Remember that time you thought it would be a good idea to go to IKEA by yourself with all three kids, at lunchtime, without a stroller?
Yeah me neither. Because why would anyone ever think that was a good idea??
It all started when I took all three kids to the dentist this morning. They did such a great job. I did have to hold Kelsey while the dentist examined her, but the boys did fabulously. Reed wore sunglasses the whole time and Stafford made sure to tell the dentist that he forgot to brush this morning. Overall though, the visit was a win. And I got cocky.
So we set off to STL to return a coat to the Carters store. I took Kelsey in the stroller and promised the boys a trip to Trader Joe's if they were on their best behavior. Reed spent his time picking out fedoras and necklaces for Kelsey and Stafford spent his time trying to make Kelsey behave. It wasn't the best of visits but it wasn't the worst.
We returned to the car and I realized we had two shirts in the stroller that we hadn't purchased. So we got everyone out of the car again and went back to the store. Once we were back inside Reed revealed a set of hairbows he had conveniently placed into the stroller pocket for Kelsey. So thankfully we managed to escape without shoplifting anything.
We made it in and out of Trader Joe's easily and the boys had fun pushing their own carts. And that's when I got the bright idea to stop by IKEA on the way home.
I hadn't packed a lunch and I really wanted to pick up some plastic dinnerware that we never seem to have enough of. So we pulled into the parking lot (that Stafford interestingly referred to as "nice and cozy") and got out of the car. It's not like this is the first time that I've taken all three kids to a store.
In fact, I actually take them shopping pretty often. But IKEA. I was not prepared for IKEA.
As soon as we walked in the kids were enthralled by the large TV screen. And if I had been smart I would have dropped them off at childcare. But I knew they needed to eat so we headed up the escalator.
The cafeteria at this IKEA is beautiful with big picture windows and a special kid section. We made our way to the line and as I was telling the servers what we'd like Kelsey makes a beeline for the stairs as fast as she can. With one shoe on. I instruct the boys to wait by our tray and I literally RUN after her. I managed to pay and get us all to a table in the kids section.
The boys and I start to eat and I tried to feed Kelsey. She managed to get a little food on her face so I asked Stafford to get napkins. He was gone a LONG time. (In his defense when I finally got up to look for them I couldn't find them either). He returns finally with THREE BOTTLES OF WATER that we clearly hadn't paid for. And by this time Reed had followed him and had one of his own. I jumped out of my seat (which was practically on the floor since there were no adult size tables left in the kid section) and told the boys that the needed to put the water back. I turn around and there is Kelsey, walking away from the table with an ENTIRE piece of chocolate cake in her hands. Oh my word. I look up and every single lady at every single table is laughing in a "oh my word I am SO glad I am not that Mom" kind of way. Thankfully one of them was nice enough to give me some wipes because not only did I not bring a stroller but I came in without my purse as well.
Kelsey was so proud of herself. One of her favorite words is "cake" and she went right for it. She then proceeded to try to eat all of the macaroni and cheese from a fellow shoppers plate. This little girl wasn't into sharing her lunch (who would blame her) and I managed to finally wrangle Kelsey back to our table.
We finished up rather rapidly and headed to the bathroom to clean up. Thankfully the rest of our visit was without much drama. We spent our seven dollars and hightailed it out of there!
So lesson learned. Just because you can make it through the dentist or the DMV or the commissary does NOT mean you should take your kids to eat at IKEA!