Ikea: the master of deceptive simplicity. (Image by Carl Kleiner.)
Going to Ikea on a Sunday is SUCH a rookie move. Going to Ikea at noon on a Sunday with your children and husband in tow means you don’t get to complain about anything ever again, because honestly, you’re clearly so poor at decision-making that you deserve whatever comes your way. Forever.
Except I had to go. Because I needed something that could only be found at Ikea, and Ikea charges $150 to deliver, and the alternative to going with my children and husband was going with my children and without my husband, and sorry nope.
You know my “how to go to Ikea without getting divorced and abandoning your children to be raised by a family of Hemnes dressers” tips? The ones I’ve written about in books, and on this website? Like, over and over again? I’ve never actually followed them myself (or rather I’ve followed all of them at various points, but certainly haven’t followed all of them at the same time, because Ikea is like God: your well-thought-out plans exist only to make her laugh. Shit always goes wrong at Ikea).
This time, though, I really went all-in with the prep work. For example:
- I did a pre-trip Ikea.com search to find exactly what I wanted, and then wrote down each and every sixteen thousand digit code.
- I packed all the snacks in the world.
- I was standing at the check-in counter at Smaland within five seconds of arrival, and when the attendant asked my daughter to stand against the measuring thing on the wall to make sure she was tall enough I was all “STRAIGHTEN THAT BACK, KID. HIGHER. HIGHER! YOU CAN DO IT!” (She made it by 1/8 of an inch, a.k.a. she totally didn’t make it but the lady behind the counter saw my look of desperation and let it slide.)
- I walked through the glassware section of the Marketplace actually holding my hands up like blinders, and every time Kendrick tried to make a pit stop to check out an extension cord*, I screeched “EYES ON THE PRIZE” at him over and over until he was too mortified by his screeching wife to not do as she said.
I did all of these things. And yet when we found ourselves (finally, finally) standing on that interminable line with visions of Allen wrenches dancing in our heads, it happened: I started hating Kendrick, and I’m pretty sure (ok, I’m positive) he felt the same way. So we made an agreement to stop talking to each other until we were out of the store, and then drove to a Burmese restaurant and ate food and drank wine, and everything was okay again. (Lesson learned: Always wrap up an Ikea trip with garlic noodles and alcohol. When you know garlic noodles and alcohol are in your immediate future, you can do anything.)
The point of this post wasn’t actually to complain – I just couldn’t help myself. The actual point was to show you what I did to my daughter’s room, because I love it.
Remember Morgan’s perfect bed? The one from – yes – Ikea that works as a daybed (and kid bed) and can then be transformed into an enormous guest bed when needed? The one that I was planning to buy for my daughter’s room so I could stop “snuggling” her in a three-foot-long toddler bed and finally throw out my gross futon? I was waxing poetic about this bed to my friend Alisa, and she said, “Oh my mom has that bed at her place. I think she’s dying to get rid of it; it hasn’t been used in forever.”
So I had the bed, but I didn’t have the two mattresses that stack on top of each other, and then get placed side-by-side when you transform it from a daybed into a king-sized guest bed. When you’re stacking mattresses on top of each other you need them to be skinny…and where does one find twin-sized mattresses that are less than 4″ thick?
(OK, probably not only Ikea, but my Amazon search didn’t turn up anything.)
So we went to Ikea.
And now my daughter’s room is adorable and functional, and my children own space-egg chairs that they can hide in (more on this later), and my brain is doing the thing that brains do after you give birth to a child where it forgets how hideous the experience was and convinces you that you can totally do it again.
P.S. What my daughter’s room looked like before, if you’re curious.
*Serious question: Why is it that men are completely unsatisfied by a shopping trip – any shopping trip – unless it includes the purchase of an extension cord that they don’t need and are guaranteed to forget that they own? It is a mystery for the f-ing ages.