Today we popped to the garden centre because that is basically what you do when you have kids.
We had absolutely zero intention of buying any plants – don’t be silly, I don’t need more things to keep alive – but they have a cafe, a play area, and fish…and that’s classed as a day out in this family.
We had lunch, they had a run about, the big one went on an inflatable sea lion-boat (it’s a fancy garden centre) we browsed the toys, we didn’t feed the fish because I didn’t have a 50p. Then we went to see the sheds.
Let me explain (although I know you didn’t ask); it is the same garden centre from which we purchased our home office. The company that sell them have display log cabins, and one of them is currently made out like a kids’ playroom.
Having spent a lot of money with them, I feel no guilt in letting the kids sit in there and play when we visit.
Yes it’s meant to be a show room, but I’m sure they absolutely don’t mind two sticky children treading all over the show-furniture whilst people browse, it gives it a feel of authenticity.
They had kitted it out from Ikea, complete with a sofa.
The sofa was just big enough for an adult and two children to sit and read a story, and it had what looked like easily removable and washable covers. I thought ‘we should get one of these for the kids’ room, I’m fed up of sitting on the floor. It hurts my bum’ and so it was somewhat spontaneously decided that we would pop over the Dartford bridge to Essex to visit Ikea on a Saturday with two small children in tow to purchase a Knopparp (really).
As it happens, it wasn’t too bad.
The last time I went to Ikea it was just the Whingelets and I. One of the children’s rooms was made out completely in pink and I have to quite literally drag the big one away whilst bribing her with a bed-tent; the most pointless and scrunchy thing in the entire world.
I couldn’t even find whatever it was I actually went for. This time we had back up from Daddy and made it out of the children’s section unscathed.
We picked up some more bowls.
The small one has just developed a life-or-death preference for blue and will NOT eat his porridge out of anything else and to be honest I don’t have that much fight in me at 7am when I’ve already been awake for an hour and a half.
We found the sofa, and then spent another £60 on random crap (a clock, a lamp, some plants, you know…essentials) as you do. Honestly, I get it all back and wonder where the hell I’m going to put it but when I’m there I NEED to buy it otherwise I might get home and realise my grave mistake and have to live in misery forever.
After a quick stop in the Ikea restaurant because you’d be a fool not to, we thought we’d push our luck and pop to the shops while we were there; it was that or make the trip home in rush hour. The small one is turning two in a few weeks and we thought we’d better get him some kind of present, and the big one has suddenly had a growth spurt and all her trousers look cropped and the sleeves on her cardigans go up to her elbows.
After an epic journey around Toys R Us and then Primark, in which I also bought loads of stuff I ostensibly did not need, it was almost 6.30pm by the time we thought about dinner and almost 8pm – a whole hour after bedtime – by the time we clambered back into the car to go home. Despite changing them both into newly purchased pyjamas in a hopeful gesture, they both stayed awake and chatty the whole way back.
It was half nine before all went quiet upstairs.
Experience tells me this won’t mean a lie-in past 5.15am (ouch, right?) but I thought I’d have a well-earned glass of wine which I promptly threw up the wall, accidentally you understand. It was then that I thought we should probably attempt to make this sofa.
Just kidding, I’m not an idiot. I don’t want to end a good day with the inevitable flat-pack fight; that can wait until tomorrow (did I tell you the one about when we made the bookshelves and he put pieces in backwards so the chipboard was showing? Genius).
Instead, we ate Jaffa Cakes, watched TV (can anyone guess what it might have been?) and I wrote this. Saturday night done well I’m sure you’ll agree.
PS By way of an update, I built the damn thing (single handedly, check me out) and now my kids are refusing to sleep because it’s so exciting to have a sofa in their room. So that backfired.