Our Little Fella has wheels. After many bewildering trips to several shops all peddling seemingly identical buggies we have decided on his ride. Apparently, according to friends with kids, this is the one area where Dads in the park get to show off in a “mine is bigger than yours ….. mine has three handbrakes and alloy wheels whilst yours only has one crappy foot brake!” way. As such this was important, I am a gadget monster, The Boy’s buggy needed to be gadgety.
The whole experience was remarkably like going to a used car lot. We got greeted by a sometimes smarmy and sometimes nice saleswoman (always a woman) who made an immediate assessment of our means and took us to the appropriate part of the store. When we went in scruffy and unwashed after doing stuff around the house we got ushered to the crappy $50 disintegrate in five minute buggies. When we went in smart work clothes we got taken to the bazillion dollar iCandy thingies which cost more than we got for our last car after one of us wrote it off (Dad looks around innocently).
Another thing that amused us immensely was the advertising, especially that for Mountain Buggy. They show a “Mum” who is clearly not a carer for a 3 month old child in that she looks well, rested and has the time and the inclination to run up a mountain pushing her offspring.
You can get big ones, small ones, over-engineered “all terrain” ones that you could probably invade Afghanistan in but would struggle to get through a shopping mall. The diversity of folding mechanisms is also bewildering.
In the end, despite not jogging, we went for a Baby Jogger GT. Partly because I like the idea of a “Gran Turismo” buggy like a 1970s Maserati or Ferrari but mainly because I had numerous “Man-Fails” trying to fold the monster all-terrain complex ones and the baby Jogger folds easily and seemed the least likely to take a finger. With some you have to press tab A and pull lever B whilst chanting in Swahili and twisting knob D. Difficult and confusing. With The Boy’s new wheels you pull a handle and it magically goes “Whummmph” and is folded, safely, easily and with the correct flourish, dare I say it, suavely (if that is even a word – just checked – it is). Oddly, our “Baby Jogger” is “not suitable for jogging, skating, running or rollerblading”. I was gutted – I had my heart set on rollerblading through the New Zealand countryside listening to 80s power ballads with my luxuriant permed locks blowing dramatically in the wind, alas not to be.
Regarding pointless gadgetiness it has a hand operated break, “Whuummmph folding” (it has a name, less cool than whuuuumph), detachable wheels, a locking front wheel and a state of the art satellite integrated nuclear powered antiaircraft missile system entirely made of platinum. OK, I lie about the missiles (they are titanium), but hey-ho. You can also attach a tray to catch baby stuff like um… toys, crumbs and … er….drool.