the things we do for sisters

I had a free Wednesday a few weeks back, which is rare, because I watch my niece every Wednesday. So a free day where Beth was also free was a day that just needed to have something in it. I mean I was brainstorming all kinds of crazy things. Baltimore? Philly? I have never seen The Liberty Bell! But their basement is almost completely finished and she had this couch sectional she wanted and it was from Ikea and so therefore in boxes and my dad's truck was available as was my mother to drive that while the van held the kids sooo.... That was the decision. And also the longest sentence ever.

We walked in there looking like this (photo courtesy of Letty), armed with naught but a sofa name and our baby wraps. The two bigger children tested out the jumpability of each and every couch. More than once. But she found her couch and got her list of needed ingredients that mixed together would somehow add up to a lovely sectional.

We were told for $40 the lovely staff of Ikea would find the six boxes and load them into my father's truck. But then another Ikea staff member said since it was only six boxes he would get them off the shelf and onto a cart and if we pushed it through the cashier line ourselves we would be spared the $40. He also said that someone would assist us in loading the vehicle up at the curb. I'm sure he was just trying to get the three crazy ladies and four children out the door... but if it sounds as confusing to you as it was to us then we are on equal ground here. We took the kids out to the van and left them with Nonna... two of them screaming. All of them hungry. The carts were quite fun to negotiate around large pallets of glass mason jars but you know, we survived. At the curb Beth went to find the helpful staff while I successfully backed up my dad's truck into one single parking spot. I figure I could basically pass my CDL right now.

And then stuff gets ridiculous. The staff member threw the boxes into the truck bed and walked away, having ripped one of them. Two of these boxes weighed over 120 pounds. These two boxes happened to be longer than the truck bed and so the hatch would not close, which I'm no expert, but I think that sort of needs to happen when one is driving 1.5 hours on a highway. We drove the truck to the van to make a plan. We had bungee cords and three collegiate degrees between us adults. We could do this. I started feeding Dom while my mom checked with my dad about this gate situation that would extend the truck bed. I even fed Dom in the bright of day in the parking lot.... After much discussion and quite a lot of elbow grease and sweating and internal debates of returning the damn couch we figured it out. Between Beth and I we could lift the boxes on an angle and my mother was able to pull the gates out henceforth protecting the precious couch from ending up in the middle of the highway. Not. As. Easy. As. It. Sounds.

We all joked (was it joking?) that we needed a stiff drink after that. But once there was some (read: a lot, I debated crying) disappointment in wait time at the California Pizza Kitchen we just found the closet restaurant, The Greene Turtle, and cut our losses. With very good food I might add. Which mister big boy with the popped collar enjoyed - turkey!

Is there a moral to the story? Perhaps. Maybe don't go to get a sectional with four children and three adult women who suffer from back issues? Maybe pay the $40 to have them load it for you? Maybe bring a man? Which I sort of hate to say because I mean....I can do it myself thankyouverymuch. Probably most definitely make sure the gate extension is out before loading because those Ikea staff members ain't so helpful.

But maybe the moral is to look for the funny in any situation. Quite the adventure we had on our hands. Quite the adventure. And as I drove home with the four kids in the van I couldn't help but snicker at the shit show we must have looked like.