|For those new to the Kingdom of Strollerland:|
epic began as a response to a question from a reader on the Baby
Bargains Board. She wanted to understand why people collected multiple
strollers, so I tried to explain. The answer became long, so I ended
it. But regular posters to the board knew there was more to the story,
much, much more. Thus evolved "Adventures in Strollerland!" Hope you
THE STROLLERQUEEN SAGA
Part 1 3/12/2002
I've got some expertise in this one, ***LOL**! Here's how it starts:
You're a first time mama, and you get these romantic, old-fashioned
visions of baby carriages and prams. So you work o.t. and save up and
buy a real beauty. Then the baby comes, and you get ready to take her
out for her first proper walk and show her off to the world. But
wait--you have STAIRS! Now how do you get a heavy buggy and a baby down
those steps? Not very easily. Now you actually have to drive someplace.
How do you get a pram in the car? DUH.
So your brother comes to
the rescue and buys you a travel system. The monster is so heavy you
can't even lift it, let alone figure out how to fold it. So you go to
the closest baby store, carrying your baby in your arms, and buy
whatever they tell you to. The wheels go every which way and steers so
horribly that you don't know if you're coming or going.
you find out about Baby Bargains, buy a copy, do what they suggest, and
buy a Combi Ultra Savvy. Which is great for the car and errands, and
you love it, but not so great outside. And by now your baby is too big
for the pram. SO the search expands to find one for the great outdoors.
You follow the Field's recommendations, you buy a Pliko, it's great.
OK, you think, you're done.
But wait--both of the strollers you're
using now have lousy baskets. worse than lousy. The Pliko has none. And
you start suffering from "Basket envy", every time someone passes by
loaded to the gills. You, meanwhile, are struggling to carry coats,
blankets, purse, diaper bag and shopping purchases. They're strolling
leisurely sipping a coffee, with their entire nursery tucked beneath
the baby's seat. GRRRRR!!!! So you buy another with the HUGEST basket
you can find. The basket is great, but the stroller is crummy and falls
apart within 6 months.
Still with me? You think you're done with
strollers, and will never buy another as long as you live. Until, you
find out, baby #2 is on the way! Could it mean, oh no, can't be, not--A
This time, you vow to do it right. You figure,
OK, I love the Combi. I'll just buy a double like that. It's nearly
$350, OUCH! And you're still pg, baby isn't even here yet. But hey, you
want this stroller business over and done with. So you grit your teeth
and shell out the dough. Everything is great, until you use it for the
third time, just a new baby Doc check-up. The handlebar cracks
completely in half, making the stroller impossible to push.
worries, you figure the store will just take it back. WRONG!!! They
point to the sign. It's been more than 60 days since you purchased it,
too bad. But obviously I didn't use a DOUBLE STROLLER when I was still
pg! You protest. My baby's only 3 weeks old! Too bad, rules are rules.
Talk to Combi, they say. Well, says Combi, obviously YOU did something
to break it! No, no! I explain and beg and plead 'til I'm blue in the
face, to no avail.
OK, no problem, you think. DD will ride on the
back of the Pliko. You walk to a store about a mile away, Then DD
decides she wants to ride. She’s tired. REFUSES to stand on the back of
the Pliko. So in the seat she goes, and you're carrying new baby son.
THAT'S when you discover, YOU CAN'T PUSH A PLIKO WITH ONE
HAND!!!!Something you never needed to know before, but know now, a mile
from home, A very LONG mile, when you're trying to carry a baby, and
push a stroller w/ a toddler in it w/ your chin, shoulder, stomach, and
any other body part you can think of.
Back to the Big Baby store
you go. Every single double you try is huge, bulky, hard to push, and
you can't lift it, unless you're a weight-lifter. Fortunately, the 4th
Edition of Baby Bargains is coming out. But you can't wait for it to
hit the stores, so you order directly from the Fields. It comes in a
They say there's a tandem jogging stroller that's easy
to push called a GOzo. Great, you think. THAT will be sturdy and won't
break. So you call and order it. $550 including tax and shipping. AUGH!
GASP! GULP! But you're still sore from that LONG walk home. So you tell
DH it's your Mother's Day, Anniversary, and B-Day present combined. It
ARRIVES! YAY! Sooo exciting! Can't wait to take it to the beach!
wait. It doesn't fold. AT ALL. So DH ties it down in the car trunk.
You're sailing along, the ocean is in site, when suddenly, you hear a
THUNK! You look out the window, and see your BRAND NEW Gozo bouncing
through the traffic lanes. You pray REALLY hard it doesn't hit anyone.
Fortunately, it doesn't. And it doesn't break, either.
So NOW, you
have to find a double that FOLDS. And folds EASILY. And pushes easily,
and reclines fully. You think THAT'S easy? HAH. I literally searched
the WORLD, courtesy of the net, determined to get it right. Finally. My
journey led me all the way to New Zealand, and the Mountain Buggy.
Which is what I bought and am using with great success, so far. But
Now that you know more than you ever wanted, and
wish you hadn't asked, satisfy MY curiosity. What is this ONE, WONDROUS
stroller that can go everywhere, do everything, and make you so happy
that there's nothing more you need?
already! So here's Part Two of Adventures in Strollerland. When last we
left off, I was happily using my double Mountain Buggy. I would take it
to the beach, all the way down to the water. The canopy was excellent
in the sun, and the full recline formed a cozy little bassinette for
the baby. When I was finished, I'd go to the playground, or mall, or
even restaurant. Everything was peachy keen, until the Octoberfest.
was very crowded there, and even though it's the narrowest SBS out
there, it's STILL a double wide. Well, I was crashing into
everything--food booths, carnival games, the backs of people's legs.
The last straw came when I side-swiped the Monsignor of the Parish--the
priest who put it all together. "Um, excuse me Father, sorry, did I
hurt you?" Very embarrassing.
SO that's when I decided I needed
a narrower double stroller, that folded, when I was going to a crowded
event. But not one of those bulky huge plastic monstrosities that are
ugly and hard to push and take up your whole trunk. My search led me to
a very cool store--Heritagebaby, where they were clearancing out
Emmaljunga Huskys with toddler seats. AN EMMALJUNGA! Possibly the most
beautiful and well-built stroller on the planet. Well, that or
Teutonia. Anyway, I loved the toddler seat add-on. Common in Europe,
but unusual here. My DD loved it, too! Though the sun really bothered
her, so I HAD to get the matching parasol.
