8 things you never knew until you had to use a buggy
One of the main lessons I had to learn as a new mum was learning to live with having a buggy attached to me at all times.
Well, you've got to transport the kid around, right? If or when you're not using a sling, you get them snug into the pram or buggy and off you go, easy peasy.
But wait, what are all these obstacles before you, inhibiting you from having a peaceful and safe journey from home to supermarket, baby clinic or cafe?
It's called 'The World As We Know It', people.
It always seemed like the outside world was conspiring against me and my little man!
Here are 8 of the main things you will realise once you have a buggy to navigate:
1. Footpaths are bastards
Paths that are too narrow, no paths at all, huge curbs that mean you have to either tilt your child to a vertical angle or physically lift the entire contraption up or down yourself, cracks, holes big enough to swallow the buggy whole.. total disaster.
2. 90 per cent of doorways are your enemy
Never mind the fact that you generally have to wedge most doors open yourself as you use a push-pull technique to get the buggy through, most doorways work against you. They're too small and impossible to fit a buggy through, or one half of the door is locked and has to be released for you while you wait in the rain or they're - god forbid! - revolving doors. Meh.
3. Flights will never be the same again
We had one of those 'super dooper' travel systems when Jacob was born that essentially needed it's own seat on any aeroplane. Ok that's a slight exaggeration, but certain airlines will charge you extra if your buggy is over a certain weight. In the end, we spent €50 on a really light stroller and it was a godsend.
4. Mind the gap
You will need to find a handy stranger to give you a lift with the buggy in the following circumstances: from platform to train if there is a gap that your buggy won't make unaided, onto the bus if the electric ramp isn't working, up and down flights of stairs when there isn't a lift available, across the little river in the forest park that you have visited a hundred times and nimbly jumped over before.
5. Your buggy is invisible to most human eyes
Weird things happen to other people around you when you have a buggy with you. They see you, they see that you have this 'vehicle' at hand that houses your little one, but they don't see it as a real thing. I have been at the supermarket till, put the brakes on and walked to the front of the buggy to pay or hand my kid something, only to find that the people standing behind me have walked right up to the buggy and are now essentially leaning on the handles. Like, em, is it ok if I get in there?
6. Buggies have a bad rep
My partner Alan and I once spent two hours walking around town, hoping for somewhere to have lunch. We were turned away from four places, because our baby was small enough that we didn't want to take him out of the pram, we wanted to park him in it beside us. 'Sorry', they'd say, 'you'll have to fold it up and put it away'. So we left each place until we found somewhere that would accommodate us and no, we didn't ever return to any of the other places again.
7. What goes up doesn't always come down
Think of your favourite shopping centre. It probably has more than one floor of the lovely shops that you like to visit. You probably scootch up and down the escalators willy-nilly and with great speed without any kids in tow, but what happens if you do have your child in a buggy with you? Well, there's always the lift, if it's working. And if it is working, there is all that queueing to do while three buggies exit and three buggies enter, and then someone forgets to hold the door and.. swoosh! You can wait another ten minutes.
8. Like it or not, you will develop 'buggy crouch'
Unless you are planning on pushing your buggy on a straight, crack-free pathway from A to B, the wearing of heels while pushing a buggy is fairly tricky. Not only do you have to push and pull quite a heavy weight around the place, you also have to engage in 'Buggy Crouch' - AKA 'Staring At And Talking To Your Baby'. Never heard of it? Let Adele demonstrate it here (It's probably better for your back if you do it in flats)
Got any more to add to this list? Let us know in the comments on Facebook.