Me and The Teenager joined thousands of other mums and Uni-bound kids at Ikea yesterday.
Each pair had a trolley, a long list and a dismal vibe of wanting to be anywhere but here.
But we were, so we rolled our sleeves up.
We’d discussed our tactics in the car – bathroom stuff, bedroom stuff and kitchen stuff. Easy.
Except Ikea doesn’t work like that. Bathmats, towels and flannels downstairs, loo brush upstairs. Despite this, we executed a fairly neat trolley dash, grabbing most of the list with one sweep of the Market Place. But then we went round and round and round and round looking for the hard-to-find items, which were probably cunningly concealed so we would buy more candles and mini vases.
Despite our best efforts, we came away with no baking trays. Roasting tins? Abundant. Roasting ceramic dishes? Loads. We began to flag and that’s when the niggles started.
‘That’s not a potato masher.’
‘It is. Kind of a modern take on one.’
‘It’s … squiggly.’
‘If it mashes your potatoes, it’s a masher. Trust me on this one.’
‘What duvet cover do you want?’
‘Can you get off your phone for like, one second?’
I chose both sets in grey. Same for his towels, bath mat and flannels.
‘Oven glove?’ said The Teenager.
‘Really? Even I don’t have one?’
‘It’s on the list. Need one.’
‘Fine. Which pillows? Put your head on this. Then this one. Firm? Or soft?’
‘You serious? Can we get a hotdog now?’
We eventually joined the huge queues of similarly distressed people, shuffling forward inch by inch. Once we reached the check-out, I packed, obviously. Three massive blue Ikea bags later, we joined another queue for hotdogs before realising that yep, it was long, but every single person was ordering for twenty (slight exaggeration). We left.
And joined another queue at McDonalds, round the corner. As you do. One happy teenager later, filled with his protein and chemical quotient for the day, we drove home.
‘It’s been nice spending the day with you, sweets’, I said.
‘You too, muvver. Gimme a lift to my friend’s later?’
‘It’s great being an adult, mum’, he said.