Now I've got this
beautiful compact pram for a great deal. Fit nicely in the trunk,
folded very flat. But--it IS a fixed-wheel pram, so kind of hard to
maneuver through stores, etc. Also, I live at the top of a hill. Going
down was easy. Coming back up with 75 pounds of stroller and children,
was like Sisyphus rolling his rock. (Though in fairness, it's no harder
to push than, say, a Graco Duoglider. I had just gotten spoiled by the
Gozo and the Mountain Buggy.)But the last straw was what happened at my
DD's pre-school. Here I've got this darling showcase pram with the
toddler seat and parasol that Miranda loved to ride in, until her
friends saw her. "Miranda is a baby, Miranda is a baby!" They taunted
her. Boy, 3 is a cruel age. So after that, she was too embarrassed to
ride in it.
A couple of days later, I was at the Farmer's Market
when I saw this woman with a very cool set-up. A Maclaren w/ a buggy
board attached to the back. Well, it was bad enough I kept staring at
it. Then I chased her down and asked what was it, where did she get it,
and could I please push it? The poor woman acted as if I was going to
snatch her baby! She muttered something about being from London and a
lot of people had it, then grabbed her toddler's hand and fled.
now the search was on for a buggy board, or some kind of stroller with
a board on the back. I figured that seemed more "Big girl", and cool. I
could always say it was a skateboard. Anyway, the Pliko was out. A lot
of kids don't like standing on the back of it, because the steps are
small, and they have to lean back. (Though some don't mind.) My
research showed there was just ONE other stroller w/ the rear
footboard, the Amico Sherpa. And that had been discontinued.
began searching Ebay every day. Rarely they turn up, and when one
finally did, the bidding skyrocketed. Got sniped in the last few
seconds on the next one. Finally, I won one! I was thrilled until I got
it. That's when I learned just how subjective the terms "barely used",
and "in good condition" can be. Also, the seller had yanked the wheels
off w/ a pliers when she shipped it, and one just kept popping off. She
said she would take it back, but then I would be out $60 shipping. So I
decided to try and fix it. My DD really DID like standing on the back,
and after all, it had a really cool bell you could ring. Then my
neighbor invited us to a museum. It's a looong walk from where you park
to the compaunds. "But I won't have room for one of your big double
strollers", she admonished. Great! I thought. The Amico will get it's
Sorry, now, I have to run and cook dinner. I promise I'll finish the stroller saga in part 3, unless you've had enough!
Adventures in Strollerland—Part 3
last we left off, the Amico was about to take it’s inaugural run at the
museum. I did omit some of the story, as some astute observers pointed
out. It was in the interest of brevity, which is an oxymoron for an
Irish woman. So I digress. During the brief window in which Miranda
decided she didn’t want to ride, I acquired, in short shrift, an
Inglesina Cross, and a Teutonia PiXXel. What happened was, I mentioned
to my neighbor that I was thinking, just thinking, of selling my Pliko.
And before I could finish thinking, she whipped out the dough, and it
was a done deal. And off she strolled into the sunset, with my beloved
Pliko. Boo hoo.
Suffering a case of seller’s remorse, and cash in
hand, (a dangerous combination) and scouring Ebay for the Amico, I ran
across the Inglesina. I was feeling absolutely strollerless! Well,
singles-wise, anyway. I loved the primary colors, and the fact that the
seat snapped in to face either forward or away from you, and could be
used as a carrycot. This, I reasoned, could be a replacement for the
Pliko. And since it has the single handlebar, it should push much
better than the Pliko.
Well, so I thought, until I pushed the
(drumroll please) TEUTONIA PIXXEL!!! THIS, has to be the EASIEST
pushing stroller on the planet! Not just one-handed, but one-fingered!
Not to mention that it’s construction is similar to that of a Mercedes
Benz. More little car than stroller. My anti-stroller neighbor saw me
pushing it, and literally began to shake. “OH MY G***, she says, “OH MY
G**, she gasps. “Please, please can I push it, she begs, hands
trembling. This—from a woman who makes her one and three year old sons
WALK, for goodness sakes. “But you hate strollers!” I tell her. ‘This
is not a stroller”, she says. “This, is art.”
By now, DH is so mad
about me having too many strollers, that I figure, at this point, what
difference is another going to make? Talk about perverse logic. And
not, suddenly, Miranda decides to ride again. Why should her baby
brother be riding like a prince in a chariot, while, she, the PRINCESS,
has to walk? Since there’s no seat for her, she simply creates one. By
sitting on the footrest, climbing on top of him, hanging off the back,
anywhere she can. Of course, this would never do, so I began searching
for a buggy board or kiddy board to attach to the back. I figured they
would be “big girl enough” to do the trick, but small enough that I
wouldn’t hear any more complaints at the pre-school of how the big
double strollers are getting in the way.
The American distributor
is Infantino. Numerous calls to them went unanswered. Finally, I bought
a buggy board and a kiddy board from a German Ebayer. And I waited. And
waited. And waited. Different e-mails gave different dates of when she
sent them. When I told my mailman, Bruce, how long ago I ordered them,
and when I could expect them, his answer “Hans and Fritz are skating
around on them in Bavaria.” Then he began yodeling. Didn’t have much
luck on the German end, either. They blamed 9/11. Now what the
terrorists have to do with my buggy boards is beyond me.
is crying, and I’m afraid this is gonna’ disappear again. In Part 4,
find out if the boards ever arrive, or if Hans, Fritz, and the
terrorists are playing with them. And did the Amico ever make it to the
museum? And what happens next ?
Adventures in Strollerland—Part 4
OK. You could also call this one—“As the Wheels (don’t) Turn."
that my digression is finished, let’s return to the Amico, and it’s
inaugural debut at the museum. You’ll recall my friend admonished me
not to bring one of my “big, double strollers”, because there was no
room in her car. So I thought the Amico would be perfect. She had an
SUV (is there any car that’s EVER big enough!) but it was loaded with
kids and ear. So she pulls up, gets out, and comes ‘round to help me
lift it in the back. And it won’t fit. We struggle, and strain, and
sweat, and swear (silently, of course), and it’s a no go. The doggone
rear footboard is SOOO wide, no wonder it’s been discontinued. Finally,
after a lot of rearranging and sticking things on top of kid’s laps, we
cram it in somehow. And we’re off!
So far, so good. Until I
actually try to use it. A few steps out of the car and into the parking
lot, off pops the wheel. And it rolls and rolls, of course underneath a
car. So I slither down on my belly, snake-like to retrieve it, of
course getting all filthy in the process. The kids all think it’s very
funny. This time. Until it happens again and again, every few feet,
through every exhibit. The entire excursion was spent trying to
re-attach the wheel by jamming paper in the hub, chewing gum, anything
I could find. Oh, it did roll pretty nicely when it was on four wheels.
