Mr. 12 was away for a week as camp school a short while ago. The Engineer was away for the same week. Such alignment in my universe rarely happens…

The Engineer and I decided that a new bed at least was in order. Mr. 12 could decide which bed he wanted as this bed would be the one to last from now until he leaves home or 10 years. Which ever comes first. I measured his room, I measured the car and it appeared that self transport would be the order of the day. When The Engineer and I bought our bed two years ago we had to hire a van to bring it home.

Sunday afternoon we delivered The Engineer to the airport and continued to Ikea. I’d forgotten how busy Sunday afternoons are here. So measuring tape in hand and pencils in pocket we set off. Mr. 12 mentioned that a bedside table might be nice. I filed this away for future reference, even though we were there JUST for a bed. Then we got to the desk zone. Now Mr. 12 had a desk, quite large and flat and pretty well decorated (model paints, glues, stickers and other non-identifiable substances) It’s also far to big for his room. I snapped a shot and forwarded to The Engineer. Purchase was agreed upon and so this was added to the shopping list.

Desk as it appears in the showroom

That was mistake # 1. The dimensions looked about right to slide into the corner beside his wardrobe. As I have a huge loathing for the Ikea shopping experience, I was not in any hurry to return.

We continued to the bedding department where Mr. 12 lay on various combinations of beds and mattresses. Decision was made in record time. Next we had to choose the legs. Solid wooden chunks were the order of the day. From bedding you meander in Ikea style to the children’s department and then faced with the option of heading left to the buffet or right, down the stairs and into the little stuff and soft furnishings. Mr. 12 was hanging out for the meatballs so we turned left. Just at the minute Mr. 12 looks panic-stricken – phone, I’ve lost my phone! Okay, we’ll just retrace our steps, we haven’t stopped in many places, and maybe someone has found it. First was a toilet stop. As I was washing my hands, an announcement came over the PA that a mobile phone had been handed in and could be collected from the bedding department. I can only presume that it slipped from his pocket during one of the test lie downs.

We retrieved the phone and continued to have some food: meatballs for the young man and some vegetarian lentil thing for me. Texture was a bit iffy, the taste however was really good and spicy.

Through soft furnishings we wandered and then Mr. 12 exclaims – my hat, I left it in the café! Good day for losing things it would seem. Back we trek. Hat firmly in place we continue. We pick out some art pieces for the wall and a couple of storage boxes for our wall unit. Up until now we didn’t really need a trolley. Now as we head into the rows of shelves stacked high with pick it out yourself flat-packs it is trolley time.

The desk comes in two boxes and part of the bed is rolled super tight and looks like yoga mat. It appears we shall need a second trolley for the bed. Hmm, this shopping trip is really starting to annoy me now. We pay at the cashier, who then instructs us to continue to the warehouse desk where we can collect our bed.

Pick a number, join the queue. Mr. 12 has also lost patience with the process and gets very grumpy when I ask him to watch the trolley while I’m at the counter. Finally, I see our bed arrive. Along with another customers purchase. We have to wait while the clerk double checks that the right thing is going to the right person. Then finally we are in the lift heading to the loading bay.

Mr. 12 is in dire need of liquid refreshment, so I send him to the kiosk for some sugar loaded bubbly drink. He returns and I set about locating the car and finding a free slot in the loading bay. Now comes the funnest part of the day. First everything out of the car. Seats moved forward (at this stage I’m not sure if I can even drive the car in this state), back seats laid flat and the bed is slid in. A nice man loading next to us helps with the last little bit. Of course, now I wonder ‘how will we get this out of the car again?’. The other items are loaded in and we are set.

Mr. 12 gets to ride shotgun, a rare pleasure for him. Although on the trip home he said it’s nicer to sit in the back, because then you don’t see how fast the car is going. I was squished up against the windscreen and not enjoying the experience one little bit.

We made it home and I managed to manoeuvre the car into an unloading position. One of Mr. 12’s friends, E arrived shortly after we did and was a welcome addition to the unloading team. Fortunately all boxes made it up the stairs and into our apartment with minimum damage or muscle strain.

Stay tuned for part II, when everything is removed from the room and there is much teeth gnashing and tears of frustration over the construction of the desk.