightly, they eyeball you, go slightly red-ish in the face and then BOOM. The smell. Jesus, that smell. Dad 0 - The Nips 3.
Thankfully I brought not just one set of extra clothes, but two - HA HA! Dad 1 - The Nips 3.
Ikea.... the creche
At this stage, I just wanted to go. My head was gone. Kicked down the stairs like a football.
But then the alarm on my phone rings. Clever Daddy had secured a 45-minute spot in the creche when we first arrived. It was like I'd just won the Lotto - 45 mins on my own. Dad 2 - The Nips 3
Let me tell you something though 45 minutes does not last long at all. By the time I queued up, got my food and coffee, sat down and enjoyed it (which, trust me, I seriously did) the hopper for the creche went off.
Remember I said I brought two changes of clothes with me?! Just as well I did because Nip2 wee'd herself while in the creche. Dad 1 - The Nips 4.
Ikea... sold out
Even though I needed out, I still had to get what we actually came here to get: the desk and chairs.
I'm telling you, the powers that be really decided to have a laugh at me today for some reason because both items were sold out. I nearly clocked your man when he told me.
“It's too early for whiskey. It's too early for whiskey.”
I kept grumbling this to myself as I gritted my teeth and said "OK, thank you".
Ikea.... hot dog
It's virtually impossible to get out of Ikea without getting a hot dog, chips and/or ice cream. I mean it wasn't that long ago the nips had just eaten breakfast upstairs.
Anyway, my head was like a melted bucket at this stage so I got them for the nips. Nip 1 ate the hot dog, but not the chips. After one or two bites, Nip 2 pulled the hot dog and bun apart in seconds flat only to tell me she doesn't like hot dogs anymore. She then proceeded to push at least half of her chips and her now miniature hot dogs onto the floor - while eyeballing me directly.
Dad 2 - The Nips 279 .... or something like that.
Ikea... I'll be back
To get the desk and chairs.
I'll be alone this time though. And I'll even check ahead of time that you have the required items in stock before I do so. Lesson learned. Thanks for having me!
Ikea... nutshell version
All in all, we spent the guts of 4 to 5 hours in Ikea and ended up with NOTHING bar a bit of grub - which the floor got most of!
Written by Ross Good, SAHD of two girls and founder of The Stented Papaand Booky Wooky.