IKEA…it’s a great idea!
In Colorado, we’ve had what feels like a monsoon of a May. We are used to our 300+ days of sunshine each year, and May has been wet and dreary.
To say the least, everyone here is over it. We chose Denver over Seattle for a reason. We miss our sunshine and mild May weather.
I long to sing “Here Comes the Sun”. I never heard that song until I came to Colorado for the first time in the Summer of 1996…and it’s one of my favorites to this day!
I always equate Colorado with sun. And this song. And me falling in love with Colorado.
“Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here”
As I saw friends posting about their lake and beach outings for Memorial Day weekend, I laughed that my family’s big Sunday afternoon adventure was going to IKEA.
I even took a picture of the “Welcome to IKEA” sign upon our arrival, thinking I’d say something tongue-in-cheek on my personal Facebook feed.
However, two hours later all I left with was a piece of humble pie. My family had spent the last part of the afternoon walking that glorious 3 story building of a store with a pitstop for dinner in their cafeteria…where a family of five can eat for $25. Nevermind one family member ended up sick in the middle of the night…
I digress. Back to the giant mecca of organizational goodness. One of my kids was disappointed, and let’s say showing such in that regard since we didn’t leave with a desk and were simply looking to see what we liked and what would fit in said child’s room.
It was an ordeal. And that’s an understatement and putting it politely.
We were trying to beat the closing time clock, and on our way out saw an organizational rack that was the second item we wanted to check out while there. Our garage desperately needed something to wrangle our shoes, cleats, gloves, bats, helmets, and folding chairs for all the kids’ sporting events.
Just at the time I was admiring the bins that perfectly fit on the shelves and thinking of one per child to contain each of their shoes in a gloriously organized fashion, literally seeing the beautiful structure in my mind and practically salivating at the thought, my youngest announced he needed to get to the bathroom stat.
This would make round two or three since we arrived. It was my turn to take him.
If you have a three year old, y’all understand the need to not wait in those moments. My husband took our older two kids and was headed to the self serve center to pick out our box of unassembled goodness. Less than five minutes before closing time.
We were on a mission.
Before leaving he said he was trying to find a pen to write down the item number to take to self service section to find, and I said I’d take a picture of the number instead and text it to him. Forget not taking your phone into the bathroom…little man was the one using the facilities, but I followed him in to the stall just to make sure. I texted from the bathroom stall in a sense of “whew!” on both fronts as my youngest made it and I quickly sent the attached photo.
I saw Todd from across the room as we were making our way to the checkout. I noticed he didn’t have the bins. “Todd! Toodd! TODD!” I secretly love projecting my old cheerleader voice with such depth. We needed those bins. He didn’t hear me (or maybe he did 😉 ).
I raced down that aisle to see if perhaps they had the accessories to the shelving close by. No go. Two minutes until the store closes. No time to go back upstairs to that department and get them.
I picked up my 3 year old and ran.
All this to say, when we met up at the check out line, just as the cashier greeted us and I was catching my breath, I asked “Todd, where are the bins?”. He said he didn’t see them. I asked the cashier where we could find them. We needed three, remember?
The cashier said he could call that store section and ask someone. I thanked him profusely. Todd interjected he didn’t think we really needed them right now. The store was closing and it wasn’t that big of a deal. I totally ignored him and proceeded to look at the cashier with a glance that must have made my point known that I didn’t want to leave without those bins.
Any of you who have wrangled three kids under 10 to IKEA on a holiday weekend where the free onsite childcare is full because it’s so crowded can appreciate wanting to get what you came for. And not making another trip for the stupid bins.
What happened next? Let’s just say we had a “difference of opinion” right there in the IKEA checkout line. Me, my husband, and the poor cashier right in the middle of it.
Next, I did what any mature, 39 year old, gracious Mom of three would do. I gave…the eye roll. Hard. I may have even grunted somewhat audibly and nearly burst a blood vessel in the process. I went to walk off. I wanted to make it known I was mad and didn’t want to be around anyone. I stomped my feet a little in my mind.
I quickly realized little feet were beside me. Following. “Mommy, why did you just roll your eyes like that at Daddy?” Goodness gracious. Out of all three, SHE was the one to see that? The one we’ve been talking with about how to express ourselves, even when things don’t go our way, without pitching a fit?
That’s it’s fine and normal to feel frustrated but how we go about showing that frustration should have some parameters? Not to storm off making noises under our breath?
The one not 30 minutes ago I had to talk with in the desk section about how we don’t always get our way and sometimes we have to wait for things? The one who had me channeling our beloved kindergarten teacher from years prior singing “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit”?
Well, I now see the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. My middle child heart embraces, understands, and breaks for her middle child heart. I was ticked because I didn’t get my way, and she was frustrated for me.
Almost in the same moment of feeling convicted on the inside of how I was acting, I was convicted on the outside by my daughter.
My daughter became mad at my husband on my behalf, and I had to draw the line. That’s not OK. I get she’s sticking up for me, and I remember doing the same thing with my Mom and Dad under different circumstances.
Time to pivot.
As we were walking to the car, I told Carson we’d need to talk about this as a family. I told Todd what happened somewhat in code words and am grateful that with a well known look he took the cue of “we need to have a serious conversation here.” I apologized for acting like a brat who didn’t get my way, and the kids were able to hear us say it’s completely fine for Mom and Dad to not agree with one another.
I even took it so far, as I am trying not to gloss over things anymore (my sister will be so proud!) to say “I did it because I’m angry. I wanted those bins to go with the shelving, and I didn’t want to come back for them, and yes I got mad at Dad for putting a kink in my plans as the store is closing.”
I was owning it. I wasn’t proud of my actions. At the same time, I don’t want my kids or my husband to stuff their feelings, and I wasn’t going to stuff mine.
I grew up not allowed to express much of an opinion and it’s not healthy. Bless my sweet husband’s heart in understanding 21 years of pent up opinions have started to come out with a vengeance in the last few years! He gets me. He knows. I am guessing when I go on one of my rants in his mind is “this too shall pass” 🙂
We all had a good laugh and there may have been some impressions of me given. A healing laugh + a healing talk the whole 30 minute ride home. We both made sure to give our point of view in even this tiny situation so that our kids could see and hear what it’s like to not be on the same page, even get mad at the other person, and still work it out over something that seemed so little.
I didn’t see that growing up. It’s something super important to me for my kids to know.
What’s that saying – the little things are really the big things?
My kids got to see that parents can disagree, even argue, and be okay. I got to see that husband and wife can disagree, even argue, and be okay. Even in our 14th year of marriage I still need to be reminded of this.
I want them to speak up when they feel strongly about something. I want them to know they can speak their mind in a healthy relationship, and even if they disagree – everything be ok. They can talk quietly, raise their voice, or even scream and shout if need be, and still be heard. And if you can’t speak your mind, it’s not the right relationship.
Todd and Carson ended up having some great Daddy / Daughter time putting that shelving together when we got home. They listened to Dave Matthews as the sun set and used the power tools and put the whole thing together by themselves. She was SO excited and so proud to help and have that one on one time with him.
And for all this rain? My church had a women’s conference recently I was fortunate to be a part of, and during the conference we agreed amidst all the bad weather…it felt like we were in a state of cleanse. I can’t help but feel mine has been extended all month long. As much as I miss the sun, I will be the first to say it’s been a solid month for me of much needed cleansing. And for that, I’m grateful for all this rain.
Who would have thought a trip to IKEA would leave us with some of that yummy Swedish chocolate plus a slice of humble pie?
And truth be told? I still want those bins. But, the lesson learned here is even greater.