On Monday morning, in the staff kitchen, a colleague asked me how my weekend was. Although I had been up with J-man at 1 a.m., 3 a.m., and 6 a.m. and could hardly stand, I politely said it was wonderful. Interested, I guess, he asked what I did. So I explained that I had spent Sunday shopping at IKEA, which of course meant I spent Sunday evening building furniture. It was well after 10 p.m. when I first sat down for the day — a load of laundry still in the dryer.
“What a nightmare,” he replied. “What’s wonderful about that?”
It was the reaction I would have expected of my dad, who always said IKEA was a four-letter swear word. “Well,” I explained, “I bought a toy box for my living room.” I then explained how tired I was of tripping over J-man’s toys, which seem to have taken over my house. I also bought a contraption to organize his teddy bears in his room because there are nights I can’t find his crib through the bears. Being a dad, he was quick to respond that he remembered the days of toys taking over his life to the point of being a safety hazard. He agreed that organizing children’s toys, which seem to quickly take over our lives and our spaces, was well worth a day at IKEA.
On Monday night I returned home to a house that was unusually serene. My husband, ever the tidier, in the morning had tucked the toys back into the box. I put my feet up and thought about a glass of wine. It was peaceful for a full ten minutes. At that point I jumped to attention and started to organize supper. J-man started a new game, taking everything out of the box one by one onto the living room floor. I hope I can teach him that it’s equally fun to put it all back.
Ten minutes of peace, of feeling organized and on top of my life, was well worth the long drive to IKEA, the ridiculous tour through the entire store (like somehow I have nothing else to do but browse) with a cranky husband, the rude and unhelpful warehouse guy, the check-out line that took forever, and the icing on the cake — delivering the boxes home only to have to build the toy box. Oh, the things in life that make us happy — even the small things!