Ok, ladies. Who doesn't know and LOVE everyone's favorite furniture (and just simply stuff) store, IKEA. Having just moved and sold or given away most of our belongings, the employees at the local store should know us by name right now, right? WRONG! We've only made it there twice, and both times have been mild to medium-sized catastrophies.
The first time we chose a Saturday afternoon; the kids were rested, and the crowd won't arrive until Saturday. We were out mostly for a kitchen, living room furniture and a bed for us. We handed over Lily at the Smalland (yes, she's definitely 3...), and jumped right in. Well, I can only say: the IKEA in Renton was A LOT smaller. It took us about 30 minutes to find the showroom; the rest of the time we wandered confused through their self-service warehouse and the accessories section, where Richard had to drag me on time and again. We finally arrived at the showroom, and I can tell you, it was almost overwhelming. First came the baby and children's section, where I spent another 15 minutes cooing over the cute stuff. On we go to the bedroom section, where we find a couple of very neat things. Down they go on our list for further consideration later. The living room section was fairly disappointing. While we found the TV stand and wall units we liked immediately, there were simply no couches out there for us (our last couch set a very high standard..). At this point, we here the intercom go off, and before the lady even starts speaking, I know the message: "Attention please parents! Little Lily would like to be picked up from the Smalland" Here we run back through the narrow paths past all those little niceties calling my name to our wailing child (yes, we could actually hear her cry from the stairs). United again we start a second try, which we discontinue due to a tired toddler. Well, the kitchen will have to wait, no big deal, since we didn't have an apartment yet anyways.
Flash forward to today: The schedule for our Saturday was getting up with the kids, have breakfast, go to the recycling station and grocery shopping with grandma, and then hit IKEA and another furniture store looking particularly for kitchens. Furniture store #1 was a complete fiasco. We had to wait for about 45 minutes for a sales person to be available, and then the consultant that was assigned to us had not yet finished with her previous client because she was helping out friends on the side. After waiting another 15 minutes we just left, heading to IKEA yet again. Since it was lunch time, we started our trip at the cafeteria, thinking that a satisfied toddler would be a nice toddler. FAR FROM TRUE!! Bribing her with the candy from her kid's menu every step on the way, we finally arrived at the kitchen section, just to witness Lily's total meltdown there. Pretty at the end of our patience ourselves we give up, and just try to get out of there alive. At the end, we try to make this trip at least a little worth our time and buy the TV stand and shelving. Would have been a good idea, theoretically. In practice, not so much, since we hadn't taken large packages at all into consideration when we headed out that morning.
So, after 2 trips to IKEA we didn't buy a single thing. Can you believe that? Not even something that I just came across and knew I couldn't live without any more. A lesson I learned: babysitterservice "Chez Oma" would have been a good idea. And maybe I should have bought this stepstool, just to not leave completely empty-handed. Also: as a family with a little tornado-toddler, shopping for furniture online is a life saver!