And you gotta’ love that bell…Only, talk about a design flaw! The older
child can’t ride on the back if the canopy is on, which means the baby
gets a lot of sun. Also, they can’t stand on the back if the seat is
reclined. So the baby yells because he can’t sleep, then you recline it
and the bigger one yells because she has to walk, and I’m yelling
because WHERE DID THAT DOGGONE WHEEL ROLL OFF TO THIS TIME!!!!
to the drawing board. Finally, my boards arrive from Germany! YAY!!
They’re adorable! Darling ladybug and cute smiley faces! Gotta’ love
that Swedish sense of style. So I hook up the ladybug kiddy board to
the Inglesina Cross (still with me?) without too much problem. There’s
just a clamp thing that snaps onto the axle. I figured it had to work,
because my exact same stroller was pictured on the box. So off we
stroll, to Miranda’s gym class. She’s enjoying the ride, but Michael is
now nine months old and has little interest in seeing more of his mama
and sister. He wants to see the world! He’s trying so hard to crane his
little head around to see what’s coming that I’m afraid he’ll get a
kink in his neck. We get to the class, and all the kids are fighting to
see who gets to ride. The teacher says it’s a distraction and in the
way and we have to wait outside. And it’s cold out there. The coldest
day of the year. Icy winds are blowing, and I’m going round and round
in circles with my beautiful Inglesina Cross and Lascal ladybird buggy
board and one stiff-necked baby, trying to stay warm.
Now I have
to travel up north, by myself with the kiddos. And this set-up is too
cumbersome. I need something smaller, and lighter weight. Ah ha! My
beloved Combi Savvy! Perfect! I’ll just attach the buggy board to that!
But—it won’t fit. The stroller is too narrow. So I have to order some
width adapters to make it fit. Finally get a hold of Infantino. Sure,
they’ll send out the parts straight away! And no charge! So I wait, and
wait, and wait. Did those awful terrorists get a hold of my width
adapters, too? Eventually, they arrive. BUT THEY’RE THE WRONG PARTS!
The right ones are in Sweden, and I have to pay $10 to get them! Ah,
forget it. Don’t have enough time. If I can’t make the board fit the
stroller, then I’ll make the stroller fit the board.
Maclaren, the train, and the chickens. Was this finally THE ONE? Has my
quest for the perfect stroller finally ended? Stay tuned.
Adventures in Strollerland—Part 5
last we left off, I was ISO (don’t you just love these cute webby
abbreviations that make you scratch your head—ISO—isotope? Ah, in
search of!) a fairly small, compact, lightweight double for travel.
This, for those of you who are still blessed with one bundle of joy, is
like searching for water on Mars. But by now, I had chased down several
women who all swore they’d found the perfect set-up, a buggy board
attached to the back of a Maclaren. I had my doubts, but found a great
deal on a slightly used Mac Vogue 2000—England made, not China.
only problem was, it had no canopy. No problem, says Brian, the smiling
proprietor of Traveling Tikes. We can order one directly from Maclaren.
OK, I say. Then I wait, and wait, and wait. Must be those doggone
terrorists again. First, they got my buggy board in Germany. Then, they
got my width adaptors in Sweden. Now, they’re after my Mac canopy in
England, or China, or wherever the heck they are now.
before I’m leaving, I panic. There is still no canopy, and I have NO
travel stroller! Miranda, the 3-year-old, had busted out my bedroom
window. She was playing this jump from the chair to the bed game, which
is not allowed by me. But I wasn’t there, and apparently it was OK with
the babysitter. Or she wasn’t paying attention, or something. I sit
down at my computer and feel this strange blast of air, pull aside the
curtain, and discover this chair-shaped hole in the middle of what used
to be a functional window. So I frantically get out the phone book, and
begin calling glass repair guys. One says he’ll be there first thing in
the morning. Great! So now it’s the day before I’m leaving, and I’m
waiting, and waiting. Tick, tick tick. It’s getting later. I call and
they say he’s on his way. That’s OK, I have more to pack. A couple more
hours pass. They say he’s on his way. Tick, tick, tick. What, have the
terrorists kidnapped the glass guy? How can I go out of town and leave
a big hole in the window? At 4:00 he calls and says he’s on his way.
Breathe. At 5:00 he shows up, and begins working.
I called Brian
at Traveling Tikes and explain the situation. I MUST have that
stroller, I tell him, put some kind of other canopy on! OK, he says,
hurry up and get here, we’re closing. How long are you going to take? I
ask the guy. 10 minutes, he says. A half-hour later, I call back Brian
at TT. The guy is still working, I tell him. Is there any possible way
you could swing by…”What are ya’, nuts? It’s Valentine’s Day!” He tells
me. Oh yeah…..”But I’ll wait”, he says. Finally, the job is done, I pay
the guy, I battle the traffic, and pull up at TT the same time Brian’s
wife does. She’s all prettied up for their romantic evening, and I’ve
got two crying, cranky hungry tired kids, I’m out of breath, sloppy,
and schleppy. But the important thing is—I’m there, the door’s still
open, the stroller’s there—YAY!! I yank some kind of oversized Mac
canopy w/ a purple plaid trim off of another model, grab my stroller,
thank them both and wish them a lovey-dovey evening.
I race home,
with the idea of getting all prettied up myself, and cooking a romantic
dinner. Hoping I can do it all before DH comes home. But first, I
thought I’d quickly attach the buggy board to the back of the Mac. When
DH came home, I was still sitting in the middle of the floor trying to
figure it out. Parts were strewn all over, and some seemed to be
missing. I figured the baby must have eaten them, or the 3-year-old had
run off with them. Please, please, please, I beg, all I want for
Valentine’s Day is for you to attach this blasted board to the back of
this stroller! C’mon, I say, you’re an engineer. It’s GOT to be easy
In Part 6, did he attach the board on our Valentine’s
night? Or did we get a divorce? And did the Mac make the trip? Stay
Adventures in Strollerland-Part 6
Thank you all. You are too kind. I guess I will continue then.
last we left off, I was sitting in a heap on the floor, surrounded by
strange bits and pieces of the Buggy Board, a baby trying to eat them,
and a pre-schooler running off with them. . I could not make heads or
tails of them, (neither the kids or the board, actually), and the
directions that came with it assume you are an engineer. Most
certainly, I am not. Fortunately, DH is. And this is how he found me
when he came home on Valentine’s night. No make-up, no pretty clothes,
no dinner. I did have the foresight to stop at McDonald’s. Hey, it is
RIGHT next-door to Travelling Tikes!
Well, needless to say, this
wasn’t his happiest hour. But I was leaving out of town first thing in
the morning, and I really, really, (whine) really needed it! In the
end, though, it was Miranda who was the most persuasive.
