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I really appreciated that they had free lockers available near the front door. We all got separated almost immediately and since I am the only Luddite w/o a cell phone there was no way for them to re-find me. Jilly, thankfully, carted my little 3-year-old IKEA shopping princess around but the anxiety that my child might be ruining another mom's shopping day stressed me out the entire time. So after a point of circling back and not finding my friends, I went to checkout, then stuck my sole purchase in a free locker just in time to make the one hour cutoff at Smaland. All in all, a very fun shopping experience. But I will leave the shrimpy kid at home w/a sitter next time :-)

I have been three times with not much to show for it. We dragged Jackie on the second visit, only to have DH announce we would not be having any more children on the return trip home. We can't wait until he's big enough to visit small land!

I was at IKEA on Monday, too, with 4-year-old daughter along. The line at Smaland was inching along too slowly (and my little one was just a little wary without her big brother), so she came along to shop. We grabbed a stuffed alligator to keep her company in the cart and we took a not-too-intense look around. There was just a little whining about wanting some colorful thing, but it was easy to divert her attention to the next colorful thing. We made it out with a couple of small things (including a bag of frozen meatballs that we can't wait to try). IKEA looks like a once-in-a-while place for me.

What Renee and Heather neglected to mention was the feeling of absolute, full-on "GIDDY" we felt upon walking into the Marketplace. For 12 years, I had been shopping at Ikeas in other people's cities; the same could be said about Crate & Barrel. And now I have my own - BOTH OF THEM! No more flipping through the catologs or meandering online. Now we get to touch, smell, hold and swipe (the credit card, that is) to our hearts' content.
I must be said that we did not get upstairs to the Showroom. All the fabulous vignettes that hold so many possibilities of cool for every room in my humble abode, still await me. I was instructed to check out bathroom sinks, but don't buy anything. OK. Whatever.
Who needs a ride to the Airport? What time does your flight get in? How much stuff you could schlep on MAX to feel better about conspicuous, consumptive consumerism?
Wear supportive footwear and leave the kids at home.

Mmmmm, meatballs: get 2 orders - there are only 5 in the $1 cup. And hijack part of your kid's hotdog bun (if you do have to bring them along) to sop up the sauce that lingers in the bottom. Delish.

Our son was seriously injured at IKEA on Sunday while playing - we are getting conflicting stories of how he split his head open and had to be rushed to Doernbecher via ambulance and get MRI, catscan, layers of stitches with sedation...When we were called to Smaland over intercom we found our son lying on mat in bedroom with blood everywhere! Robert had to hunt down a worker because no one noticed him trip over a stool, slam his head into a metal post (they changed it to a wood post make of recycled wood) and made his way to the worker holding his head and crying, blood gushing everywhere. THey are not allowing us to see the video, but we have to pay for a lawyer to get a court order so we can see what happened to our little boy. Attorneys locally are questioning why are there stairs where children play - and if you look at the picture where I am assuming my son fell and hit his head look how close the table is to the post. Doctor at ER said my son will have a huge scar for the rest of his life and told us to take the next year and make sure he has sunscreen to help eliminate scarring if possible. Is it really reasonable for mom or dad to drop off kids for an hour to shop IKEA to return and see their son lying on floor blood everywhere and when ask the worker is son ok - she doesnt answer me which really freaked me out! We sign something that states children play at own risk but they are still supposed to be supervised. I asked IKEA today how many workers were working, and I get told "I dont know" We have already been told 3 different stories as to what happened. Now I really worry about other kids getting hurt on this post - the wound is so incredibly deep we wonder how it could be so deep.

oh my gosh, cathy!! i'm so sorry that happened to your son! i'm thinking of the times i take my kids to the gym or fred meyer and just assuming that they are being taken care of as i would take care of them. please keep us posted on the situation. there has to be something you can do? i know you sign a waiver but i think it's reasonable to assume that they aren't at life threatening risk when they enter. ugh...

