When we moved to Hamburg at the beginning of the year, we ended up in an apartment that wasn’t furnished. This was not the original plan so we didn’t bring anything with us. We literally had our clothes. that was it. Making a home from the ground up was a daunting task. Luckily we live a mile from the one place in Hamburg that could help us handle the majority of our list.
Let’s Grab the 284
We literally have a bus that drops us off right at the front door of Ikea. I have no idea where it comes from or where it goes after. It is called the 284 Ikea Schnelsen line so I suspect it’s purpose peaks under the giant blue and yellow sign. Technically we could walk there, we live so close to it. However, without fail, our arms are full on the way back so the bus is a necessity.
For months after that fateful shopping spree, if the boys were being naughty, I would threaten them with the 284. It straightened them up quicker than the promise of taking away screen time. One time, an exhausted Red even teared up and begged me to never make him go back. For the most part, we have tried to follow through with not taking them back unless absolutely necessary. I can count on one hand how many times we have walked through those doors as a family.
So back to that fateful Friday in February. We had our walk through with the landlord, got our keys, and immediately jumped on the bus. We walked through those doors with a list, a budget, and a skip in our steps. The thought of buying all new stuff was exciting and more importantly, we were through the roof excited to finally be in our place.
Meatballs, Mattresses, and Mental Breakdowns
Who would have thought going to the busiest store in the city, in a country where you don’t speak the language, to buy literally everything to fill a three bedroom home for 5 people would be so stressful. In hindsight, I may have been way too optimistic.
I believe we made it about 20 minutes into the day before our first fight and it went downhill from there. We were in that stupid building for over 5 hours. One of which I spent giving Moose the silent treatment. I can’t remember what for but I am sure he probably made one too many of his stupid Dad puns. Lawdy, I can hear him chuckling at himself even now.
Every single one of us cried in that 5 hour period, at least once. I will swear even on my deathbed that the third time Moose had to use the bathroom, it was so he could sob privately and not because as he declared in bath linens, “He had to see a man about a Wallaby.” I personally lost my shit both deciding on a mattress and a dining room table. And the kids. Oh those poor innocent children. We pretty much owe them big time for going through the horrors that is the lamp department. Like ‘out of state tuition” owe them.
We ate TWICE, that is how long we were there. In the cafeteria we introduced the kids to Swedish meatballs, cafeteria quality mashed potatoes and waffles with cherries. They were allowed to pick a hot dog or an ice cream later. We walked out of that store exhausted, with 4 big bags, a 5 mile long receipt, and an appointment for delivery the next day.
The Point of This Is…
They say Ikea is where relationships go to die. I totally get that. That day was not our first bumpy stroll through the maze and it wasn’t our last. Things got ugly that day. Real ugly. Someone threatened to burn the place to the ground and oddly enough, it wasn’t Red. But we made it out whole. As a family. Dude cuddled with me on the bus ride back to the apartment. We had one last dinner at our hotel that night and Moose and I toasted the success of the day. Blondie and I giggled through our last night in the girls’ room and in the morning, we packed up without a single snide comment. The store almost gobbled us up that day but she failed.
Today we went to Ikea. Blondie wanted a desk and bookcase in her room which led to lunch which led to checking out the Christmas displays which led to mulled wine samples. It’s Saturday which is normally Ikea suicide and today was no different. The entire store is shoulder to shoulder. However we did it without much fuss. Did we bicker? Sure. No trip is complete without threat of pillow farts or throat punches. But the kids behaved very well and none of us cried. I couldn’t help but marvel as we walked home from the bus stop about how far we have come.
Ikea can try as hard as she wants but she will not break this family.