Ikea: Day 58

I can’t recall how I phrased it, exactly, but it went something like ‘this time around, I don’t have that same feeling [like summer should be over two weeks ago], now that the boys are older, it’s a lot easier.’ However I phrased it, that – right there – was a mistake. Big time.

Because guess what, less than 48 hours later that ‘summer should be over two weeks ago’ feeling came upon me. In a major way.

There was Monday and it was a glorious warm day and the boys and I went on an hour and a half long hike in Edworthy Park and it was (mostly) great. Then it was Thursday. Costco called to let me know my (nearly empty) jar of almond butter had been recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. It was grey and rainy and the temperature had dropped almost twenty degrees (F). We had to turn on the heat to keep the boys’ teeth from chattering and I despaired that it was the beginning of the end. And the professor was all ‘oh no, it’s not the end, it will get warm again.’ Because we haven’t lived here for six years.

We were cooped up in the house all day, which resulted in a brotherly blowout of unbelievable proportions over a pair of socks. And I know my sister and I fought when we were children, but really – fisticuffs? Over a pair of socks?!

Upon awakening today, I determined notmuch had changed. Same grey skies. Same temperature. Same grouchy people. ‘Who wants to go to Ikea?’ I put it out for a ‘vote’. Because what else do you do with children when there is inclement weather and no school.


‘NOT ME!’ the votes came in.

‘Me!’ Percy agreed, which was all the consensus I needed.

We entered the democracy of design and I noticed a lengthy line by the Smaland entry. It was the first indication I’d chosen badly – a line-up of desperate parents willing to queue for the chance of having 45 kid-free minutes. Fortunately, I had zero intention of dropping Percy off at the playplace since he’d thrown one of his infamous ‘shoe tantrums’ right as we were leaving, about the injustice of having to wear socks with shoes.

‘Less than two weeks,’ the professor exhaled his latest mantra. ‘Yeah, and then we’ll have to listen to this shoe tantrum every day before he goes to school,’ I issued a reality check. ‘Could he just take Crocs for his indoor shoes?’ the paternus familias hoped aloud.

All that to say, the boy had left the house without socks on his feet, which means: No Smaland for you!

We meandered through the marketplace, looking for dinner plates and tea towels and a change of scenery. I’d recently decided that I needed a table cloth to cover my increasingly pockmarked and paint-stained table. Then reality set in: I’d have to wash said table cloth three times a day (or constantly remove it). So I scaled down my vision to a mere table runner which could be easily set aside at mealtimes, when those who prefer to wear their spaghetti sit down to eat. I didn’t find any suitable table runners at Ikea. Mind you, I was too busy refereeing the nonstop brotherly squabbles involving shopping carts. However, I came upon a bin full of tea towels with red ping pong paddles. The red of the paddle was a perfect match for my red chairs and they’d been marked down to $1.99. Before you can say ‘I hate sewing and am terrible at it’ I concluded that it would be superfun and easy to sew three tea towels together and make my own table runner.

Bien sur.

‘Can we get fish and chips?’ the Gort begged politely. ‘Okay,’ I agreed, because what else did we have to do.

Upon entering the dining hall, I noted that all of Calgary had come to Ikea for lunch. ‘Are you guys up for the line, or should we just get hot dogs downstairs [even though that line is long too]?’ I asked, hoping they’d opt for hot dogs. ‘We can wait in line,’ the Gort decided. Shortly thereafter he left to join his middle brother, who was saving a table for us. Which means I got to stand in a very long line for three orders of kids’ fish and chips.

I used the opportunity to conclude that my Converse One Stars (you know, the Target version) are highly uncomfortable and need to be thrown in the trash….four months ago.

After what felt like an hour, I made it to the front of the line and dutifully waited for my three plastic plates with fish and chips. I opted for a cinnamon bun, to avoid that slightly-sick feeling I get after eating fried food, though eating a cinnamon roll for lunch never turns out well either.

A lesson I have learned (many times over) when, subsisting on nothing but caffeine and sugar fumes, I nearly imploded four hours later as the boys ran screaming through the house fuelled by three days’ worth of unspent energy.

‘I need you to take the boys to the park,’ I insisted to the professor, loudly, so that my voice might be heard above the din resulting from three boys fighting in the bathroom.

‘I thought they could just go to bed,’ he protested.

Because clearly they were seconds away from dreamland.

Before the quartet had even left the house, I was down in the basement with my three tea towels, yanking my rarely-used sewing machine out of its container. As I tried to push the edges of the tea towels together, I realized that this was possibly the worst thing I could be doing; sewing being one of the more (the most!) stressful tasks I attempt from time to time.

Even worse, I was trying to sew while sitting on the floor. Because using a foot pedal with your leg extended out beside you is completely doable!

Luckily I realized this was beyond foolish and moved the impromptu sewing party over to the table and chair less than six feet away from me.

Fifteen minutes later, I had my table runner.


Yes, it bothers me that this photo is overly dark and that the ‘table runner’ is rather wrinkly. I might take another picture in the morning but I most likely will not iron the threeteatowelssewntogether. In part because I do not own an ironing board, but also because I don’t iron anything.

And now I’m going to hide in my room, possibly watch an episode of Boss, and hope no one remembers that I’m here.

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