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Monday, 9 January 2012

The Buggy War


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.

13 comments:

  1. Definately a seat - and hell, make it motorised and self driving so you can catch some zzz's while it truntles home

    xxx

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  2. Lately, I've had the reverse situation of wanting my son to ride his scooter (for some physical activity) and he's wanted to go in the buggy! Like you though, there are definitely times when a buggy is needed (crowded shopping streets, long distances etc).

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  3. I still take our buggy to school as have to carry so much stuff and just 4yo occasionally decides she is just too tired to walk. It is usually draped with book bags, nursery bags, water bottles, lunch bags , PE kits etc etc plus the two scooters if they don't want to use them - so my solution to your problem is take both. I have pushed 4yo in buggy with all this on plus 2 scooters hanging off the hood - it is a knackered old Maclaren so I don't care what happens to it but it can be done - have to watch the weight distribution when she climbs out though!!

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  4. Hi! I have taken over Newbie Tuesday on Britmums from the lovely Annie, so I have subscribed to email updates to keep an eye on posts to feature in my columns :)

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  5. Haha, this post really made me smile but then I realised that if little pip has reached this stage then J2 isn't far off of it and I was then filled with dread! Since the move I haven't been walking as much as we are more remote than our old 'seaside' house to the amenities, but I am aiming to get back out and about soon, as like L.P, J2 only tends to nap off in the buggy and I miss nap time! Mental note to self, do not by J2 a scooter :-)

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  6. Buy yourself a shopping trolley, they do some fab and funky, young designs, i really missed the buggy for all the reasons you mentioned above and found the trolley to be a fab solution...even though the kids laughed at me, they loved it when we returned from the library or traipsed down to the beach

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  7. @chickenruby - whilst I'm not a fashionista..I'm yet to find one that isn't completely old fogie. Honestly though, I do think it's an option!

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  8. Don't feel ashamed you still try to get Little Pip to sleep in his buggy. Little A still falls asleep in hers and I'm not changing the wheel now - its what works. She has never had a nap in her cot. I love my hour off in the afternoons too ... and I know that's going to change soon :o(. Love the phrase buggata non grata!

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  9. ps I have changed my blog ... its now at http://older-mum.blogspot.com/ X.

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  10. I laughed all the way through your post i can relate to every point except in our case the scooter was a trike that i always have to carry home under one arm shopping in the other and toddler held by what ever bit of clothing i can grab. I miss the afternoon sleep to and confess sometimes taking a detour in the car to get an occasional teabreak!

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  11. Ha, ha! I had the opposite problem, I couldn't get little man to walk anywhere for ages. Not that he wanted to be in his buggy, just didn't want to walk. I did wonder what I would do without it. The counterbalance thing had me smiling - it once tipped up at the checkout in Sainsbury's as I placed one too many carriers on the handles. The looks I got would have made you think I'd just beaten him or something! So yes, counterbalance, very important.

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  12. So he was in it when it tipped up in Sainsbury's? You must have had a weekly shop on there! x

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  13. God yes, I was so upset to lose the buggy - now I have to actually carry all their tat home from school every day! Thanks for putting this in the showcase - coming again next week??

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