I have four prams for one child.
Yes, that’s right – ONE child, FOUR prams.
My husband doesn’t understand why I have purchased this number to accommodate our nearly-two-year-old daughter. I’ve tried explaining it to him, but he’s a bloke. This means he’ll NEVER UNDERSTAND, will he?
I wonder if you’ll be more sympathetic to my plight, dear readers.
I suffer from an acute case of ‘pramenvyitis’.
It is an incurable condition that causes me to check out other women’s prams. It sometimes involves cornering unsuspecting mothers and interrogating them about their choice. It almost always results in increasing one’s existing pram collection via unnecessary expenditure, which is against Stay At Home Mum protocol.
Before going any further, let me set the record straight: I DID do all my research before Betty was born. I visited stores, researched online, sought friends’ opinions, and tried to master the art of simultaneously flicking, pushing, pulling, and heaving to unfold and fold. (For the uninitiated, it’s not unlike a ‘clean-and-jerk’ weightlifting move, but with more sweat and less Lycra.)
Slowly but surely, I narrowed it down to ‘The One’. Or was it?
You see, it’s all fine to do the pram dance sans-baby, but it’s an entirely new experience when a child is actually on board. (Well, a child plus nappies, wipes, spare clothes, change mat, light blanket, heavy blanket, wraps, sun shade, rain cover, hanging toys, snacks, baby bag, hand bag, 17 shopping bags, and the kitchen sink.)
And therein lies the rub, folks:
You can only really see how a pram functions best when it’s under pressure.
The primary indicator of pramenvyitis is the first jealous pang felt after witnessing another mother’s pram outperforming your own. It hurts.
Allow me to now take you through the choice and progression of my pram obsession.
1. The Mumma Hummer (2011 purchase)
This was ‘The One’ – a three-wheeler pram is so big it needs its own postcode. It has suspension and brakes that would make a Volvo jealous.
COMMENT: My close friend had one already, so I probably thought we could be twinsies as we jogged, shopped, and coffeed together. Honestly? It’s too big for cafes and shops, but great for regular walkers or runners*.
* I used to jog before giving birth – even did some half-marathons and have the t-shirts to prove it. (After all, who would do such ridiculous distances if you couldn’t brag about your previous athleticism YEARS after the event?) This lulled me into the false belief I would be pounding the pavement every day with Betty in tow. Needless to say, that didn’t happen.
2. The Intrastate Pram (2011 purchase)
This was a second-hand purchase (four wheels, reverse handle) because I didn’t want to take Mumma Hummer on the plane for regular trips to my in-laws. At this early stage of motherhood, I still had pram paranoia and worried it would be damaged during the luggage handling process – a bit like when you get a new car and you’re on tender hooks until it FINALLY gets a scratch. (But you totally breathe a sigh of relief when it was your partner who did it, am I right?)
COMMENT: Reverse-handle option is fantastic. Wheels a bit wonky in a second-hand way. Smelt a bit funny. Probably because I doused it in eucalyptus spray and Glen 20 after the previous owner’s child sneezed all over it after money had exchanged hands.
3. The Cheap-and-Cheerful Stroller (mid-2012 purchase)
You know the type – between $20 and $30 and often referred to as an ‘umbrella stroller’, because that’s how big they are when folded.
COMMENT: Very lightweight, but no comfort factor. Betty and I are both tall, so her little feet would be almost dragging on the floor, while I had to hunch to push the handles. Also, this type of stroller is so lightweight it falls backwards if you put too much weight over the handles. (On a few occasions, I’d forget and suddenly have Betty belly-up at my feet giving me a withering ‘you idiot, Mum’ look. Oopsie!)
4. The sturdier stroller (late-2012 purchase)
While I enjoyed the ease of the cheap-and-cheerful stroller, I decided to step it up a notch after seeing other toddlers happily sitting and sleeping in this more robust option.
COMMENT: Full layback option, with a bigger storage basket, higher handles, and a padded seat. By far the best of my collection for everyday use, and I snagged
it for a song during a 40 per cent off sale. (Which makes everything sweeter, of course!)
Despite all of the above, it appears I’ll have to continue my quest for a 10/10 pram with any subsequent children.
Because after forking out for two prams and two strollers in two years, Betty’s current preferred transport method of choice is:
A SHOPPING TROLLEY.
Have you found the ultimate pram? If not, how many are in your possession?
Sarah Wills realised she was a grown-up when her favourite shows became anything at 8.30pm Fridays on the ABC. She loves trashy mags, Diet Coke, Elvis Presley, and Zumba. She hates cooking and sharks. Currently a mother of one, Sarah enjoys a laugh (often at herself) and writing about the funny side of life at www.pearlsofwillsdom.com. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.