Ever gone shopping at IKEA with a toddler?
Over the last few months, we have been spending a substantial amount of time at IKEA. The reasoning is two fold: 1) because, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while will know, we have bought a ton from IKEA for our house reno (our kitchen cabinetry, bathroom vanities, light fixtures, etc etc…. and 2) because it’s such an easy place to eat with a toddler. The food is cheap, you can get reasonably healthy meals (plain steamed veggies, salmon, chicken, etc), and they really cater to kids. Not only are there kids meals, but there are high chairs, disposable bibs, kids cutlery, play areas, and if your kid yells there is such a buzz of other people that it sort of gets drowned out. Particularly while we have no kitchen countertops or sink and are loathe to do dishes in our bathroom, eating at IKEA is a regular affair.
Browsing around IKEA with a 17-month old has been a fairly hilarious (and sometimes frustrating!) experience. She will usually sit in the cart for the first 15 minutes, but then wants to get out and run around. A few snippets from the last few months:
The stinky shit story. Since Maya has started daycare and I’m not traipsing around to stores and playgroups with her during the day, I have sort of given up carrying a diaper bag. I have gone back to my regular purse and just throw a couple of diapers in there and a few snacks when we’re heading out in the evening or on the weekend with her. One evening while roaming around IKEA, Dan and I started to smell a certain aroma. I know it well. I often wonder how such a sweet looking little person can make such a foul smell. Anyway, I look in my purse and … can you guess? Of course there is no diaper. Not a one. Dan and I are pretty quick to finish up what we need in the store, and head for that exit sign. The part of this story that I was in giggles about? I was pushing our cart out and heading into the elevator, when I see Dan head for the escalator instead with Maya. When we met at the bottom I asked why he had done that. Evidently it was because he didn’t want to submit the folks in the trapped elevator to our little girls’ smell… because, you know, they might think it was him. Funny guy. [side note: I have since found out that most IKEAs have diapers in the family washrooms… who knew?!]
<< warning: stinky shopper coming through… >>
Ever noticed those lit up arrows on the floor at IKEA to tell you where to go next? I hadn’t. Until Maya spotted them, thought they were the bees knees, and can’t help but stop at each one and do a little tip toe dance on the light. It’s the cutest, really. It also takes a lot of convincing to get her to leave each one.
IKEA is pretty clever with their kids activity centers in the prime spots. This one in the kitchen design area has come in very useful for us… It can keep her entertained for a good 10 minutes while we have had to chat with the staff to order additional parts for our kitchen or whatever.
You know how there are all of the displays at IKEA as you go through the sections? Well, Maya loves them. Yep, has no qualms about climbing up onto the couch and tucking herself into the throw blanket. She also wants to touch and carry around ALL THE THINGS. And have you tried getting a toddler to not do something when they really want to do it? Tantrum city. You can bet I’m that red faced parent who is trying to manage the cart, while trying to pull her daughter off the chaise lounge, and worrying about the IKEA staff seeing (especially since Maya is in her big winter boots! no!).
The kids section is a whole different story. So much excitement. I was standing in there looking at a few things the other day and Maya was playing in the circus tent (you know that red one that you see everywhere?). Anyway, she was coming in and out yelling “boo!”, and then all of a sudden I noticed the tent tip over. This was clearly hilarious, as I could hear some giggles from inside.
Uhhh.. that’s not my kid in there. Nope.
So, IKEA staff and fellow shoppers: Thanks for understanding. You’re swell.
Got any shopping at IKEA with kids stories of your own? Please share! I would love to know our IKEA adventures aren’t out of the ordinary….