22 Jun 2024
Daddy State: The Battle of Flat Pack City
Family Lifestyle

Daddy State: The Battle of Flat Pack City

As an American father of three and resident in Sweden since 2001, there is little YLC’s new columnist Joel Sherwood doesn’t know about the danger zones of Stockholm living…

Sweden is a pretty safe place. But there are some pockets of danger to watch out for, especially if you have kids. One of those is the IKEA restaurant at lunchtime on a Sunday.

We made the mistake of entering the fray at this red zone with three hungry children. We had already invaded the cafes, so those no longer stood as contingency plans. The only options we had were to engage in battle and stand in the long line, hoping that the twenty people in front of us weren’t also ordering for families of five, or abort the mission and begin the equally treacherous retreat to the exit. Of course there we’d face additional adversity at the check-out and hot dog counters. It was grim.

We decided to stand our ground and attack the restaurant queue. We called it The Surge.

I only have myself to blame. These were not “unknown unknowns”. As a Swedish resident and father of three, I’ve had a number of tours of duty leading the troops into and out of the vast land of IKEA.

And as an American who reads the newspapers, I should know the risks of entering quagmire terrain that is hard to pull out of. But we survived and even managed to capture some ice cream for dessert in the restaurant. The Surge really did work.

However, we all have battle fatigue. We went through so much on Sunday, we will be reluctant to enter any other red zones in Stockholm; such as The Vasa Museum or Junibacken, the Pippi Longstocking-inspired theme house, on a rainy Saturday.

We’re going to focus on our domestic issues for a while. We have enough internal problems to worry about.

Like putting together the IKEA furniture we just bought.


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