Today marked my second trip to Ikea with kids in tow (unless you count the time I went while pregnant and looking for cribs). This time, however, I did it all by my lonesome. Yes, I have a majorly independent and stubborn streak, why do you ask? Well, as the kiddos are moving from babies to toddlers (and because we gave our remaining exersaucer to Mommy, Esq.), it was time for something new in the play space. I wanted a kid-sized table and chairs. While they’re still a bit small and young to sit in the chairs reliably, I figure it’s a good thing to start.
The reason this is a big-ish deal is that the Ikea in Massachusetts is really not anywhere close to me. It’s about an hour away, which is obviously no small matter when you’re dragging along two toddlers. This requires a plan. The plan was to leave around 9AM (aka morning nap time) with the hopes of them sleeping in the car on the way there. Then, hang out in the store, do our shopping, and return around 1PM (aka afternoon nap time), with the same goal in reverse. M helped me in the morning get a bag packed with enough snacks for a small European country, and we were all set.
For one thing, there was rush hour traffic that extended further past the city than it really should have, so it took an hour and a half instead of an hour. But that ended up being a good thing, since Rebecca didn’t fall asleep until at least 9:45. But, eventually she did fall asleep, so both of them got a nice little rest before we got to the store. Then, I realized the main flaw in my plan: I did not have 2+ hours worth of stuff to do in the store. Having already looked online and decided what I wanted, I pretty much just walked in and found it. And then… um… Well, it wasn’t crowded, so then I let the kids hang out in the kiddie section for a while. Then a snack, then a walk so I could ogle the kitchen stuff, then another snack and a diaper change, and more playing in the kiddie section… I was killing time. Not what I had expected, though I should have. Anyways, we ended up having an early lunch (Daniel dug the meatballs and mashed potatoes, Rebecca only wanted applesauce), and they got downright cranky. Wanted more freedom than I could give them. So, we got our pallet of brightly-colored, some-assembly-required plastic (and my $1 fro yo), and away we went.
This, by the way, was the part when I fully questioned the choice to go by myself. You know me, I’m all about doing things on my own. It’s not always easy, but I’ve got practice and I don’t shy away from taking the kids places. Well, this was an occasion when I wish I had a third arm or something. Mostly when it came down to the cart and all of our stuff and getting it to the car. Ikea has many delightful things, but a cart with two seats just ain’t one of ’em. But, hey, we made it.
Well, being as it was not actually nap time yet, something crazy happened…. the kids stayed awake. In the car. For an hour on the highway. About halfway through the drive I realized they weren’t falling asleep, so I shifted into “keep them awake” mode. I passed snacks (man, that will be easier when I turn those carseats around), I sang songs, I made silly noises for them to mimick. And lo, they stayed awake. We got home, played in the yard for a few, assembled some plastic chairs, and up they went. And they actually took their afternoon nap, which is a rare occurence these days. Not half bad for a crazy trip across the state. And when they woke up…