|This is the Stokke, some people consider them the ultimate in style. |
I'm sorry, I just don't see it.
You know the one, "If only I had a ....(insert pram/stroller of choice)...life would be so much easier!"
But is this ever really true? I should say that due to a range of reasons (the main one being financial), I have NEVER walked in to a baby shop and pointed at the sleekest, snazziest pram of my dreams and said "It doesn't matter what it costs, I'll take it". One high end pram comes with a material swatch book for custom designed covers and seats etc. I love this concept. But is it worth the cost of a small lounge suite, when something a tenth of the price could do just as good a job of um holding your baby?
Our pram/stroller history goes something like this: Almost ten years ago, when Jesse was born, some wonderful friends from church invited us over to their home and produced a literal treasure trove of baby goods - all for us to take home if we wanted too. As clueless first-time parents-to-be we were so thankful for their invaluable advice and generosity! Their large Emmaljunga pram caught my eye. It had hardly been used. If you know anything about these Swedish-made marvels, they are big and strong. I never could have afforded one new. I loved its regal navy blue canopy, snug surrounds, padded seat, sheepskin lining, and boot muff. It was fabulous. My only issue was the basket underneath (a fabric one) was way too small. And while the steel frame and large wheels weighed a tonne, you felt confident your baby would be protected from nuclear blasts in that pram.
When Eleanore came along seventeen months later, I had the toddler seat ready (came with the pram) and that worked quite well until the weight of the pram together with a two and a half year old and baby made pushing the thing almost impossible. One day while walking to the park, the steel frame had a partial collapse (so yes, it was overloaded) and while we were able to get it fixed, I didn't like to risk weighing it down too much again.
Next came a side-by-side double pram with huge baskets underneath. A generous gift from a cousin of mine. I didn't have a driving licence at the time, so this pram was invaluable when making my regular walks with a toddler and baby to and from the local supermarket, laden with supplies. I pretty much drove that pram in to the ground.
When Miriam arrived two years after Eleanore I was still in need of a double pram, but thankfully was also driving a car! I wanted something light (for lifting in and out of the car) and easy to manoeuvre. I looked up on line reviews before deciding the italian made Peg Perego Aria would suit me best. This side-by-side fitted through standard doorways and trolley aisles, and was remarkably light. I found a used one going relatively cheap on the Trading Post and my Mum gave it to me as a present. It wasn't any good as an off-road pram, but that suited me fine. I was happy.
When Ellie got bigger I switched to a single stroller for Mim that my mother-in-law had bought years before. The fabric was lairy, and the frame was awkward. I was forever getting my skin nipped in the latches as I collapsed it. It was a relief when we no longer needed to use it.
When Arch came along four years later, my practical voice (which mostly takes the form of my husband's voice, strangely enough) said that there was no point buying anything new or fancy.
|This Cath Kidston patterned Maclaren |
has always made me swoon!
So you'll never guess what I saw today at one of my favourite op shops?
Yes, a Quinny Buzz. Complete with baby carry cot, an extra seat cover, rains covers, bug covers, all sorts of bits and pieces. It looked used but well cared for. This op shop is in a huge warehouse, but I saw that Quinny Buzz in about my first 30 seconds. I had to try hard not to punch the air.
After all. I didn't NEED a new/old stroller/pram...
I sat Arch up in the seat, just to see if he fitted. Uh oh. He did. And he liked it.
I walked around the entire warehouse a couple of times taking deep breaths and trying to think this through clearly.
I'll ask how much it is. If they want $100 for it, I'll leave it. It will still be a bargain for whoever can use it.
The lady said it was available for the cost of a donation. Legally they can no longer sell prams, due to health and safety regulations. Seems silly doesn't it?
I know, if it doesn't fit in the car, I won't take it.
After getting a girl in the shop to google the quinny website for me, as we couldn't work out how to collapse it, I did manage to fit it into the car.
Sigh. Some things are just meant to be.
I took the quinny home. My husband was predictably horrified. "I thought you were trying to declutter?" he asked. "That means getting rid of things. Besides Arch is two!"
"I know Arch is two. Yes I am trying to declutter, mostly. I just need to get this pram out of my system." I muttered. I really always wanted one of these...
Hmm, it is proving a challenge to store. So large, so many pieces.
Perhaps after four kids, the pram of my dreams won't prove to be that in reality at all.
But that's okay. I'll use it for a little while, and then re-gift it to someone who needs a pram and maybe doesn't have the means to pay for something this good, like me all those years ago with Emmaljunga!
I hope it will give them a real buzz!
If you are looking for a stroller/pram/buggy here's a few helpful tips:
- Read lots of online reviews to get a good overall picture of the issues with that item. You may find out things that will immediately rule it in or out for you.
- Try the prams out in shops, even ones you never would have thought of to try otherwise - you might find that you like something completely different to what you were looking for.
- Be realistic. The amount of expensive single prams for sale on ebay because a year later a double is needed, proves that it's not always wisest to spend up so big on something that will soon prove inadequate for your family's needs.
- Ask friends/family/people in the street for their experiences/recommendations - though beware of those insisting what they have used is best for you too. That is almost never true.
- Get perspective. Having children involves many costs, and spending up big on a pram may be kind of silly when cheaper options will do just as well. Believe me, you'll need the money for other things later on...like kid-free holidays! ha ha, that's a JOKE people!