I used to think that buying a new car was a difficult process, fraught with all kinds of buying criteria and price related compromises. Then I discovered the world of the baby conveyance device.
Isn’t a pushchair was just something on wheels to push your Small around in? Well, it is. But only in so much as a car is a metal box with four wheels that moves you from A to B.
The car analogy is probably not the best one because I knew a little bit about cars and had formed opinions about what features were important to me. If someone had asked me to imagine my ideal car it would have sprung to mind with little thought. But I had no idea where to start with a Small buggy.
My first visit to the baby hypermarket left me stunned, firstly by the vast array of buggies available and secondly by the price tags. I am not even going to attempt to cover the options here, I do not have the space. Needless to say, a visit to the store and a couple of hours chatting to a sales assistant will start to make things clearer. What I will point out is that a quick search on a popular online store in the UK revealed buggies ranging in price from under £100 to over £1,000. If money is no restriction Silver Cross had a couple of limited edition models:
- Silver Cross Aston Martin Surf 2, £3000 [I don’t think you can actually surf with it].
- Silver Cross Balmoral, £5000.
Like top end cars, the only real reason to own one of these is to show that you can. It is purely a status symbol to indicate to everyone else that you have it, whilst they do not. Of course, it is a little perverse because it is highly unlikely that someone who can afford one of these models is ever going to push it, that will be the job of the nanny. It is a bit like having a Rolls Royce that is only ever driven by the chauffeur.
Nevertheless, like cars, you can pitch in and buy the most brag worthy buggy within your price range and strut about parading it like a young peacock. After struggling about the town with a juggernaut of a tandem buggy for a year (see Calming) I persuaded my partner that we needed a more manageable twin buggy. Yes, with its 5 point safety harnesses, lie flat seat positioning, lockable front swivel wheel (with suspension), foot operated parking brakes, ergonomic soft foam handles, removable bumper bar, sponge clean seat covers, adjustable hood and massive under seat storage it was practical (I even went and measured the width of the narrowest point of the pavement on my regular route into town to prove it would fit) but the main, unvoiced, buying criteria was that it was sporty as hell. Ferrari red, with three wheels for ultimate one handed controllability, multi-adjusting seat positioning and built in cup holders, it was the doiden’s bollocks.
Incidentally, remember that car I imagined at the beginning of this section? I’ve had to forget all about that. With a Small in tow I needed a car with a massive boot, a high ceiling for easy access and, as more Smalls arrived, pop up seats in the boot. In addition it needed roof bars and a tow bar for the roof box and trailer I needed to carry all the junk I couldn’t fit in the boot. Remember that phrase about the only thing not taken was the kitchen sink? Well, we used to travel with the baby bath. Does that count?
Not so much a parenting guide full of advice, more the reality of parenting kids and being a house husband and father, written by a stay at home dad to three children.
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