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Those Proud Parenting Moments

We all have them, those proud parenting moments, both sarcastic and genuine. This covers both:

By now I'm sure you know that I love IKEA. I love the designs, the colors, the ice cream, and being able to walk through all the sample rooms and not have to clean up anything since it's not my house. But it was my last trip to IKEA that really put it over the top. Our last trip to IKEA involved several proud parenting moments.

I was talking to a friend of mine (another IKEA fan) on the phone; we were going over my home-improvement list, and since I hadn't found some of the items at yard sales, I wanted to try IKEA. You know–curtain rods, simple curtains, a low bookshelf–nothing major. It didn't sound too ambitious at the time, and she encouraged me to go for it.

Load the kids up in the car, snacks, drinks, diaper bag, and we're off. When we arrive, my son is excited to go to Smaland, IKEA's supervised play area, and he notices that the height requirement is 37 inches. Hey mom–he says–aren't the girls tall enough yet? And I recalled their 3-year-old checkups a couple of months' back–why, yes, they are. The girls were thrilled! My son was thrilled! I was thrilled!!! No kids, for a whole 30 minutes?! Why, I could get everything on my list, even browse a bit, and be back in plenty of time. Thrilled, I tell ya!

We filled out the paperwork, I clipped the handy beeper to my purse, and we kissed goodbye.

I walked into the Marketplace with a feeling I'd never had at IKEA before: freedom. Sweet, sweet freedom to look at breakable glassware, lamps, and other non-kid-friendly merchandise. And I'm already thinking about the next trip–I mean, this changes everything–I can really enjoy the store if I'm not pulling kids off couches and beds or walking precariously past the tall kitchen displays. Freedom!

I was ten steps into the Marketplace when the beeper went off. I actually turned around because surely there was another Smaland-beeper-carrying-parent standing behind me whose beeper was sounding. But no, it was mine. Whah? I marched back to Smaland thinking, “Wow, how odd, the girls don't usually have a problem separating from me.” But that wasn't it.

On the floor of Smaland, at the shoeless feet of one of my 3-year-olds, the one who just went to the bathroom before we went into Smaland, was a large puddle. And the attendant had quite a look on her face. I scooped up my wet child–remembered that I left the diaper bag with all the extra clothes in the van in the parking lot (perfect!)–and headed out. She soaked me, wet pants, legs and all, right through my clothes. I took her out to the van and wiped and changed her. Good as new, right? By now, my 30 minutes were up, so I had to pick up the others and head into IKEA to quickly pick up at least one thing on my list. I couldn't let this trip be in vain! We grabbed the Expedit bookshelf and headed to the van, me in my wet clothes and all. And then it didn't fit in the van. I couldn't believe it. I was not returning it now. Thankfully, a friendly military man in uniform stopped to see how he could help. We squeezed it in, I thanked him profusely while ignoring my wet shirt and oh, my, I wonder what he's thinking, and we headed home. Yep, proud moment.

That night at dinner, the kids were regaling Daddy with our trip, and my toddler piped up, “Guess what, Daddy? I peed on the floor at the store today.” And without missing a beat, my other toddler turned to her and said, “I guess we should call it I-PEE-A.”

We cracked up, and then we were just proud. That was a real joke. From a 3-year-old. And a sense of humor is very important to us. And now you will always remember:

Hopefully my incredibly-bad hack job of their logo shows how I am using it in parody and not in any way trying to infringe on their trademark. I love IKEA. Especially since kids eat there for FREE through 8/16.

Moneywise MoM: Frugal Ways to Get “Me Time”

Thursday 3rd of May 2012

[...] rooms of my local IKEA store. It’s only 20-30 minutes, but it’s worth it. Other than that one time, it’s been [...]


Saturday 15th of August 2009

You do have a wonderful sense of humor. What an awful, miserable day it would have been if you didn't push forward and laugh at the whole thing!


Sunday 9th of August 2009

What a great story!


Saturday 8th of August 2009

I have tears in my eyes for you!! At first for your trip...I have 4 under 8 and know that feeling freedom being taken back oh so quickly...but then also from ipea!! oh my what a quick kid!! Thanks for sharing this!!


Saturday 8th of August 2009

Oh my! My little one is almost 14 months old and today my husband, and I took her with us to our eye doctor appointments and she had a blast wanting to crawl around (yucky) and walk around as we helped her. She exhausted both of us and then went right to sleep in the car. I can't imagine having 3 kids (including twins). You have wonderful Mommy patience! Love the story. Love IKEA too!