DAAAADDEEEEE!!!! I WANT MY SKATEBOARDDDDDDD!!!!!! Like nails on a
chalkboard. So I went in the bedroom to finish packing, (have you
noticed how long THAT is taking), while the rest of my happy family
attempted the assembly. Hours later, or what seemed so, DH announced it
was completed, and ready to go. So I happily packed it in my stroller
suitcase, and drifted off into dreamland, (I don’t count sheep, btw. I
Off we go to the train station the next morning.
And I am SOOO excited to try it out!!! YAY! FINALLY! The answer to end
all questions. And Miranda is SOOO excited to try out her big girl
skateboard. I strap Michael in the mis-matched Mac, hook up the board,
and off we go to the train platform! So far, so good. Then the train
comes. I do a sharp right to hurry to board, and hear a terrible clink,
then another, clunk, then chink! chink! The board was disintegrating
before my very eyes! Well, not exactly. But all the connectors were
disconnecting, and scattering and rolling all over! Miranda is
screaming, “My skateboard! My skateboard!” I’m trying to chase these
parts and catch them before they get trampled and kicked onto the
tracks. All I see are feet running, all I hear is Miranda yelling, I’m
trying to keep one hand on her and another on the stroller and another
on the bags and another on all the parts that are going every which
way! All I can think of is sending off to Sweden for an odd-shaped
washer or screw that I can’t get anywhere else, and waiting again, and
Now I hear the Conductor yelling “All ABOARD!” And
Miranda screaming, “Mommy, the train is going to LEAVE! WAH!” And
Michael crying. So I throw the kids, the bags, the Mac, what’s left of
the Buggy Board on board. Whatever parts I missed, I’ll just have to
improvise. And so I did. The entire train ride, I worked on it. Once we
arrived, it stayed on for the walk to my best friend’s car.
Fortunately, because I had so many bags, the guy with the cart just
drove it straight up to my friend’s SUV, and we were able to throw them
straight in. Now we get to her house, and begin the arduous task of
unloading all the bags, and carrying them around the back, and up the
stairs to the guest house. “Watch the chicken poop”, she says, as I see
a what is it—gaggle of hens? Cluster ? Flock? Anyway, there’s a bunch
of them, pecking and scratching around for worms or bugs or whatever it
is they eat.
Don’t ask me why, but Ginni has a thing for chickens.
The only way I like chickens is in Caesar salad, or with noodles in
soup, or broiled and seasoned. But she likes them as pets. A LOT. When
you walk in her kitchen, all you see are chickens. Salt and pepper
shakers, wall-hangings, clocks, calendars. Over her dining room table
is this HUGE black and white picture, of Ginni at six years old,
hugging her pet chicken “Cluck-cluck.” She loved that thing, until she
came home from school one day, and her mom had cooked him for dinner.
I’m NOT KIDDING! This was the same mother who refused to let the
dentist give her anesthesia, because she wanted to “toughen her up.”
And you think we’re bad mommies!
So we’re unloading the bags, and
she casually mentions, “Oh, did I tell you I got a new rooster?”
Miranda immediately begins screaming “Mommy, Maurice! Mommy, Maurice!”
Maurice is the rooster who used to live across the street. Now, this
would be OK if we all lived on farms. But this is in an urban area—in
the heart of Santa Monica! Maurice happened to belong to the family of
Holly, Miranda’s best friend. He was one bad rooster. And HUGE! Stood a
head taller than Miranda. And woke me up every morning with his
cock-a-doodle-doos. One day I took Miranda over there to play.. We open
the gate to the back yard, and Miranda eagerly runs in, ahead of me.
Well, Maurice had woken up on the wrong side of the bed, or thought
Miranda was after his hens, or was just plain mean. Whatever it was, he
immediately attacked her. Jumped on her back, pushed her to the ground,
and began pecking her head. I throw him off her, grab her, and run. I
put her up on the swing, and he begins flying at her! That thing had a
taste for blood!
I start yelling at him, and flailing at him, and
he becomes enraged. Now he’s after me! He starts kicking me! BOOM!
BOOM! BOOM! Flying at me and kicking me! In three different places! He
got me in the inner thigh, knee, and calf. I tell you, that rooster’s
karate kicks put Jackie Chan to shame. I’m hollering, “Let the dogs
out! Let the dogs out!” So out waddles Yoda and Gordo, two fat little
French bull terriers. Those nearly hairless dogs who look more like
pigs with bulgy eyes that look like they have thyroid problems. They
did the job, though, and Maurice sullenly skulked away. But not before
leaving me with deep bruises that took a month to heal, and Miranda
with a bad case of rooster-paranoia.
So needless to say, Miranda
is afraid. “Oh honey,” Ginni says, “Don’t worry. My rooster isn’t like
Maurice. He doesn’t attack people.” Well, maybe not people, but
strollers! By now he’s strutting over to see what the commotion is
about. Miranda starts screaming, and he starts flapping his nasty
little wings and running at us! As Ginni tries to fend him off, I’m
frantically trying to unstrap Michael from the Mac. I’m afraid he’ll
get his eyes pecked out or something. No sooner do I get him out, than
the rooster attacks the stroller! Starts pecking at it in a fury,
mercilessly, kicking it around. We run in the house, and I watch from
the window as my beautiful smiley face buggy board comes undone again,
under the relentless force of the rooster’s pecks and kicks. “I guess
those bright colors irritated him”, Ginni shrugs.
|Back by popular demand...... |
"Adventures in Strollerland!"—Part 7.
last we left off, I had just finished watching my best friend's rooster
attack my brand new (to me!) Maclaren Vogue 2000, and my long-awaited
buggy board from Germany.
After the thing got bored, or
distracted, it ran off. We gingerly stepped outside to survey the
damage. Not bad, after hosing away the feathers and droppings. A few
dents here and there. But UGH! the memories.
Well our trip
continued, and sure as there is a sunrise, Miranda, the 3.9 year old,
decided she still wanted to ride, and particularly nap, in a stroller.
Except I only had the single with us, and an 11-month-old who can't
walk. So I wound up doing what many of us have, and regretted. I.e.
pushing the toddler and carrying the baby. Except this baby jumps and
squirms and arches and lurches and tries every which way to get away.
Where he wants to go--who knows? But go is what he wants. Fortunately,
every thing you've heard about Macs is true. You CAN push them
one-handed, and carry the baby w/ the other.
On our train trip
home, I bagged the Mac, literally, strapped the baby in the
sit-n-stroll (combo car seat/stroller) and told Miranda to walk. Time
to regroup for the next trip, Easter, which was fast approaching.
hearing my dilemma, a dear friend lent me her Kiwi Explorer. It is
another New Zealand product, like the Mountain Buggy. It is essentially
a single jogger w/ a 12-inch swivel wheel. You then slide on a second
seat on the back. VOILA! A double stroller. So it does fold smaller
enough for travel, but is rather fiddly to fold and unfold.
arrived in time for Saint Patrick's Day, and was green! Hurrah! We
would give it an inaugural run by starring it in our neighborhood St.
