Travels with my pushchair (and baby… and the kitchen sink)

I’m writing this off the back of a little stroll downtown that sadly went awry and ended up with me getting locked out of my house complete with sleeping baby, a massive bag of shopping, and an absolutely second hand but more than does the job buggy. Amidst the panic of realising I had no key and OH had gone out with no phone and the power of telepathy was not yet an option, I began to think of the things that really piss me off about trips out with buggy (as well as being suitably pissed off about being locked out) and how this might form the basis of the next thrilling instalment of this blog. It’s a bit first world problemy so I apologise and I would ask that you indulge me. A pregnant me was quite excited when we picked out a new pram sometime in Summer 2016. A silver cross travel system that came at a rather good price. Although I was slightly less excited about putting the thing together as you can imagine, I managed and as my pregnancy progressed, I imagined who would be in this pram, and myself as the yummy mummy who would be pushing it all over the place. That’s right, I would walk this baby weight away! It was the most foolproof plan. Wrong!! The title of yummy mummy was never destined for me. I’ve talked about wanting to slap my pre pregnancy self, but I’d also quite like to slap my pregnant self (sounds very wrong, sorry) for all my stupid idealistic imanginings. The pram was good at first. Well for the amount of time he could still fit in the pram/carrycot part, but when he outgrew that but still didn’t quite fit in the buggy part I began to panic. I also realised (horror of horrors) that when it was time to use the buggy part, the seat didn’t parent face like the pram attachment did. As it turned out my mum had bought a buggy from one of the selling sites on good old Facebook and that one parent faced so after a quick swapsie, that has been the pram of choice since my son reached 6 months old. A second hand mamas and papas sola with a red hood and a purple seat. I love it and I don’t care it’s old and cruddy it does the job as well as any overpriced, overrated travel system. Whilst I love my second hand pram (and my son, obviously-just putting it out there!) I would still like to address the top annoying things that really get on my goat when I’m pushing my child in his pram.

1. Cars parked on the pavement

This has now become my number one peeve when out and about with my little mate in his hot wheels. Parking like an absolute dickwad is prevalent in my area. Also if it’s bin day forget it. The petty criminal in me would like to key all those cars- and up end everybody’s bins but here’s the thing, I’m not an arsehole like you pavement hoggers so I refrain. I think my Mrs Doubtfire car wrecking moment may come one day soon though.

2. No universal rain cover has ever fitted on my pram

Universal my arse!! I have 3 “universal” rain covers and none of them fit my buggy. That means if it’s windy bits flap around all over and slap me in the face and also don’t provide adequate cover for my child. My darling child also hates the rain cover on in the first place and manages with ease to undo the shoddy fitting Velcro fastenings, which I obviously think is amazing, as is any walk around in the howling wind and pissing rain of course. I did look for the original rain cover for my pram but I think because it’s quite an old model, I couldn’t find it. Perhaps I just wasn’t looking hard enough.

So far so piss boiled. Let’s continue. The non fitting rain cover leads nicely on to…

3. Adverse weather conditions

This is a pretty obvious one. It’s pretty crappy to walk around in any crap weather at all of course. Let’s face it there are a lot of adverse weather conditions here in Cumbria. I mostly manage to avoid wind and rain battles pushing a pram because I am very very sensible (or lazy whichever) but on the odd occasion that I haven’t been able to avoid it, or have been caught in a downpour, being exposed to the elements trudging around with a pram is certainly not a living my best life moment. Obviously every effort of mine goes into making sure the small human is protected as much as possible from the elements, but I am fair game.

4. Messy pram wheels

So the main offender in this category is obviously dog poo. I always keep a look out so I can avoid the vile menace. The streets round me are pretty bad for dog fouling. Once there was a large pile of turd between a car parked on the pavement (!!) so I was forced detour into the road. That sent me skyward as you can imagine. It’s not always the poop though. Things like grass cuttings and leaves are a nightmare, even just extra gravel/mud/soil especially if the ground is slightly wet from previous rainfall. Soggy leaves just love a pram slightly damp pram wheels or four. I would wager there is more dog shit lurking underneath the leaves as well. I don’t have a hallway , or anywhere with laminate floors where I can dump the pram and easily wipe them clean in my home. It’s also more than likely that chuckles is asleep so the buggy needs to assume the usual position for naps (in the lounge, under the stairs). The thought of so many types of coliform on my carpet makes me want to vomit so I do clean the wheels a lot, but it’s a job I could do without to be honest. I mean sure they would have to be cleaned anyway but my lazier self who’s gagging for a brew at this point would rather not have to hose down pram wheels. I also have a recurring horror that I might accidentally shower the baby with the hose, or the scrubbing noise will wake him up or something daft. Not a problem if he’s not alseep, but on nice days, if this is the case I have been known to leave the pram outside for a bit. Sorry not sorry. Self cleaning pram wheels. Now there’s a selling point!

5. Leaving the house is never going to be simple again!

The actual act of leaving/returning to the house becomes a military manoeuvre in itself. Door steps, garden gates, and paths, all become obstacles akin to a tough mudder course (or it might feel like that after you’ve made your way through them). Take my mum’s garden path for instance, it must be the hardest path to get a buggy down ever! It is a treacherous assault course of bushes, pebbles and a stupid low wall that I always end up pushing the buggy into, no matter which way I try to angle the sodding wheels. Followed by a steep step into the house which I am always paranoid will wake him (should he be asleep after I have trudged round for what seems like hours in the attempt to get him to nap). As if being pushed into a wall, a bush and rattled down a pebbled path wasn’t enough, the step of doom will test anybody’s driving skills! Before even leaving the house is the issue of the amount of equipment babies require whenever they go anywhere. Packing a baby bag will become a fine art trust me. They are quite handy in that they will fit over handle bars but if you are going to do any sort of additional shopping (which you will totally end up impulse buying more than you actually need) you will definitely end up like the proverbial packhorse. Chugging back up that hill pushing a buggy, complete with child, baby bag and shopping will leave you feeling like an 80 a day smoker with a glass back. Even if you are lucky enough to live somewhere relatively flat (Holland?) you will still feel like you’ve just done ten rounds with Mike Tyson, and possible require the use of an oxygen tent by the time you get home if you’ve done shopping (which is inevitable). If you’re one of those people who actually enjoy exercise/ buggy induced exhaustion, you can actually get specialised buggies you can push and jog at the same time-should you want to pop a lung.

I think the the five points I’ve mentioned are more than piss boiling enough for the moment so I’ll stop there. I’m sure I can think of a few more though. Is there anything in particular that rattles your cage when you’re out and about with your LO and buggy? Let me know what I’ve missed out I do love a good moan in true Brit style!

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