Super Trouper

September 26th, 2010

We went to Ikea on Saturday, which seems counterintuitive to a family on a new budget, but apparently you are allowed to spend within your allotted budget line items, so there we were, driving to Stoughton for some Swedish inspiration and fabulous family-friendly parking. Did you know about this family parking at Ikea? It’s right up front! And you don’t have to be elderly, infirm or — gasp! — pregnant.

Look, I don’t mean to belittle the pregnant among us, but stork parking at Babies R Us is absolute bullshit designed to do nothing but make the pregnant ladies feel special, and I’m sorry, but I felt plenty special without toodling in and getting a front-row parking spot while some poor lady with a swollen vagina and a freaky-looking newborn tries desperately to maneuver her car seat out of its base. I can’t imagine anyone who’s ever had a child arguing that it’s more difficult to hoist a baby into a store while they are inside your body than outside in the world, where they either require 1,456,780 additional items clumsily shoved into a diaper bag, plus a car seat or baby carrier and/or are of the age where they’re resisting the stroller and threatening to launch themselves directly into traffic. I’m thinking at the very least it should be renamed “THIRD TRIMESTER PARKING ONLY,” or better yet, “ANYTIME PARKING FOR PREGNANT LADIES WITH OTHER CHILDREN.”

This reminds me of a comments section I read once — an adoption blog, I am assuming — wherein several commenters who were adopting announced that they, too, took advantage of the stork parking, and while I fully believe that adoptive parenting is equal to biological parenting, I cannot say that one who is not physically experiencing the anticipation of becoming a mother is quite at a level where they require up-front parking, for the love of all that is holy. It just goes to show you that stork parking is a terrible, no-good marginalizing idea that leaves plenty of people confused and strangely entitled, and of course, our Babies R Us has ELEVENTY MILLION of these godforsaken spots, and I am ALWAYS stuck parking in the back, near the carriage drops, which are always full of carriages that are (IRONY ALERT) broken and hazardous to children, but that’s a story for another day.

Anyway, back to Ikea, where we did what everyone does when they go to Ikea for the first time in a long time, which is tour the entire showroom, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over inexpensive furniture that they do not currently need and fantasizing about buying the entire room that costs only $899! For the whole room! And then, after hours of pointless shopping, finally hitting up the ONE section where they do need things, only to find they are too tired to deal and/or really only wanted the shit in the marketplace anyway. Well, that’s our Ikea story, at least, except for that time we got in a rip-roaring argument over coffee tables that lasted over an hour and kicked off a SIX-YEAR coffee table standoff, which didn’t actually end until we settled on a glass-topped children’s deathtrap at Haverty’s in 2007.

It goes without saying that we still have this coffee table.

(Btw, Holly talks about her recent experiences with Ikea here, and the best part is that all the commenters start sharing their Ikea-based spousal disagreements, and see? Ikea brings people together.)

So we toured the whole thing, ate some Swedish meatballs, walked out with an easel that didn’t come from a dumpster (which will show up today — well, Monday — on Style Lush), intended to get a table and chairs for Sam, but couldn’t find the actual items in the stupid self-service flatpack area, got frustrated, almost lost Sam in a pile of stuffed bunnies and vowed never to go to Ikea again.

The rest of the weekend was relatively uneventful, with the exception of a non-terrifying Sunny puking episode, wherein she ate a bone too fast, swallowed it, and proceeded to empty the contents of her stomach all over our area rug, couch and other surfaces. I, having just gotten over a sinus infection/cold/whatever, starting gagging and subsequently coughing, which resulted in me peeing directly through my pants in a way that I hadn’t done since I was pregnant. Like, I had to CHANGE THEM. God, why does no one TELL you these things?

I remember mentioning this to my OB at my six-week check-up, that things felt strangely … loose, down there, and she actually acted as though it was all temporary, and would return to normal, when what she should have said was, “Yes, why didn’t you know this? You will pee yourself until the end of time. Things are irrevocably broken down there. I’m sorry. Enjoy your baby!”

And finally, I realize that many people think Sam looks like me, but I’m sorry to say, she really doesn’t. Behold, a photo of my husband just past the toddler years — he’s the one in the middle — and if that isn’t my daughter, then my bladder has been restored to full, pre-pregnancy function.

(Click to embiggen.)