Paddy's parade! I festooned it w/ streamers and shamrocks and tacky
banners saying "Kiss me, I'm Irish", and the like. Then the children
and I put on even tackier green hats, sang Irish tunes, and threw green
cookies and trinkets to all the locals who ran behind us. It was a
delight to push, and a smashing success!
Now, could the triumph be
repeated in travel? Well, the day of our trip was fast approaching, but
first we had to do a local Easter parade. It seemed like the Emmaljunga
Husky with the toddler seat and frilly parasol was more, well
"Easter-y." So we donned our fine new spring clothes, and Easter
bonnets, of course. And off we strolled, leading a pack of about three
dozen pre-schoolers, to our annual local Easter Egg hunt. We were as
proud as if we were on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, strolling to Saint
Next--did the Kiwi cut it? How did it handle the heat of the Valley? Stay tuned....
Here you go, then……
"Adventures in Strollerland, part 8"
last we left off, I was packing to go up north for Easter. You'd think
by now I'd have it down to a science. But as far as anything
organizational--including stuffing several days worth of worldly goods
into small bags--I'm genetically bereft.
Back in high school, my
friend Richard once joked, "This is how Janet packs". He demonstrated
by walking over to my dresser, removing the drawer, dumping the
contents into a suitcase, then zipping it up. Not far from the truth.
I was relieved to see how small the Kiwi folded down. There was
actually enough room for it in the front seat of the car! Along with
enough coats, sweaters, and blankets to withstand a Siberian winter,
and enough food for the whole Husky sled-dog team. Not too many doubles
you can say that about.
Oh, time for another
digression/confession. Many months ago, I was "surfing the net" (is
that phrase passe'?) and stumbled into one of the darlingest prints I
had ever seen on a stroller available in this country--the "Space
Odyssey". Wonderful, colorful, clever patterns are common on strollers
in Germany, Italy, and the UK; like Oilily, or Jacadi, or Paul Vogel.
But here--those same manufacturerers seem to reserve their dullest
prints for the U.S. The sentiment seems to be that Americans will only
buy the most boring navy blue dots, plaids and checks.
why I fell, hard, for this print. It was so cool and retro. With these
winking stars and moons and bears in a spaceship. Like a 1930's comic
strip or something. I tried to justify buying it, in my mind, by
thinking, "Well, there's a boy AND a girl bear in the spaceship. So my
daughter will get the subtle message that it's OK for her to be an
astronaut, if she wants".
A friend spotted one at a store in
Florida. So I called, and the guy told me they only had a couple left
in stock. He also said the print had been discontinued, so there would
be no more for 2002. I panicked. Sweat poured down my brow. It was
still January! I had promised myself I would get through the month
without buying a stroller. But they were almost all gone! What to do!
So I called Chicco USA. And called. And called. Apparently, they have
ONE customer service rep to deal with the whole USA. This is a big
country; she’s busy. And very nice, when I finally reached her. “Don’t
worry”, she says, “we have plenty left in stock. And the print IS being
continued for the new model year.” Whew. I would wait, then.
to the trip….I left the Kiwi in the trunk, because I was meeting my Dad
and several assorted friends and family the next morning, at a
park/playground. I was hoping it would be really rugged and gnarly, so
I could show off the brilliant performance of my latest NZ find. When
we got there, they were all waiting, as much to see me, as to see the
Kiwi Explorer. And why not? What a clever design! A jogging stroller
with a swivel-wheel, which then takes a second seat! Which effectively
makes it no bigger than a single jogger, because the add-on is kind of
underneath the main seat.
They were having a heat wave there.
Major heat. 100 degrees in the shade heat. And they’re all assembled
out there, sweating profusely, as I pull up. I get the pre-schooler out
of the car right away, so she doesn’t fry. I WANT to get the baby out,
but I normally get the stroller out first, then put him in. I quickly
pull the stroller out of the trunk, then try to unfold it. Ugh. Try
again. Ugh. It won’t budge. Ugh. Still stuck. By now, someone comes
over to hold the baby, who’s crying to get out of his car seat. Thank
God! I was worried about the heat, even though I had opened ALL the car
doors, and ALL the windows. And by now, DD was whining to go to the
playground. STILL STUCK! UGH! My cousin starts looking at her watch. “I
don’t have a lot of time”, she says. “I have to get Kelly to her
singing lesson.” Then my girlfriend looks at her watch. “I need to go,
too.” She says. “Stephanie has ballet.” Now my Dad comes to help. And
somehow, he takes one side, we struggle some more, wrestle around with
it, and FINALLY, it pops open! YAY!
The kids play for about 20
minutes, and it its JUST TOO HOT. The slide and swings burn their legs,
and since it is a new playground, there are scarcely any trees.
Everyone wants to go, except me. I don’t want to struggle with that
Kiwi again. And we hadn’t even bothered to attach the add-on seat! But
then I notice my kids are turning bright red, and so is my Father, and
everyone is leaving anyway.
Back to the car. And it won’t unfold.
Ugh. We shake it, turn it upside down, pull it, push it, it won’t
budge. The baby is crying again, and I’m trying to keep the
pre-schooler from running into traffic. And my poor old Dad looks like
he’s gonna’ pass out from sunstroke. We even try to just stuff it in
the trunk, sideways, but it sticks out too much. Just as I’m about to
give up and leave it there—VOILA—it folds down. But only in one
direction. So now we have to wrestle it to go the other way. Repeat
procedure. Shake, turn, throw it and stomp on it! Nah, kidding about
the last part. Finally, we won the battle, and it folded. But the Kiwi
won the war. I was never again to use it on that trip, for fear of
putting everyone in the hospital with heatstroke.
Next—am I doomed
to amass strollers forever, and still wind up carrying the baby? Will I
ever find a lightweight, compact double? And what happens with that
elusive Chicco? Stay tuned……
Back by Popular Demand........The action, the excitement, the drama, the heartache, it's:
"Adventures in Strollerland" !!!!!! Part 9.
last we left off, I was still searching for that perfect lightweight
double, that could fold small enough for travel, and would be suitable
for a one-year-old, and soon to be four year old. Oh, and one that
folded in less time than it takes to get a sunburn.
And preferably, one that roosters wouldn't attack!!
my return home, a lovely friend e-mailed me about a Kidco double she
saw in a local paper. Maclarens were out--the seats were too narrow.
