The new bed installed.

The new bed installed.

This is one of those stories we’ll be telling to death. A piece of our family lore.

Some two months ago, Calvin began commenting that his bed — at that point his crib — was “too small for me.” “I need a big bed…I’m a tall boy.” We have no idea where these ideas coalesced, but had ourselves been wondering when the transition moment would arrive.  Given his athletecism, I found it suprising that he hadn’t been climbing in and out the bed, but chalked up his reluctance on having learned caution from one occasion in which he flung himself over the top of the railing.

I spent, probably too much time, examining the options. Would a twin bed be too big a jump?  What about an extenable bed? A toddler bed? Could one really justify the cost of one of those spiffy beds in the Pottery Barn Kids catalogue? What sorts of people can afford the offerings at Posh Tots?

In the end, we took a pragmatic decision. Take a family trip to IKEA. I thought it would be fun, an induction for my mom who was visiting us; a possibility of hanging out in the playroom and the inevitable salmon or Swedish meatball meal. It turns ut “fun” was not the right adjective.

At least we identified the objective of our visit, the new bed, fairly early on. Calvin flung himself onto a blue Kritter bed declaring, “This is my bed. My bed is blue!” and then declining to get out of it. Unfortunately we experienced possibly the worst customer service ever, combined with the masses of shoppers and that did not make for a pleasant experience. The cherry on top, though, was the fact that apparently IKEA Brooklyn’s warehouse management isn’t all that it should be.

After wading through fields of merchandise, we finally made it to the warehouse and found… that items are not in the aisles or bins they’re supposed to be. After much consultation, it turned out that the beds that ought to have been on the shelves, were unaccounted for. We were advised to watch the website for inventory changes and return in about two weeks.

Two weeks later, I returned. Having dutifully checked the website and called the store to verify that the bed was in stock. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised to discover that… 13 beds had been mislaid… or perhaps were “blind confirmed” and had actually never been delivered… Regardless, these beds were not going to be found until some warehouse worker went to place something in an aisle and bin somewhere that was supposed to be empty and found, to his/her surprise, a pallet of children’s beds.

Milestone: Calvin's first sleep in his 'big bed'.

Milestone: Calvin's first sleep in his 'big bed'.

Now add to the context that it cost us the equivalent of the cost of the inexpensive bed for transport to and from IKEA. So at this point, we could have bought two beds, but had yet to lay our hands on a single one, despite doing our due diligence. In the end, I had to undertake an IKEA-to-IKEA relay (at the cost of a few more beds) from Brooklyn to Hillside, where they thankfully had the bed. Were it not for Calvin’s refusal to entertain any other bed and insistence that this was his bed, we’d have abandoned the quest. Fortunately he loves his bed and is enjoying his fifth night of sleep in it.

The lesson learned is not to fall for false economies. That spiffy offering from Pottery Barn comes out a winner on the cost-benefit analysis and ROI, and we know their service not only exists, but is actually good.  We don’t plan to spend another cent at IKEA, it’s simply not worth it from any point of view. We got what we paid for.

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