A Truly Madly Ordinary Trip To IKEA

The day is a manual book spring day,if not for the temperature still very cold for the season.The sky is bright and the sun is shining but its warmth is not really felt yet.The daffodils in the pot on the windows sill have fully blossomed behind the winter violets that refuse to wither.It looks like the two species are abandoning themselves in an affectionate embrace.The daffodils like if they are protecting theirs more fragile friends.

The girls are playing in the garden and I am writing.The time passes without me even realizing it.It is nearly five o clock: Ikea time.I have just few bits to buy. It is supposed to be a very quick visit:in and out with a stop at the bar to let the girls having their dinner there.They love those chicken meatballs I can even stand the smell of.My plan is to be back home at latest by seven o’clock. We can do it!I am confident!

Off we are on the road. I don’t know what it is with my kids but it looks like that,bedtime and car time stimulate,their will to talk.”A” starts telling me about how today they talked about healthy food in school.Apparently if you drink to much diet coke you get cancer and if you eat more the ten bananas in a day you get “cronstipation”.”You mean constipation,darling?”,”Yes that thing.But what it is exactly?”.And now I know!With the discussion about cannibalism and genetics we opened a Pandora’s box.May be in Ikea I will find a big lid to put back on it.

I am driving and thinking how to explain this extreme disease in a simple and not alarming way.It is the hypochondriac daughter I am talking to.Words must be chosen wisely or she will soon be constipated as well.No doubt about it.I won’t hide I was tempted to dismiss the whole matter just saying :”you don’t really need to know now,just limit yourself to one banana a day.”.But because I’m a such conscious mother, I throw myself into the discussion of the day.

Much more easily then I thought the concept of constipation is explained and well received.Of course she is not short of questions about it: how do you get it?can you die for it?how do you cure it ?Dear Lord,can we not have a quiet drive just listen to the radio?
After I managed to convince her that she is not suffering from constipation if she skips a day, it took me half of Ikea’s showroom to convince her that the fact that she eats too fast, doesn’t make her prone to it either.Mainly because she doesn’t eat too fast at all.Actually,she is always the last one to finish.She is a pathological wanderer and time waster(not that I cannot relate to this side of her🙄).The child takes her time in everything she does.Unless,of course, you place her on a hockey pitch or a tennis court: there she flies around.God saves whoever plays against her(to this,I don’t relate at all🙄) . Abruptly I have to tell her that she is mistaking her ability of shoveling half staffed baguette in her mouth in one bite with eating fast.

Inside Ikea we rigorously stick to our small list and our timetable.
Unfortunately we can’t help to be slightly late and the girls have to carry some of the smelly meatballs in the car.It is not ideal but I am well used to it.We are on our way back home.The music is on and they are quiet in the back eating and drinking.When we are about to merge on the motorway I have to violently brake as the car in front me stop with no warning. Everything inside the car is thrown around.I check the girls.They are as white as a sheet.I really hope this won’t disturb the digestion of their meal!

There is a long snake of red lights in front of us that doesn’t move.Its too late for the rush hour,it must be an accident.It is quite late already and if we get stack in that queue we won’t move for an other hour for sure.Luckily we are still on time to turn and exit the motorway.I decide to take the country road.It is a bit longer but is the only way to avoid the accident.It is soon obvious that I have not been the only one to be hit by this stroke of genius and the traffic is heavier then usual but at least it moves.Slowly,but it moves.We gave up the idea to be home by seven. At this point if we make it by 8 is a great result.

I am now starting to feel a bit claustrophobic and intolerant to the meatballs smell that is till circulating in the car.What can be worst?Well ,there is always something worst:a farting child in the back of your car.I open the windows to let fresh new air in while CG pretend she has done nothing.I secretly hope that the smell might come from outside as I like to live under the illusion that I gave birth to a little lady. I did not.