And Combis were out--the seats were too short. I had never considered
the Kidco, because I had always thought of them as Asian-made Mac
knock-offs. But what the heck--there ain't a lot of choices in the
under-20 pound doubles category.
So I called the seller. She was
nice, and lived close by. We made the appointment for the next day. I
had only two must do's--dentist and car wash. Yes, unfortunately, at
the tender age of 4, Miranda already had two cavities. "My Daddy gives
me chocolate late at night", she volunteers to the dentist brightly.
"And he doesn't make me brush my teeth!" she says cheerfully. "That's a
form of child abuse", he says angrily.
I go to the seller's
apartment, and call her name. Walk around the back, and call her name.
Go peeping in people's windows, calling her name. Finally a woman comes
outside, one child in her arms, and another clinging to her leg. "You
sure you want to sell this?" I ask, eyeing her busy bundles of joy.
she says, "Emma is 2 and a half, and prefers to walk." "But, but" I
stammer, killing the deal and cutting my own throat, "What if this is
just a phase, then you find you REALLY need a double, and don't have
one?" She shrugs her shoulders. “So, I just get another one, then”. Boy
o boy, I’m thinking. What a novice! Doesn’t she know that Kidco STILL
hasn’t come out with their 2002 line? And the Combi Twin Savvy and Peg
Aria Twin aren’t out yet, either? (This was April.)
Then it comes
time to bargain the price. She won’t budge. I point out to her several
online deals for a brand new one. She won’t budge. Maybe she’s not such
a novice after all! Well, you know what they say, “A bird in the hand
is worth two in the bush.” Besides, it’s getting late, the kids are
getting antsy, and I have a feeling Miranda will want to ride after the
dentist. So I pay her cash, bid her farewell, and we’re off to the car
I had hoped to get it done before the dentist, but the guy
took one look at my car and says, “This is gonna’ take a while.” It was
covered in sticky berries. Hood to windshield to trunk to tail
pipe—sticky berries. “You need a wax, blah blah, these berries are
ruining your paint, blah blah”. Hey, (lightbulb) I’ve got an idea! I’ll
just take my brand new, used double Kidco and WALK to the dentist! Whoo
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The problems
began in the cashier’s line down the hallway at the car wash. First
off, one-year-old Michael was miserable in this thing. He slumped
sideways and slid down so far he was practically strangled by the
harness. Then I had to use the ladies room. But there was no way to
turn it so it would go from the hallway into the restroom, so I had to
pee with the door open so I could keep an eye on him.
that canopy for, looks? It did nothing in the way of sun protection.
The kids were squinting and blinking and tearing from the bright light.
I guess I was spoiled by years of Combis and Pegs. All canopies are not
And finally, there’s a reason why you don’t see
many moms pushing strollers on Wilshire Boulevard. Think exhaust fumes,
think running for your life through heavy traffic with a stroller whose
wheels aren’t all making ground contact at the same time, think SUV
drivers enmasse talking on cell phones and racing to “beat” you in the
middle of a crosswalk…
By the time we reached the dentist, the
kids were crying from fear, and the sun in their eyes, I was choking
from exhaust and dripping with sweat. And this is an old building,
designed before the term “handicapped accessible” was a common
nomenclature. I make Miranda get out and walk, and somehow manage to
drag and pull and push it up a flight of concrete stairs. Finally I
reached the top, as pleased with my accomplishment as if I was at the
summit of Mount Everest. But the toughest challenge yet lay ahead.
tops don’t have splintery wooden narrow wooden doors with a ridge of
wood on the floor in front. Old medical buildings do. What, was this
thing designed specifically to prohibit double strollers from entering?
I pushed and shoved and groaned and strained, and still the Kidco was
stuck. Nothing I could figure to do would work, until I tried a
time-honored trick-“HELP!” I called out. “HEEEEELLLLLLPPPPP…..”
now I’m thinking, why oh why didn’t I bring the Emmaljunga Husky with
the toddler seat? That sucker would plow right through all of this. Oh,
yeah, MY projection, I thought Miranda would need the full seat,
traumatized from the drillings and the fillings. As it turned out, she
didn’t shed a tear.
An eternity later, the receptionist appeared.
“Oh, I thought heard something , “ she says. “I was just calling you.
Next up— The search for a do-able double takes a
foul twist, the nationwide “momhunt” for the Chicco intensifies, and
how a stroller store starts offering “Strollerqueen coupons.”
long awaited, much dreaded by husbands, thrill-packed drama is
back--its's the return of "Adventures in Strollerland!"-- Part 10.
last we left off, I was contemplating whether the Kidco double
Citylight would be the ONE perfect double stroller. How many think I'm
stopping here? Show of hands? No one?
I decided to go to my local
friendly stroller shop, Traveling Tikes, to check out and measure the
Inglesina Twin Jet. Most shop owners might look a little askance at a
woman straggling in to their store, two kids in tow, brandishing a
yardstick like a sword, and a notebook like a shield. Not Brian. He's
used to this, at least from me.
While I'm busy taking
measurements, I keep eyeing a Honeybee black Mac Vogue 2001. It's
calling out to me, calling my name--"Janet,
Jaaaaannnnnneeeeeeetttttttt!" Oh, wait, it's actually Brian, telling me
that DS is crawling out the door. After I go and scoop him up, and
admonish DD to stop dismantling and throwing the display toys, my
attention once again turns to the Vogue. "You like that?" Brian tempts.
"I think I have a few left." "AW, they're China made", I tell him.
"Come with me......" he beckons.
We step outside into the blinding
sunlight, and around the back to the stock room. Inside, there are
boxes and boxes and rows and rows of beautiful, lovely, fabulous
strollers. I was happier than Imelda in a shoe store, Zsa Zsa in
Tiffany's, Cher at a Little League game...OK, cheap shot! But you get
"Let's see", he says, hands on hips, perusing the stock.
"Ahhh, here we go!" He steps over to a box, marked Mac VOgue 2001. I'm
holding my breath... then burst out--"OPEN IT! OPEN IT!" I can't wait,
rush over, start to rip open the carton. "JANUARY 2001"! I scream!
ENGLAND ENGLAND ENGLAND!!!!! And sure enough, there it is, clear as
day, "Made in UK." Now, I had not planned to buy this. Don't have any
need for it. Have a hard time justifying it. I'm still on the prowl for
a "Space Odyssey" Chicco 2002, and I know I'm getting close. I can feel
it in my bones.
Yet still..it's an endangered species...darn near
extinct...worth it's weight in gold..."Brian", I hesitate, "How many
more do you have? How about all my friends?" Yes, there are those out
there who get as excited as me about these things, believe it or not!