At least no one can say it’s the milkman’s baby.

Happy Monday to you!

*ABBA Viva la Sweden! And the Lyekeviksn collection! Or whatever.

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Entry Filed under: Beeber McSteebs,Boston!,General jackassery

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Julie  |  September 26th, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    That is exactly the experience we had on our first Ikea trip in 3 years. If it weren’t for those irresistible crispy chocolate cookies – which I realize I could get directly by going in the exit yet somehow never do – we’d probably never go together again.

    But then again, this is the store that gave away stuffed rats to costumed children on Halloween. Gotta give it to them for that.

  • 2. gwyneth colleen  |  September 27th, 2010 at 8:11 am

    i went to ikea for the VERY FIRST TIME EVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE earlier this year…IN SWEDEN!

    i got some food, and i was telling someone about it later, “…and i got some swedish meatballs, and lingonberry sauce…”
    “i think they just call them ‘meatballs’ there.”

  • 3. Kader  |  September 27th, 2010 at 8:32 am

    The whole bladder snafu (or lack thereof) might be one of the few benefits of a c-section.
    Also, Sam really does have your smile.

  • 4. AndreAnna (Modern Matriarch)  |  September 27th, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Our Ikea experience wasn’t IN the store, it was AFTER when we got home and tried to put it together. We ended up screaming over screwdrivers and cams and lord knows what else and where else he could shove such objects.

    He had to go to work before our side tables were finished so I did them myself, despite the instructions explicitly noting it was a TWO PERSON JOB.

    I put the doors on backwards and they opened the wrong way.

    And ya know what? It’s been seven years and I still refuse to fix them.

  • 5. -R-  |  September 27th, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I had a c-section, but it did not save me from the sneeze/peeing issues. When my allergies are bad, I have to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes so that it will be safe when I sneeze. You’re welcome for sharing this information.

    Also, OMG I can’t believe how much Sam looks like her dad!!!

  • 6. Annie  |  September 27th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I remember being in high school and trying to find a parking space at the mall during Christmas shopping season and pointing out that, “Parking for expectant mothers” signs could be taken as, “Parking for women who one day expect to be mothers” and trying to convince my friend to park there as it was virtually the only space available. I agree on the third trimester or recovering from giving birth sign make over!

  • 7. Christine  |  September 27th, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Those two pictures back to back made me giggle. She (and baby Adam) are adorable.

  • 8. Christine  |  September 27th, 2010 at 10:48 am

    OH and this reminded me that one of my college roommate’s mother had a disabled permit for her vehicle. The disability? Depression. I mean, listen if you can make it to the store, is the depression really so bad you can’t walk the extra distance into the store? No. No it is not.

  • 9. Suzanne  |  September 27th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I am a rule-follower by nature but my one continued act of intentional disobedience is to park in the “Expectant Mother” spots at Babies’R’Us EVERY TIME. Being pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t walk, it just means they know you’ll spend boatloads of money on crap you don’t need because some baby expert on the Today Show said 1 out of every 1,000,000,000,000 x infinity babies die because of non-organic crib sheets and by GOD you are getting the organic ones if it’s the last thing you do. So BRU lets you park up front. But once I had an actual infant I realized it’s the post-partum toting infants who deserve the close parking or risk collapsing with exhaustion and/or blood loss while crossing a parking lot. So I park up front. And now I am both pregnant and carrying around a toddler who can’t be trusted in parking lots so I take up two spots.


    I don’t think our Ikea has family parking, or if they do I’ve never used it. But both Stop & Shop and BJ’s both have two “parents with infants” spots right up front that I LOVE but are usually taken up by handicapped people and/or huge pick-ups with truck nuts and no car seats. Which actually makes me more irate than not having the spots at all.

  • 10. melissa  |  September 27th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    “Yes, why didn’t you know this? You will pee yourself until the end of time. Things are irrevocably broken down there. I’m sorry. Enjoy your baby!”

    I LOVE THAT ! Why oh Why doesn’t anyone ever mention that BEFORE you give birth or get pregnant. Thank you.