IKEA Portland is great. It has alot of friendly people, and great meatballs. Smaland is the best, why do I say this, because I am a preveious employee. And it's probably the best area of IKEA to work in. You get to watch cartoons and watch little kids play. But I would like to say somthing.....I remember the situation with the little boy falling and hurting his head. Which was horiable! And I feel so bad about what happend. We did the best we could to help him out until our first aid people arrived. But you said that there were metal posts on the stairs.....theres no metal post anywhere in the whole area. And we have stairs so kids can get up to the other level where the ball pit it, and so they can get up to the loft so they can watch movies. OH and another thing, if you complain about we shouldnt have movies because you dont want your child to watch tv...THEN DONT PUT YOUR CHILD IN SMALAND!!! And for the how many coworkers...there are 2 cowkers for every 12 kids. 1 coworker checking in/checking out kids, the other watching the kids. They are hiring alot of new people, and if you asked a new person how many coworkers should there be, they wouldnt know because there NEW! So maybe thats the reason for the "i dont know" answer. Yes there are some saftey issues I even have a problem with, the rock wall, I wanted that gone, there needed to be rubber stairs insted of wood, and I have told ikea, they said they'll look into it. So, I don't know about that. But for my final sentance....STOP COMPLAINING PARENTS, ITS A FREE SERVICE! if your child is too short, come back in a month, if your child is in diapers still, tell them if they can go poddy by themselves, they can play in smaland. It has worked for a few kids that have been in there. And yeah, its only an hour, but there are alot of kids who want to play in smaland, so....HUSH! STOP COMPLAINING! Other than that...I loved working in smaland, and the girls in there are great!!!!

This last comment, even though a little odd, reminded me of a situation a few months ago. I went to check the boys in and my youngest was just tall enough and he was ready to go and then she said "Is he potty trained?" I said "yes" and she said "Well he can't wear a pull-up." Okay. That's fine. So my options were to take his pull-up off and send him in or break his heart and drag him with me. He is potty trained....he has been for a long time. When we are going to be away from the house for an extended period of time, I sometimes put a pull up on him. Not because he wets his pants but because I fear that long walk to the potty when I am in stores or parks.
So anyway, I asked her "if I take the pull-up off of him and could he then come in" and she said "sure". And then I said, "do you ever have accidents in there?" and she said "Oh Yes, all the time." And I'm thinking...if you let them wear a pull-up you wouldn't have accidents. So, my kiddo went commando at IKEA.

I am very sorry for a child getting hurt at IKEA! It would be beneficial to let everyone know how that turns out after the lawyer and everything. I have read the last three comments and realize we are on this site to share. Let's share nicely and not attack one another. As for accidents...unfortunately they happen and I'm sure my second child will qualify for a frequent ER punch card. I can barely turn my back without him getting hurt. Sorry again for the accident!

I don't think I've seen any employee in Smaland that looks like they're happy to be there. Even my kids say they are grumpy and short with the kids. I even hear them rolling their eyes as they huddle together (instead of mingling with the kids, aka supervising) and complaining about how much they get paid. If you don't like working in Smaland, STOP COMPLAINING and get another job. I'm not a fan of the TV (which is 1/2 the playspace), especially when a scarier movie is playing, but at IKEA pdx, they clearly don't want to interact with the kids. It could be better in there (see IKEA Seattle), but I still use it once in a while because heck, sometimes a mama is desperate for a break!

I hope everyone understood that in my comment, the word "accident" was referring to potty.
I read the comment about the child's actual horrible head injury when it was originally posted. The conversation that I had with the young girl at Ikea was about a whole different type of accident. Hope I didn't confuse the issue, I just thought it was silly.

This comment is for w who posted comment on August 26,2008. Do your kids see this all the time that the workers are not watching the kids or just once did it happen?

And for Jesicca who used to work at IKEA Smaland, do you mean that 1 worker has to be with the kids and the other worker has to be checking in kids so the one worker who is checking in kids do not count toward that ratio requirement? I am little confused about who sets these guidelines? I've been to Fred Meyer play land and they have only one worker for kids and check in. I hope they have enough people working to keep kids safe at Freddy's.

And another question about the pull up. Do they kick kids out if a pull up is found on them? Freddy's doesnt care if the child is potty trained or not. I wonder why one day care does and the other doesnt. It would make it easier for all parents if kids could be potty trained or not.

Lisa, regarding the pull-up. The girl at IKEA asked me if my boy was potty trained. I said Yes. She said, does he have a pull-up on? I said Yep. She said, we can't let kids in who have pull-ups on. I stood there confused. So, right in front of her, I took the pull up off of him. She let him in.

