Not sure if this is a european thing, or if it happens in the states too. Imagine it does, although I wonder because one of my bff´s back home has never been...not once! I´m a little bit obsessed, I must admit. IKEA doesn´t just have amazing home furnishings, with simple, beautiful nordic designs. It also has a play center (Ikea Smaland) where you can drop your kids off while you shop. There´s also a huge restaurant with a child play area that actually allows you to take a few consecutive bites before having to attend to your kids.
Having an IKEA 15 minutes away has made us regular visitors on those rainy days when there´s absolutely nothing else to do. The fact that Emma loves to go and can spend an hour of hard core kid action in the play center, leaving her thoroughly relaxed and ready for bedtime, is a bonus.
Although our youngest is not yet old enough to get checked in, she still enjoys running around the place and stopping at the many play stations they have set up throughout the store. And because I can never stop decorating (or redecorating) our home, I will never decline a chance to go. When we woke up one morning recently, and saw the dreadful gloomy day ahead, I immediately thought it would be a perfect day to go, get lunch and spend some time browsing thru their bedding section (I wanted a new duvet cover). But since I know how much my husband dreads the place (because it´s always beyond crowded, everyone brings their kids and it´s basically a circus) I held back from suggesting it. However, after 15 minutes of seeing the kids running like tornadoes throughout the house, bored out of their minds, he asked if maybe it was a good idea. Casually I responded that I ¨might¨ have some things I needed to get (yes!). He doesn´t know that I have decided Ikea´s 2014 collection contains items that absolutely belong in our home.
As per usual, once there we immediately realized 90% of our state population had had the same bright idea. But we went in anyways knowing it would only get worse from there. People with kids, people with screaming babies AND kids, older folks out for a stroll with no intention of buying a single thing being completely oblivious to the flow of traffic, just ¨browsing¨, not moving as you try to maneuver your stroller around them. But it´s ok, because when I´m here I act as if I don´t have kids and very discretely slip away into their many room areas...leaving the chasing duties to my husband.
In the end, after Emma has played and Kate is covered in ice cream from head to toe, after we´ve waited an obscene amount of time at the checkout line, yes, we come out a little bit stressed... but the kids are exhausted, I´m happy with my new acquisitions and my husband is thrilled we´re finally headed home...to put the kids to bed! An afternoon well spent. If you´re like me and visit IKEA regularly you´ll know what I´m talking about, if not...go and have a visit. Let me know what you think!