Monday 14 October 2013

Ikea A Great Family Day Out and Visit to Småland

For some people a day spent at Ikea, at the weekend, when it's busy, is their idea of hell.

But not me!  Being a SAHM, Aaron and I are together every day, so where he goes I go and vice versa.

We were faced with the choice of Ikea on Friday or Saturday, and chose Saturday so that we could have our usual Friday with my friend and her little boy - we spent the day at a soft play area.

Anyway so Saturday.  Daddy dropped us there before he headed to work.

They have trollies like you'd find in Tesco and Aaron hopped in no trouble.  I thought ooooh this is going to be easy! Yeah! I jinxed myself, like us Mums are prone to do!

So we got as far as the bedding area we needed to go to, and by then the novelty had worn off and he wanted out. I must have said 7 times "okay if you stay where Mummy can see you".

Anyway, a LOVELY Sales Assistant took pity on me and got me everything that was on our list, and we headed off for a look around.  You know what, Aaron loved looking at the made up bedrooms and made up sitting rooms.  He had something to say about each and every one.

Before I tell you more about our day here are some photos:

The reason I included a pic of washed dishes above is because whilst there I bought one of these: ORDNING DISH DRAINER! EVEN that was flat packed and I had to insert about 8 screws in it after Aaron was asleep. Then always one to want to use a toy immediately I then set about doing all of the washing up.  No, I hadn't done it before we went out - I've never claimed to be a domestic goddess.  We used to have the wooden one for years and years but it fell apart, and I haven't enjoyed washing up since I disposed of it.  Now I have this, order is restored BUT it was £12 AND it requires construction and the rod at the bottom, ONLY stays in (on mine at least) once you start building it, and wedge it in.  You'll see what I mean if you get one.  I am already polishing it with stainless steel cleaner every day to keep the water marks off it.  Wonder how long that novelty will last!!!


Back to our day out. I digressed, sorry!

Anyway, we got round the store without too much trouble and he even coped with the queues and the till area.  I had to get him to help on the conveyor belt to stop him being naughty but all was well.

The real problems started when we went to the Home Delivery desk.  He went in behind the counter and started climbing on flat packed furniture, and I made the classic Mummy mistake of over-reacting.  THEN I tried to put him back in said Tesco-style trolley (the seat of it) and he did the full-on shaking body exorcist style thing that 2/3 year olds are capable of.  I over reacted again and there was much crying on his behalf and shouting on mine.  The Home Delivery lady patiently waited till I got chance to actually finish a sentence with her.  I commend her for her patience and professionalism!  BUT she then said the home delivery could only be done if we provided Ikea blue bags.......... Ahhhhhhh. I have 9 of them at home, but not there.  Not. In. The. Store.

So, we went to queue again, and this time was not successful.  Aaron found an abandoned soft toy (bunny) and threw it in the air a million times, with me hoping each time it would not bop someone on the head, like this.  We got to the top of the queue without that happening. I was JUST about to breathe a HUGE sigh of relief, when he discovered that the till next to us was vacant.  Normally (in Lidl) he would sit on the seat and pretend to be a cashier (which I usually get away with) but here, there was no chair so he climbed.  My cashier went bonkers. I dealt with Aaron, apologised to her and wanted to just pay for my 2 x blue bags and move on away.  But she noticed I had a blue bag by my feet (the things I'd earlier paid for, that were NOT being home delivered and were not over "there" waiting with angelic Home Delivery lady, in a trolley, waiting for the 2 blue bags I was purchasing).  Still with me?  Anyway after all the bunny throwing and till climbing, I lost my patience in a way that yogic me would never have done (maybe I need to finally take it back up) and I got out all 4 of my receipts, showed them to her, and said "what! Are you Security now?!?!?" I then stomped off back to Home Delivery and told Aaron that after his behaviour we were no longer going to the Cafe.

We then went to the cafe *coughs*

Oh I missed a bit! I tried to stomp off, but Aaron walked passed her with said bunny, which was not ours, and which we had not paid for.  She of course said something.  I took it off him, which felt like it took 10 minutes to do, and a meltdown ensued.  NICE staff would have taken it off him for me, in a NICE way, but this particular cashier had anger management issues, and suffice to say, I said goodbye to her, in her own language as she was a national of the same country as my best friend at school for 7 years.

