Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Trip to Ikea, Mahoney Style

Kaitlyn is in the midst of decorating her room, which of course means a trip to Ikea.

We decided to meet Heath there after work, and have a family dinner out. Where else can you feed children for $1.99 and get free childminding? Those Swedes really know how to bring in customers.

Being a family of 6, it is a rarity to eat out. And eating in a restaurant with a very busy 2 year old is not on my "Top Ten List of Fun Things To Do". It is on my "Top Ten List of Things That Are More Fun To Do Than a Root Canal", but I digress.

So there we were, sitting with 4 kids in the middle of the Ikea 'restaurant'. And things were going fairly smoothly. Yes, my leg and foot were coated with a greasy film of Ikea "gravy" that some child who didn't belong to me happened to drop all down my leg and onto my foot as we waited in line....I digress again....but overall, none of my children had managed to spill anything or hit someone or complain about why we spend our summer vacations in Ikea while their cousins go to Disneyland.

As we were finishing up, an elderly lady came up to our table. She apologised for interrupting us. She then went on to say how she had been sitting at her table drinking her tea and was just so taken with how lovely our children and family were. She gushed about how nice it was to see a family enjoying each other's company and kept repeating what a loving family we had. I thanked her profusely, and Heath sat there beaming like only a proud daddy can.

Fast forward 30 minutes.

Eilidh had a meltdown in the checkout line-up such as I have never seen before. SHE didn't get anything at Ikea. It wasn't fair. She wanted something. KAITLYN was getting something (paid for with her own money), KEELEY was getting something (oooh....a 3 dollar potty chair), and then great stomping of the feet ensued. We carted her off to the van, screaming and stomping her feet, and with Keeley demanding to get out of the stroller.

Heath was trying to get Keeley in the van and I was trying to get Eilidh to stop screaming. Toys were falling out of the van. Patrick was arguing with Heath as to why he had to phone his friend RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT and not when we got home. Kaitlyn was trying to load her breakable purchases into the van without all the recycling that I forgot to take back rolling out onto the vast Ikea parking lot.....a fair bit of it being beer bottles. They breed. I swear.

And amidst all this chaos, I looked up, and there was that little old lady who couldn't stop gushing about my wonderful family, looking gobsmacked. Out of that entire vast parking lot of Ikea, she had to be parked IMMEDIATELY in front of our van and getting into her car at the exact moment we were.

She just stood there. Watching the insanity. She wasn't smiling. I avoided eye contact.

I had a cider when we got home and took comfort in the fact that for a brief moment in time, my family was loving. And lovely. I'll take what I can get.

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