Thursday, March 5, 2009

I love IKEA

The way today started, I was a little concerned. Like most parents, our home is slowly being buried in toys. We have a variety of books, blocks, magnets, crayons, coloring books, stuffed animals, etc. We are starting to make Toys R Us look pretty small time. Despite this huge collection of things, Norrin and I have been getting a little antsy and we needed to get out of the house. My solution...IKEA. Its brightly colored, they encourage you to climb all over their displays, there are more than a few children play areas and they have the greatest cafeteria that even sells baby food (not that Norrin is even remotely interested in baby food anymore). Now I had my doubts about the day because Norrin planted his forehead into the floor right before I was getting us ready to go. Then, we got stuck in a traffic jam on I-95. There was a truck driver behind me who honked his horn violently any time I let anyone in front of me (there's only one moving lane, you selfish jerk). And then, all the time spent in the car caused Norrin to take a very early and very short nap. But as soon as he saw all the bright things he could climb all over, he was in heaven. We didn't even bother with the playroom...the couch section alone was enough to entertain my son. We spent a good amount of time in the children's section too. They had bins and bins of stuffed animals, rocking horses, and numerous child-size chairs just begging to be tried out. Then it was lunchtime...after Norrin climbed on three of the grown-up beds on display before we got to the cafeteria. Now, IKEA has a truly great menu...sandwiches, pastas, salads, desserts and almost every beverage on the planet. They have a wonderful selection for kids, too, but its easier just to share with Norrin at this point. We got a mozzarella and roasted red pepper pannini, a huge fruit salad, apple juice, a bottle of water and two sugar cookies for $8!
Then, we sat in the little circle of tables that surround the kids' area. They have bead mazes, a kid's movie on the TV, little tables and chairs just for them...its awesome. So, you can sit in a grown-up chair and eat peacefully within two feet of your child (love it!). After lunch, Norrin was pretty tired...two hours in IKEA is a lot, especially with less than a half an hour nap. I went to the restroom...a giant, family-friendly restroom where one part is all adult height and the other side is all kid height...and then we were in the car and on our way home. Norrin hasn't napped since, but he's been in a very pleasant mood. He's chasing the cats, playing with the bowls, cups and plates I bought at IKEA (loves things that he can stack and unstack) and giving Mommy raspberries on her belly. IKEA is a truly magical turned our not-so-good start to the day into a fun little adventure.

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