Slice of Life: Nesting Instincts

Just beyond the attractive patio furniture, the yellow walled escalator beckoned. We turned and stepped onto the toothed staircase. We knew the dangers; the many temptations that could detract us from our mission.  If one dares enter, one must have either explicit intentions or no time constraints. My colleague Michelle and I had the former.

At the top, we stepped off and into the mouth of the multi-story behemoth named IKEA.


Days before this venture, Michelle had scouted out the terrain and had decided on storage containers for grade level math manipulatives.  Procuring those and some cushions for chairs defined our quest.

We entered, walking boldly past tables and baskets, shiny metallic containers and neatly arranged desks. Down and around and around we went until we came to the floor that housed bins of chair cushions named Muttla and Meelka, Malika and Medina. Similar, yet different. Decisions about color, size, price and two filled shopping carts later, we move on.

Down and around and around.

Swirling purples and greens attract me to the sheets that could be bulletin board covering. I consider. Two sets. Was it walking in circles or the bins that dislocated my monetary sensibilities? A glance at the price point sobers me, and my hands unclench. The package falls harmlessly back into the bin.

Down and around again.

We arrive at the container floor. Reaching our goal, we survey the merchandise; consider the possibilities of durability, convenience, and price. Decisions made we count and recount our stacks and hurry to the stairs that lead to the exit.

Breathless at check out we marvel at our conquest.

“Only teachers and pregnant women come to IKEA,” Michelle quips. I laugh, and we talk about the parents we’ve seen over the years, fussing over cribs and changing tables.

Teachers and pregnant women. Nesting. Preparing for our brood.  Only a strong primal instinct would allow such a dangerous journey.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for Slice of Life Tuesdays. Read more slices here.



15 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Nesting Instincts

  1. I agree with Barbara… this was delightful! I love how you crafted this piece and now you have me itching to go to Ikea!!

  2. I LOVED this slice! I am feeling the magnetic pull to go to IKEA in the coming days! My quest is usually “just” for more book containers, but as you say, the store draws you in and who knows what I will leave with!? You described it all well! I would say, pregnant women, teachers, and those new to town.

  3. This trip through IKEA is hilarious. I’ve only been in Austin, TX when Martha was in college there. As you said, it’s a great place for nesting.

  4. You nailed the experience of a trip to IKEA perfectly! Isn’t it amazing how they almost have a way of trapping you on the inside and making you walk around every floor — the entire floor — before leading you to an exit?

  5. This was a great slice. You captured the feeling teachers have as they get ready, and how they have to work within financial constraints. A friend and I are going book shopping today, looking for additions to our classroom libraries.

  6. You had me at IKEA! Now that I’m in the library, I shop there less for work, more for personal items. This summer is especially exciting, as we’ll be in nesting mode to outfit our son’s freshman college dorm room–whoohoo!

  7. I love our IKEA, and have found many treasures there, an awesome place. What fun to go with your colleague on this adventure. Your description took me there, maybe time for another visit?

  8. I knew it had to be Ikea when you were describing the around and around. I had to laugh and share with Mike your words because last week we were in Ikea and he said exactly what you said, “This is full of teachers and pregnant women.” I told him, it was a good think Ikea wasn’t around when I was in the classroom. You showed remarkable strength in putting something back. Enjoy the finds you brought back to your class.

  9. Oh man. You have me howling with this slice! I could actually feel my heart start racing at the thought of roaming along the arrowed path that weaves it’s way among and around each IKEA “department.” Oh the stuff that ends up in our carts! And doesn’t the parking garage feel like you are at an airport? But wait. Did you eat in the restaurant? That’s part of the fun! 🙂

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