  • 11. Life of a Doctor's Wife  |  September 27th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Yes, you have described Ikea to a T. My husband and I always go there with a very specific need in mind… and then get caught up in looking at the ten million other things that we AREN’T going to buy… and then getting exhausted and cranky and hungry and he suggests Swedish meatballs and I stamp my foot like a toddler and pout about how I haaaaaate Swedish meatballs and then we have to wander back through the whole store to get the one thing we needed and then stand in a long line whilst someone buys 35 candle holders that need to be rung up separately and wrapped separately in tissue paper.

    And then we vow never to go back again.

    I imagine pregnancy must be the same way? The excitement of what you will get wipes out any memory of how exhausting and demoralizing the experience is.

  • 12. Shin Ae  |  September 27th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    HA! She does look like him.

    My husband and I are not big fighters. Even when we were first married, in that horrible transitional period, we rarely fought. Except at IKEA, home of giant disagreements.

    Our home could be an IKEA ad, though. Not because it’s styley. It’s just full of IKEA crap. Or whatever you’re supposed to call it. Fantastic bargains. There. That’s better.

  • 13. Shannon  |  September 27th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I always say that I should get to park in the “expectant mother” parking because I EXPECT that my already-born, on-the-outside child will take an hour to walk from the car to the store, and run in front of at least one car on the way.

    Our DMV has an express line for the elderly, disabled, and pregnant. How hard is it to wait at the DMV (in a waiting area with chairs, BTW) while you’re pregnant? Versus waiting with one or more children, which is way harder? But I guess they can’t say “parents with young children” because then they would have people going out of their way to bring children, including children that weren’t their own.

  • 14. Elsha  |  September 27th, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    While I was pregnant I kept reading and hearing about how my bladder control would never be the same and sneezing/coughing/laughing/jumping would forever cause problems. But I am fine. Two kids later (granted, one c-section) things are normal. I haven’t had any issues. Of course, I’m totally jinxing myself by writing this, right? I’m hoping things stay fine through however many kids we end up having.

  • 15. Danell  |  September 27th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    While I am not glad to hear that you pee in your pants somewhat often, I AM glad to hear that it’s NOT JUST ME. Because even my OWN MOTHER points out that she had two kids and doesn’t have that problem. THANKS MOM.

  • 16. Suniverse  |  September 28th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Oh, the peeing. I hate that moment when you realize it’s going to happen and there is NOTHING you can do to stop the sneeze or cough that is somehow triggering the peeing. I have worn pads when I’ve had really bad coughs just to keep my pants dry.

    Also, I NEVER go to IKEA with my husband. NEVER. It’s why we’re married.

  • 17. twojams (Shannon)  |  September 28th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    A few of our local stores have “parent with infant” or “parent with young children” parking, which is cool, although “young” is an eensy bit too open to interpretation. I don’t use the spots–my kids are well past my needing them. I did use the infant ones at that stage though. Now, I’d like one for “mothers with young children who walk interminably slow”.

    That second to last paragraph about that “loose” feeling, YES! Hilarious. Sometimes I do mention that to people that are having babies. I feel like the least I can do to help someone’s postpartum experience is to warn them about the danger of not peeing regularly. The “sploosh” experience, as I like to call it. TAKE HEED, ladies.

  • 18. agirlandaboy  |  September 28th, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I park in the Stork Parking anyway because who will know I’m NOT pregnant? WHO? And even if someone suspects I’m not, are they going to ask? No, they’re not. Therefore: I win and the storks can suck it.

    (I would have done the same thing that day Ben and Jerry’s (I think?) offered free ice cream to pregnant ladies, but I was just too lazy to leave the house–because of all the toddler-related drama that is always involved in changing locations.)

    Also, solidarity on the peeing front, sister.

  • 19. ABDPBT  |  September 29th, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Totally agree on the pregnancy parking — should be for people with newborns or still being carried babies only. Or MAYBE late third trimester. By far the biggest parking and schlepping issues happen after the baby is on the outside of you, by far.

    And the peeing, oy. It does get a little, little better every year. I don’t know if, when you have another child, the clock resets though. The one thing that never gets better is that when you jump, you will never have that 100% control back. Which sucks, say, if you have a 22 year old personal trainer who is a guy, who makes you jump rope, or do jumping jacks regularly. That is why you always have to 1) pee before going to the gym and 2) wear black gym pants. Your welcome.

  • 20. Holly  |  October 5th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    delurking to ask: was that picture taken at Storyland in NH by any chance?

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