The air inside the car has changed but I still feel uneasy as we are squished in between two big trucks.The truck behind us starts flashing .I imagine there must be some faulty lights or else in the back of my car.He keeps flashing so when we stop at the traffic light I turned around to have a look.What I see are the girls giggling and waving at the truck. There is a big monkey hanging from his front.Obviously they find it funny. Hopefully the truck driver finds it funny too and doesn’t think they are mocking him.
After what happened when I was a child I am always very careful not to offend truck drivers’ sensibility.One day my mom overtook a big truck and beeped after him to make sure he knew he was,according with her roads rules, driving too slow and delaying us.We had probably left home late already and he didn’t like to be overtaken and beeped by a woman behind the steering wheel. He tailed us for half an hour until she took a turn under a low bridge where he would have never made it through.I learned my lesson,her: I cannot positively say she did.

Back to us,at the junction,we managed to loose our truck. He turned the opposite way but not before beeping and waving:This one was a good one and a one with sense of humor.
By ten to eight we made it home. Finally jackets and shoes are off.For once we are back from IKEA with nothing to be unpacked and built.The blue bag with the few bits and bobs I bought can wait until tomorrow to be emptied.My glass, instead, can’t wait any further to be filled with something fresh and nice to enjoy while getting the lunch boxes ready for school .



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74 replies

  1. Past my sleep time here, it’s 12.45am, but I got interested in reading your story and enjoyed your words, and I was smiling and giggling with all your anecdotes along the way, and now I’m glad I stayed awake for the journey. 😊 Hope you have a good weekend. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a lovely story. I love the part where you say “I’m a such conscious mother, I throw myself into the discussion of the day”. I believe discussion with your children are very important.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Your trips to IKEA are very different. Going there for is akin to a minor military operation. ‘We will converge at the top of the store and press on, watch your flank in candles and cups. We arrive back at the motor at 15:30″

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is so familiar! I live in a small town, but we occasionally make a trip to the Dallas area. It always has a similar feel to this. I love IKEA. Lol It was nice reading this this morning!:)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s awesome ! Even better than the last one 😁😄😄😄👌

    Liked by 1 person

  6. the violets and the daffodils on the sill; a great metaphor for seasonal adjustment. Great writing, once again. H.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. My IKEA trips take forever! Great job and those meatballs really do stink!
    Great conversation with A. I hope she doesn’t claim to have it. My son actually does and you will know if she does!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love it.. For once we are back from IKEA with nothing to be unpacked and built. This one is quite rare. you really did a great job ROFL

    Liked by 1 person

  9. There is no trip to IKEA without some kind of drama. Wonderfully written, Ortensia!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your daughter reminds me of myself in hypochondriac phase. I don’t know what they put in those meatballs,but all kids love them! I laughed and I laughed. Have a great weekend dear Ortensia!💜

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So many lessons in 1 post :)) seems IKEA – trip is the trip of MANY wisdom:)) we have the biggest IKEA in Sweden in my city :)) I have to go tomorrow today!!
    And u r hilarious…I believe u could be a great humorist-writer :))

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I know I keep repeating this, but your stories are just so entertaining and honest. I really enjoy your style. Please keep them coming…

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I wonder if the truck driver’s monkey 🐒 was constipated from eating too many bananas 🍌.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. A truly adventurous journey, including constipation. Children are wonderful … almost always. I hug you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Always an adventure and drama to and fro IKEA

    Liked by 1 person

  16. you have such adventures! another lovely story- love Michele

    Liked by 1 person

  17. always a great read here – thanks ortensia. 😀 the IKEA here is a 90 minute drive even with no traffic. it has become such a treat to get there and spend a few hours if only once every year or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. In my experience, I find it is better to cram the meatballs down my throat to avoid the smell.

    Yes, and we must never offend the truck drivers. Never know when they are carrying a chainsaw and shovel.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Awesome! story. I really enjoyed every bit of it. You bring the reader to your world and it becomes such rich and relaxing. I needed to read something like this today. Thank you for you being you.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. You did a good job of describing the car ride because I had the urge to open the sliding door and get a good bit of fresh air. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Beautifully written. I could not eat IKEA meatballs either!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. What can I say, your experience was far better than mine. Maybe I can convince you to come to Chin’s IKEA? https://cluelessinasia.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/9-chinas-ikea-secret/

    Liked by 1 person

  23. by the way it was a false alarm 🙄have a good day dear😍😀

    Like

  24. Oh my! What a ride! 😀 And I totally admire your ability to stick to your shopping list at IKEA´s – that´s not an easy thing to do! ;

    Liked by 1 person

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