Designer Brand Buggies

Silver_Cross_Wayfarer_2013

What’s not to hate about this photo?

I heard that the Bugaboo stroller is not only fit for a princess, but is a real hit with all the celebrity Yummy Mummies. On the other hand, some prefer the traditional elegance of a handmade Silver Cross pram. Either way, be prepared to shell out a grand. Should we, mere mortals, consider remortgaging our houses to keep up with these trends? Is it too much money to aspire to the likes of James Corden and Myleene Klass?

I bought my buggy in Japan. It’s made by Richell. I checked the Daily Mail but there are no pictures of any, even moderately famous parents pushing a Richell. It cost me ¥9400 which, I’m embarrassed to say, converts to £55. Also – and I can’t believe I’m admitting this – we’re still using it today for our second boy, five years later. That’s five constant years of use. And it’s perfectly fine despite being taken through mud, over rocks and sand, in rain and snow. I know, we should be ashamed of ourselves. I don’t know how it looks going down the King’s Road – we may well be arrested for panhandling.

Go to the Bugaboo website and you’ll see photos of beautiful couples (obviously, not REALLY married or parents – both are smiling, both are showered) ambling around some scenic European capital with their stylish stroller. These images are lost on me because the least fashionable thing you can do is have a baby. No matter how expensive or stylish your buggy is, if there’s a baby in it you can forget about style points. James Bond doesn’t push a buggy. Debbie Harry doesn’t push a buggy. Charlotte Kemp says, “In the same way men admire sports cars, women pay close attention to top-of-the-range pushchairs, and judge the owners accordingly.” Do they? Really? In the same way a bald old man driving a sports car looks like a bald old man, a parent pushing an expensive designer buggy looks like a parent.

The only people who really care about fashion are non-parents. And they aren’t looking at our baby buggy, or even our (urgh!) baby. They’re looking at the bags under our eyes and our unkempt hair, and secretly making a promise to their future selves.

In fact, as all teenagers know, the least cool thing you can do is hang out with your family. I think the only celebrities who look cool are the ones who have decided not to bother hiding their vapidity behind a thin layer of ‘parental responsibility’, and can barely be bothered to hold their sprog, as their iPhone or latte gets all the attention. For the rest of us, forget it.

In fairness, I apologise for raging solely at Bugaboo. There are other equally overpriced style-strollers on the market. I mean, who in their right mind would buy one of these? I think the owner of the company says it best: “It is impractical […] They don’t fit in a car, but that’s not the point. You don’t buy one for practical reasons, you buy one because you appreciate its beauty”. Exactly. Lunacy. Unless you’re a homeless can collector, or recreating iconic masterpieces of Russian cinema, steer well clear.

I’m done ranting. For what it’s worth, what my wife and I think have been the most valuable features of our buggy and what we would suggest you look out for when buying one would be:

  1. Plenty of storage space: Especially under the seat. We can stuff in a full pack of nappies, changing things and the occasional shopping bags under ours. Granted, our baby may be sitting a little higher but he doesn’t seem to mind. Some seem to have baskets big enough for one dummy and one bottle – my heart goes out to anyone who has bought one of these.
  2. You can put it up with one hand.
  3. You can put it down with one hand.
  4. You can put it up and down with one hand with your eyes closed while drunk.
  5. It’s small enough to fit in a boot of a DB5. Or at least, in the space behind the front seat and the baby seat. Some buggies have those huge tyre wheels and a brake (brake!?!*). Wise up! You’re not going to go jogging with your baby any more times than once. And anyone who takes their infant hiking deserves all the discomfort imaginable.

I don’t really have anything more to say. Except perhaps, a parent who has a section in their household budget titled “castle maintenance” is not someone you really need to try emulating.

Disclaimer: I am in no position to be able to comment on Josh Duhamel’s parenting skills. We are all in the same oarless, rudderless boat, lost at sea. I think he’s making it look cooler than most.

Photo credit: “Silver Cross Wayfarer 2013” by Silver Cross UK Ltd – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

* Although, in hindsight, perhaps useful on the Odessa Steps.

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