10 Places to Look When You've Lost Your Kid in IKEA. Again.

Admit it. This has happened to you. I’m a grown adult and I’ve gotten lost in IKEA. It’s like a gigantic labyrinth stuffed to the bowels with enticingly inexpensive furniture.  I’m just gonna run in for a roll of easel paper and I walk out with three light fixtures, a birdcage, and a collection of kitchen utensils that I had no idea I needed.

Those savvy Swedes. They suck you in. Every damn time.


IKEA claims that I can leave my children with them in Smaland, where they will have a cozy romp among mini chairs that look like psychedelic mushrooms. I would like to believe that’s true, but I’m suspicious. Every time I happen to go to IKEA, Smaland is always closed.

It says they accept potty-trained children 37-54 inches tall. That’s like having a unicorn. Pretty sure those don’t exist. 

So I get to shop with children in tow. Lucky me. And we all know how that ends. You get distracted by that expanse of pristine sofa, tuck your feet up for just a minute to convince yourself it’s totally uncomfortable, and poof. They’re gone. Into the vast, terrifying territory of a showroom where you’re certain they are touching all the things. All of them.

If you, too, have lost your kid in IKEA again, I’d like to suggest you start looking in the following places:  

It’s likely your child is probably...

IKEA Lost Kid

1: Standing at the top of the escalator

Staring in fascinated horror at the metal teeth that march up and down like ravenous monsters. Step away slowly, sweetie. Yes, those things eat fingers. All the time. It happens in China like once a day.

2: In one of the mock kitchens

Opening and slamming shut every damn cupboard in the place. Or perhaps your charming offspring is rifling through the fridge for snacks and leaving all those snotty, smudgy fingerprints all over the stainless steel. Classy move, kid.

3: Trying all the beds

Like an adorable version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. This one is too soft, this one too hard. Nah. Never mind. Your kid is the jackass jumping on the bed and catching some serious air.

4: Hiding under the dining room tables and giggling the second they catch sight of you

As if you totally can’t see them down there, like little trolls under the brilliant fluorescents.

IKEA Lost Kid

5: Scaling a Hermes bookcase like a boss

You got that anchored to the wall, right IKEA?

6: Spinning around in one of those desk chairs until they puke

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

7: Cleaning up toys and putting them away in the children’s section

Hey, wait! Why can’t they do that at home? The price of a Lillabo wooden train set, $9.99. Finding out you’ve been catfished by your three-year-old? Priceless.

8: Smooshing their little faces up against the glass in the café

Salivating over cinnamon roll smell as if they’re starving orphans from a Dickens novel. It doesn’t matter if you fed them two granola bars on the way to IKEA. That was like an entire hour ago.

IKEA Lost Kid

9: Sipping from all the green cups in market hall

Only the green cup, Mom! Any other color is unacceptable. Sweet Jesus. Seriously. Stay away from the red cups. That’s a tantrum no one should have to watch.

10: In housewares

playing with knives. It’s okay. Those things are dull as shit. Don’t panic. The money you’ll save on buying a three piece Andlig knife set will pay for the ER visit anyway.

Congratulations on recovering your kiddo in IKEA. Good luck making it out without emptying your bank account. May the odds be ever in your favor!

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