- Mom, PhD
Valentine's Day at IKEA
We prepared ourselves for the exhausting vacuum of IKEA with a one-year-old. Even though we were just looking for a simple high chair—our old one took up too much space— IKEA offers the same hazing ritual to everyone who dares to enter. Whether you’re looking for a couch, cutlery, or Swedish meatballs, you must submit to the labyrinth.
We decided not to bring the stroller. We rationalized: our little guy can walk, or we can use the cart. But he didn’t like this particular cart with its multiple directionality and narrow seat. We had no choice but to release him onto the floor and we followed closely as he ran, zig-zagging through the beds, pillows, and carpets. I could see the overstimulation in his eyes: so many colors, so many textures, so many people!
After walking around in circles, we found the high chair and noted the number so we could find it in the warehouse. On our way downstairs, we were entranced by the smell of cooked food and couldn't resist the allure of the cafetería. We were famished, so we indulged: meatballs, green beans, chicken tenders, fries. Dessert, too, of course: a generous slice of berry cheesecake.
Sitting at the dining table, with our son nestled in the exact same model of the high chair we were about to purchase, we bonded as a family. Sharing salty food, complaining about the shopping experience, and eating dessert, we relished the moment of the three of us being together. We had tried to plan for a Valentine's Day dinner for just the two of us parents, but we couldn't find a babysitter. So, we had a family Valentine's Day celebration right there at IKEA. On the way out, the three of us even shared a vanilla soft serve cone. 1 high chair, 2 desserts, 3 people. Love can be celebrated anywhere. Happy Valentine's Day!