I am posting agian...answering some questions. When I worked there, this is the way it was....if there was 1 person checking kids in, and only 1 person in the play area with the kids. Then only 12 kids could come in. Until more employees came. So if there were 2 people in the back with the kids then 24 kids could come in. I do agree about the TV really being what we have to offer, but then agian if you dont want your child watching tv and they come in and watch tv, we cant really stop them and pay attention to them when theres more kids to watch. I know that some of the girls that got hired right before I left werent liking it very much and I was trying to get rid of them. At the time I was pregnate with my 2nd child, so I could do as much interacting with the kids but I'd try. I'd love watching them dance to the songs at the end of disney movies, which are what are aloud in smaland, I'm not sure where this scary movie would come from. Maybe the vilian in one, but all movies have a vilian. I don't know about the coworkers that are there today, but I loved working there. I just couldnt put up with the parents that complained about a free service. And regaurding pull-ups...when I was there, kids were not allowed in unless they were fully potty trained and had big kid underwear on. And yes we have had to kick kids out who were wearing pullups on because they were not allowed. And yes we have found a few diapers. We are not allowed to help the child go potty. And if they do need help button there pants, we always have another coworker there to supervise what we were doing. But its just a caution, sanitary thing. Because what if the child pooped and hes in smaland for a whole hour....not very comfortable for the child. Trust me I'm a mother of 3. They may have changed there rules since me being there for letting kids in with pullups. So, I'm not sure. And yes, they do need more to do there I think. I want them to get rid of the rockwall, too dangerous. I've had kids who throw tantrums, wouldnt listen, and get kicked out. And those would be the older kids that would be right at the line before being too tall. It's like come on, grow up....the 4 year old listens better than the 8 year old. :P We have had our scares with kids getting hurt too. We take action, the girl I was with when the little boy split his head open, she took her work shirt off to stop the bleeding, while I led the other kids to the tv area so they can be destracted and away from the blood until there parents got there to pick them up. She was going to school to be a nurse, so she took very good care of that little boy. (dont worry she had a shirt on underneath)....The ones who are sour faces that work there, prolly are the young ones right out of high school, never delt with a little kid before. I know if I could I'd go back in a heart beat....I loved seeing the ones who come back every day almost. Was nice. If you give the girls a chance and not be all snippy towards them, they might not be snippy towards you. So be nice parents, like I keep saying its a freakin free service! They do have coment boxes too that the kids can even fill out....that they should be reading. I know we did when I worked there. But if you ask them "should I just take the pullup off" and they say yes for them to come in, leave the pullup on, better them to have to pullup on and have an accident than going comando and having to have your child have wet or poopie pants and having to leave smaland.

and another thing with the Ikea seattle...we went there for training before the Portland one opened, and yes they had way better stuff, but didnt like the rules they had for age groups. Only 3-4 yr olds could go into the ball bit, and then the older kids can go into the slides and climbing stuff, that was the only thing I didnt like. But they did have a better layout, and lots more stuff. So I agree seattle smalland is a little better with stuff to do. And I do wish Portland would get the computer sign up insted of having the parents fill out the paperwork. Computer would make it so much easyer, and more organized I think.

My kids (3 and 5) have been in Small Land three times and did ok. They like the way it looks, but seem to come out of there thinking it wasn't as fun as they expected. I feel comfortable leaving them in there for an hour, but am not overly impressed with the staff either. They seem to be more like supervisors than interacting childcare providers. The check-in person has never been friendly and the process is very slow, especially if you have to wait for other kids to leave so they won't be above their allowed numbers. I don't get the pull-up rule either. If they have an accident and are in a pull-up, call the parents in. It's not that hard to deal with. I really don't like the pagers they use. They vibrate, but there is no way to hook it on to you, so how are you supposed to feel it? I can't hold it the whole time and push the cart around. Luckily the one time I was paged, I could hear it vibrating, but it really should either beep or be a smaller one you can wear.

é muito legal o local pena que aqui no brasil nao tenha!

I am a Smaland co-worker... The the answer to the questions regarding the pull-ups as I understand is that because of the ballpit the children need to be FULLY potty trained. If a child comes in a pull up then apparently their parents don't trust them in their car without it. If they have on a soiled pull-up in the ballpit, that becomes a sanitary concern. According to our county it is a health code violation to allow the pull-up. The children MUST be potty trained. If you are taking off their pull-up for them to play, you should have been confident enough in their training not to have to put it on to ride in the car or walk in the store. Accidents happen, but if you are assuming one will happen with you, then you should probably assume they will happen when your child is playing.

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