We had been in the house all day, outside it had been raining non-stop. There was a break in the clouds, a reprieve from the downpour. The kitchen cupboard, like that of old Mother Hubbard, was bare, and we needed food for supper. We had to go out. A quick dash to the shops was all that was needed. I reasoned we could be back in 45 minutes. Stress was mounting; we’d spent the last ten minutes in deadlock. For months, the scooter had been ignored and parked at the back of the kitchen, in the past two weeks, it had become his favourite thing. Little Pip believed he had now found his balance and the buggy, standing solitary in the hallway, was now considered ‘buggata non grata’. A verbal tussle had ensued; Me:“Buggy”, Pip: “Scooter”….”Buggy” ,“Scooter”,”Buggy”,”Scooter”.
I might have been more accepting of the idea if he could actually scoot down to the high street and back on his own, but he can’t. A trip of that distance with the scooter relies heavily on Mummy pushing, balancing, towing, and resembling the hunchback of Notra Dame. With bags of shopping to haul as well, the scooter was not an option. And so it was, that I resigned myself to the impending voice of mother doom and whispered those immortal words; “Get into the buggy and I’ll give you some chocolate buttons.” He was in that seat quicker than you can say ‘Maclaren.’
Rod for my own back? Indeed. Since the aforementioned day, the buggy has now become the domain of negotiation; my little man has proved himself quite smart in this regard. I have managed to backtrack slightly to a packet of dried fruit, despite being treated with great scorn; “THAT’S not a treat, Mummy”. Alas, by my own doing, we are now in a world where he now expects rewards for the honour of placing his derriere on the buggy. I have to face the brutal facts, we have reached the point where he doesn’t want to sit in the buggy anymore. Mr Independent wants to get about his own way; walking or scooting. Apart from the limitations of his current scooting ability, this is posing problems for a multitude of other reasons:
1) No Buggy: No Daytime Sleep
Yet another shameful confession; he has never had a sleep in his bed in the daytime. I have always relied on taking him out for a walk to get him to sleep. A quick waltz round the block and he’d be out like a light. Not so now. If I do succeed in getting him in it, then it’s hood up/ hood down, a hoodini attempt at removing the safety harness, or another favourite trick, the dragging of feet along pavement or placing of feet on the wheel, like a mini brake. Try and get him to sleep in his bed? He’ll have none of it, at very best, we achieve some ‘quiet time’ on the sofa. I love my boy immensely but I have to say, I miss my hour or so of solitude each day.
2) No Buggy: No Shopping Trolley
Just a buggy? Oh no, my Maclaren is SO much more than that. It’s my shopping trolley. Counterbalance? I have it down to a fine art. But, I need Pip in it to make it work.
3) No Buggy: Mother becomes a Packhorse
Without the buggy who ends up carrying all the paraphernalia that comes with the little people? Mummy, that’s who. When the three of us go out to the Zoo we have coats, a camera, packed lunch, drink, spare clothes, baby wipes - and goodness knows what else. When travelling with our buggy it’s great, we dump it all on, thereby demonstrating fine art of counterbalance yet again, and can enjoy our day out. Without the buggy, Daddy and Pip skip off enjoying themselves and Mummy becomes the packhorse trailing behind under all the gear. Actually, make that a grumpy packhorse.
4) No Buggy: No prop-me-up support
And finally, on those days when I’m just plain exhausted, the buggy is great as a zimmer frame for a tired mummy.
So, whilst my son might not need the buggy, I still do. I am not ready to give it up anytime yet. What’s a mother supposed to do? I seriously think there is a gap in the market for a new invention; I’m thinking 21st century granny trolley, with a hook for a scooter, and also a seat - just in case I get tired. Dragons Den, here I come.