Anyway as you can see from the photos above, we had a grand old time there in the Ikea restaurant.  The food is delicious and cheap.

Ikea has these metal trollies that you can put 3 dinner trays on.  Aaron simply loved pushing it and choosing what he and I were going to eat (he picked my cake).  I treated myself to a beer - at this stage boy did I need it!

Aaron had two drinks (the 2nd of which I had to queue up again for), I had a coffee and a beer.  All was well with the world again.

The ONLY vacant place to sit to eat, happened to be next to one of those bandstand play area thingies that Ikea has in its restaurants.  So he ate for a short amount of time and ran in there.  Ironically there were soft toys in there which everyone was throwing up at the ceiling (of the play area) and then catching them.  It must be confusing at 3, to see something being done joyfully that you were being told off for only 30 minutes earlier.

He made friends with two boys in there and they ended up playing together for 2 hours (well strictly speaking the 1st boy left after about an hour or rather his parents did and he followed).

I thought wow this is the life, if only I had a magazine, or at least Twitter on my phone.  Poor internal memory means I have neither Facebook nor Twitter on my phone - I know, life sucks!!!

So finally we left, but ONLY because the boys started playing in a long corridor adjacent to the restaurant and coffee bar, and Aaron spied the play area outside and decided he wanted to go there.

Now look what happens next, oh the irony.  As we leave the store to go to the climbing frame and slide by the car park, Aaron spies Småland and decides he wants to go there.

I explain:

1) Mummy is not allowed in there, which sees him saying "but I want Mummy to come WITH me"
2) Children go in there so their Mummies and Daddies can shop and I have ALREADY done my shopping.

We go out and play and he has fun but then starts talking about the play area again (Småland).  I am thinking, "you have played in the restaurant play area for TWO hours with TWO lovely boys" and "now you are having a grand old time in the Ikea playground outside AND yet YOU want to do something ELSE TOO!?!?!?!? SAY WHAT??!?!?

So I drag bring him inside and get the staff member to explain that he goes in without Mummy and he says yes I understand, and he wants to go. WHAT?!?!?!?! She explains the next "appointment" is 17:30 (I look at my watch and it is now 16:15).  I explain this to Aaron who is not at all fazed.  It is an exceptionally cold day and I explain that we'll have to go outside and play for over an hour and come in AGAIN when it is our turn.  His look says "so!".

Off we trot.  We make good friends outside with a 4 year old girl and her Dad. They play, we talk, and all is well with the world again.

It comes to 17:20 and we go in.  Turns out they are allowing the 17:30 people in already. Well done Mummy instinct :-)

Aaron goes in without a backward glance.  This is Aaron who holds on to my legs every day at nursery and cries for 40 minutes and then HOWLS when I actually finally leave.  Don't get me wrong, he had 3 days there BEFORE Ireland and went in without a backward glance then.  But, since we came back from Ireland, it is drama every day.  I know the reason. Two of the boys are picking on him, but the staff's attitude is that if they didn't see it, it didn't happen.

Anyway the proof that there is a problem at nursery is that (1) he was fine those days before Ireland and (2) at Ikea he didn't know the place or the staff or Småland or the other kids, and he went straight in.

I spied on him a few times during the hour (bearing in mind I had already done my shopping - no the irony hasn't escaped me) and he was having SO SO SO SO much fun.  So much so, that I will be going there again soon!

SO that is how we came to end up spending a WHOLE day there.  We left home at 11:40 a.m. and got back home at about 19:35.

We were both shattered by then.

All of the staff we encountered, apart from the angry cashier, were awesome.  So if you ever feel like a weekend trip to Ikea, don't leave the kids at home.

They'll love Småland and they'll love the restaurant.  You can only go to Småland though if your kids are between the ages of 3-8 years old and toilet trained.  Fab atmosphere in there, I was really impressed.

This post is not commercial in any way.  I just wanted to share a lovely, intense, day out with you, and also record it for posterity! It was jam packed after all!

1 comment:

  1. Ohh I've not been to Ikea in years and certainly never taken the kids, maybe I'll brave it now I know there is play stuff there. Mich x


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