He counts the boxes, only a few. "Tell you what," he says, "Let's do a
Janet coupon. 100 bucks, first come, first served." WHOOO HOOOOO! NOW
I'm excited! And as soon as I post this, I know they'll be gone.
by this time Brian's sister was tired of prying Michael's teeth off
diaper bags, stroller holders, and anything else he could reach to gnaw
on. So, one hundred dollars and a new stroller later, I was on my
Meanwhile, the Chicco sightings are pouring in. Plano, TX.
New Jersey. Ohio. Florida. Most of the leads didn't pan out. Most of
the stores had no idea what I was talking about, despite reliable
reports that they had them in stock. Most of clerks told me it would be
best if I just came in and checked myself. When I tried to explain that
I was in California, and it wasn't feasible to travel 2000 miles just
to find a stroller, there would be a dead silence. Then, "You're
kidding, right. You're calling all the way from California? I have an
aunt in California. Went to Disneyland once. Blah, blah, blah..." And
this is COSTING me, OK? In Michigan, it was like this.."What's the
name?" "Chicco 2002." "OK, the model name?" "2002." "No, not the year,
the model name?" "2002, 2002!" Kinda like the old Abbot and Costello
routine, "Who's on first?"
Then, finally, SUCCESS! A way-too-kind
friend from the stroller board drove all the way from Chicago to
Milwaukee to check out a sighting. YES! THEY HAD TWO LEFT!!! AND THEY
WERE NICE! Lesa bought one for herself, (we both have Inglesina
Crosses, too, great minds and all...) then patiently explained my
situation. They held the other one for me. Maybe, probably, they
thought I was nuts, too. But they didn't question my nationwide search,
and graciously agreed to ship it, for just $10! YAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!
so it wasn't the "Space Odyssey." It was denim. But didn't my little
son look just darling in it, with his matching jean jacket and baseball
cap! Pushed like a dream, one-handed, just like I'd hoped. Michael
didn't slump, like in the Macs. He was much, much happier, fussed less,
sat up straight and forward, and had a nice soft front bar to hang on.
I attached the buggy board to it, and was good to go.
Now that I
had my long sought-after Chicco, I vowed to put away the Vogue 2001
until the winter. It looked more wintery, anyway. And I figured Michael
would be big enough to use it by then. Yet there it sat in the closet,
calling my name. "Janet, Jannnnneeeetttttt!" Oh, wait, that's my
husband, yelling at me to get off the computer!
Sure enough, it
went from closet to car trunk. I figured it would make a nice in and
out stroller, when Miranda wouldn't mind walking. That theory was soon
tested at the drug store. I had bought a bracelet there for Easter,
which had pretty pink moonstones that matched my outfit. The first and
only time I wore it, it fell apart. The clasp just disintegrated into
bits. Well, Mama always told me, don't buy jewelry from drug stores.
pulled the Vogue out of the car trunk. Miranda started to climb in,
then took two steps back, and let out an audible gasp as she realized
it wasn't for her. As I lifted Michael in, her little lip trembled. "I
wannna go in De-ah! (there)" she pointed. She never said another word
as I tried to explain that we were just going to be a minute. She just
hung her head sadly.
OK, I felt terrible. It's not as if I'm
having 5 more kids, and have to push this one out of the nest to make
room for more. So--will the search for a do-able lightweight double
continue? Show of hands?
Next up--EBay Hits and Misses, Crooks and Swindlers!
it's here at last, the latest epic in the on-going action-packed,
thrills and chills saga--"ADVENTURES IN STROLLERLAND! Chapter 11"
last we left off, I was contemplating throwing in the towel on a
lightweight, compact double stroller, big enough for my now FOUR year
old, yet reclining enough for my one year old, easy to push, with a
decent sun canopy, etc.
Well, there was the "drug store incident."
In which I had decided, God gave her legs, make her walk! Big mistake,
as I learned during the "bike shop incident."
Now why I, the
Strollerqueen herself, is pushing her little girl out of a stroller and
onto a 16" wheel bike w/training wheels, is beyond me. And beyond
little Miranda as well. Never once has she complained about sitting IN
a stroller, only about sitting OUT. Yet something was compelling
me...peer pressure, maybe?
So off we go, to the wonderful world of
two-wheelers. Since I didn't feel appropriate having her choose a bike
while riding in a double stroller, I made her walk, and took the single
Chicco 2002. So far so good. When the smiling bike guy approaches, "Hi,
I'm Adam, can I help you?" (Why is it that every man named Adam has the
best biceps, by the way?) Miranda shyly points to the 12" wheel one she
has picked out. "Ahh,no, honey," he flashes a grin.(Why is it that
every man named Adam always has the best teeth?) "That's too small for
you. Try THIS one." As he shows us something much more formidable, a,
pause, 16" WHEELER!
Poor little M now looks very intimidated.
"C'mon", he coaxes, "Hop on!" (Why is it that every man named Adam has
the best voice?) SO with a furrowed brow, and pursed lips, she climbs
up. She begins to pedal, reluctantly. Though she looks so small on such
a big bike. "It is the perfect size", he reassures, "She'll outgrow the
other in no time." (Why is it that every man named Adam has the best
Suddenly, Miranda hops off. She runs to the corner, folds
her arms, and faces the wall. "What’s the matter, honey?" He says
perplexed, running his fingers through his lush, curly hair. (Ok, the
guy was cute, I will say no more.) "I DON'T WANT TO RIDE THAT BIKE! I
HATE IT!" She screams.
I apologize, and tell Adam I am taking my
daughter outside for a little chat. Once outside, she tells me, "I WANT
THAT PINK BARBIE BIKE AT TOYS R US!" Try reasoning with a four year old
who has had no lunch, and no nap, and you'll understand what happened
She begins running like the wind towards TRU, about two
blocks down the street. I chase her all the way to the intersection,
where she is waiting for the light to change. As soon as it changes,
though, she starts tearing across the street, into the street, straight
into the path of an oncoming bus! Sure, we are in a crosswalk. Sure we
have the little green man walking OK sign. Sure this bus driver is
oblivious to all of the above, including the fact that he's about to
squash a little girl.
It's amazing how your feet can take wings
and fly when your child is in danger. Mine did, as did the stroller's
wheels, and I was able to yank her arm and pull her back in the nick of
time. I was so frightened I was speechless. Miranda shook off my arm
and started running down the sidewalk again, with TRU now in plain
sight. But right before you hit the store, there is an alley. And since
most of these downtown streets are one way, the alley itself has become
a de facto street. Only worse, because it is a BLIND alley. A blind
alley with cars racing through with impunity.
Now I've found my
voice, and let out the most blood-curdling "STOPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!"
Miranda screeches to a dead halt. And I find myself facing the most
withering, "aren't you the world's most awful mother" stare. The dirty
look was coming from a woman about 20, with a COMPLETELY FLAT stomach,
adorned with a very cropped top and belly button ring, for all the
world to see. Which to me, screamed, "I have never had a baby. SO who
the heck am I to judge you?"
Now, since this is a story about
strollers and not bikes, I shall tell you no more. Except to say that
there was not one, not ONE bike at TRU in which both training wheels
were touching the ground. "Why are they are all so tippy, mama", says
Miranda. Why, indeed?
Just to bring this back full circle to
strollers....On the way back to the car, I told Miranda, "You, miss,
are riding. There is just too much traffic downtown for a little wild
girl to be on the loose. And my nerves are shot now, anyway." But what
to do? I only had the single Chicco with me, as I hadn't planned this
little side trip to see Barbie bikes. So I did what all my older mom
friends Used to do, before doubles had invaded the stroller world. I
reclined the seat fully flat, extended the leg rest, and put Miranda in
the back. Michael sat in front, with her legs on either side. I was
even able to use the three point harness, though I had to detach the
shoulder straps (5-point.)
I must say, it worked wonderfully well
in a pinch. Though I wouldn't have tried this if Michael wasn't walking
already (good muscle control).And I wouldn't try this on most
strollers. But the seats on the Chicco are exceptionally wide, it is
very sturdy, and it has a nice, fat, padded front bar. Oh, don't I LOVE
|Part 12 3/12/2003|
Spoiled rotten, eh? Then skip what's coming up next, because it gets much, much worse......
Duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh DUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
a long long way too long hiatus, we are baaaaaaaaaaaackkkkkkkkk...With
CHAPTER 12...ADVENTURES IN STROLLERLAND--"PRAM-MANIA!!!!!!!!!"""""
so thinking back, I guess I always WAS a closet prammy. When I found
out I was pg the first time, I had visions of pushing a big, bouncy
carriage whilst on a leisurely stroll through the park. So when my best
friend asked me what stroller I wanted, I told her nothing but a buggy
As it happened, I spied one at the nearby resale store,
the ONLY baby store I wasn't totally intimidated to enter. In fact,
when my aforementioned friend, the one with the chicken fetish, btw,
took me into a baby boutique for the first time, I was overwhelmed! I
actually got dizzy, my head was swimming so bad, and I ran out the
door! "Wait, wait, you have to register!" She called after me! "Let it
all be a surprise!" I told her. Just what WAS all that stuff for?
at this little neighborhood resale store, they had a real live Silver
Cross. It was light blue, with a removable bassinette, with little
choo-choo trains all around the inside. It was pricey, but the
darlingest thing I had ever seen! As it happened, we had a crisis at
work, and my boss asked me to work OT. I was about 8 months pg, and
really wanted to go home and sleep. But there was that vision, of the
leisurely stroll in the park….So I worked, and suffered…and as the
hours passed, I kept saying to myself, “pram, pram”, , doing the math,
how many hours would I have to stay until I could pay for it…..
it turned out, I was there 15 hours, so it was mine! And thus it began,
not only my first “stroller”, but the first time I dipped my toe into
the rarified waters of prams.
Next, there was the Inglesina Cross.
Wonderful. In primary colors, with swivel wheels, a carry cot that
detached from the chassis, and a reversible boot. Once, I used it to
walk to a birthday party in the pouring rain. We all arrived soaking
wet, except for DS, who slept through the whole thing. How amazing was
it to flip a switch, carry the bassinette inside, and leave the muddy
frame outside? While DS continued to sleep? I was hooked.
be a long time before I acquired a third.. And that was from the temple
of all temples to strollers, possibly the most elegant “stroller salon”
in this country, Heritage Baby.” Stepping into the marbled chambers,
overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is like stepping into a Mediterranean
villa, on the Italian Coast. Awesome prams as far as the eye could see,
how could one make a selection? Fortunately, one called my name loudly,
an Emmaljunga Husky in “york”, with a toddler seat. This was the one,
btw, that pushed my DH over the edge. Because this one was acquired
AFTER the Combi Twin Savvy that broke, the Gozo that wouldn’t fold, and
the Mountain Buggy that ran into the pastor at the carnival. My
justification, as was set forth in an earlier chapter, was that I
needed a tandem that folded for the car. But it was also SOOO
beautiful. When I got it home, I just sat in my glider and marvelled at
it’s amazing design, engineering, and craftsmanship….
discovered the “Pram Museum.” Do you know there is a virtual museum
online, an entire website devoted to, what else, PRAMS! I learned there
that the US used to make some mighty nifty prams, with a twist of
Yankee ingenuity. Many of the prams could convert into all kinds of
other objects a baby might need—a rocker, a high chair, a bed, a table
and chair, a chair and desk, a stroller, even a car seat! And the king
of them all, was “The Wonda Chair!” Gotta’ love it, for the name alone.
Thus, I went ISO, once again, for this most wondrous of creations. Many
had been sold over the years, despite the fact that in their day, the
whole set sold for close to a thousand dollars. And you thought they
were expensive now! Most of them, however, had long been split up. But
then, wonder of wonders, wouldn’t you know, I found an original,
How I acquired that, and how I learned what
a professional Ebayer REALLY is, should probably best be discussed in
another installment. Besides, I have to think up some fake names to
protect the guilty! And what has become of my Wonda Chair? (Love saying
the name!) It is still sitting in the garage. Just sitting. It is so
nice, and so collectible, I hate to use it and wreck it, sigh.
shortly after that, came the Emmaljunga Brasilia! The top of the line,
the crème de la crème. At first, I ordered one of the last Coronettes
for sale brand new in the US, maybe THE last. Because it turns out, the
Coronette arrived without a seat! That’s right, no seat. Haven’t yet
figured out how to use a seatless pram, unless you are using it to push
around gym equipment, which is what the director does at our local
park. Anyhow, when they finally got around to shipping me the seat, it
was a different color. I promptly paid UPS myself to return it, and
checked my card daily for the credit. It took a while, one of the
inherent hazards of buying the perfect pram online, I guess.
make an already too long story longer, though, I was lucky. Because I
actually tracked down the Brasilia, predecessor to the Coronette. I was
assured that if I liked the Husky, I would love the Coronette. And if I
loved the Coronette, I would go nuts over the Brasilia. Which I did.
What was not to love? A seat that faced me, so I could look at DS’ cute
face, instead of the back of his head. A metal framed footrest so long
that DD rode on it, a wire basket, a matching boot, foam grip, 12”
wheels, chrome frame, and BRAND NEW!
But the best was yet to come.
And it took months of blood, sweat, and tears. Literally. The search
that took me across the sea and won my heart. Read all about it, in the
next: “Adventures in Strollerland!”