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Archive for June 13th, 2011

Totally Helpless at Totally Kids

Monday, June 13th, 2011

I heard the pitter-patter of little feet in the hallway at 9 p.m. and knew that life was about to change.

“I’m out,” my three year old announced triumphantly.

I had planned to keep him in his crib through high school. Instead, he’s taunting me with his liberation – flipping himself in and out of bed, encouraging me to raise the side, only to watch him hurdle over it at his leisure. “You’re going to break a bone!” I hear myself shrieking – a prospect that should be scarier than realizing I have become my mother, except the kid has already broken his arm three times. And that was before he ever broke out of the crib.

So we’re bed shopping. I’m not a fan of toddler beds – hate the idea of spending money on something I know I’m going to have to replace by kindergarten. I’ve been casing the Room & Board Outlet every weekend this past month to no avail. I should have known when I got my older son’s bed for half price that I wouldn’t get that lucky twice.

Pottery Barn Kids and Land of Nod are a bit too traditional for my taste – and expensive. HOM, while more budget-friendly, just didn’t speak to me. The time had come to explore Totally Kids – the “fun furniture and toy store” just south of I-494 on Portland Avenue. My mistake: Bringing my kids. Now they know that beds more fun than cartoons are available for purchase. Now they know that I’m the mean mother who won’t buy a bunk bed. I’m not talking about the classic one-twin-stacked-on-another bunks of my youth, rather, virtual amusement parks with slides and fire houses and a tree house theme. As if it isn’t difficult enough to get kids to sleep?

Just when you think you’ve seen the last bunk, there’s more. Totally Kids just keeps going. The company is local and family owned, but because most of its business is online, the store is set up like a warehouse with an enormous amount of inventory (including some sale items). Besides beds, there’s a front room full of toys (upscale brands like Melissa & Doug), other kid furnishings. In back, you’ll also find retro dining tables.

But bunk beds are the centerpiece. Because I am the Mean Mom Who Won’t Buy Her Kid A Bunk Bed, I had to ask a sales associate: Really?  There’s really this much interest in bunk beds?

And then some, apparently. Interest spans from little monkeys like mine to college students, who like a lofted bed to create space for a desk or lounge area below. And as the downsizing of America continues, more kids are sharing bedrooms, making bunk beds the practical option. Not that there’s much practical about the “Frankie’s Fun Fort” model with curtains, flags and, of course, a slide.

Four hours later, I finally pulled my boys to the door. We still don’t have a bed. My toddler is probably swinging from the crib as I type. At least I have a new place to take my kids on rainy days. Perhaps I could even catch a brief nap (the Sleeping Beauty Twin Castle Loft Bed beckons) while they fantasize about nicer parents.
Totally Kids, 7876 Portland Ave. S., Bloomington, 952-881-2425

Hot at West End

Monday, June 13th, 2011

It’s a mystery why the Shops at West End is still struggling to fill its St. Louis Park lifestyle center when several of the businesses there are already expanding. The latest is Hot Mama, which plans to add space behind the current store. Founder/CEO Megan Tamte says she has been pleasantly surprised by the traffic at West End and the store needs more room to keep up.

Hot Mama joins Cooper, which is adding square footage to its dining room, Rojo, which took over its own pizza spot to add a party room, and Crave, which opened a second concept, Sopranos, at West End.

Meanwhile, there hasn’t been an announcement of a retail opening to fill one of the many lingering vacancies since White House/Black Market, which opened in May. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved