Okay. So I haven’t had children before. So perhaps it was ever thus. But I’m pretty sure when I was a little ‘un, prams were prams and then there were pushchairs. And in the years since there’s been increasing mentions of car seats.
What I don’t *ever* remember, is talk of “complete travel systems”. And surely they weren’t always so expensive? I mean, they cost more than my car!
Early on in my pregnancy I had daydreams of wandering along Leigh-on-Sea’s Broadway with my baby cooing in a classic Silver Cross model (yes, I know the baby is more likely to be crying than cooing and I’ll probably have my clothes on inside out through lack of sleep. But still.) I figured they’d be pricey… but £1,750?! The Vintage Balmoral is gaaawgeous. But gosh, so far out of my price range I might as well be lusting after the new Rolls Royce Phantom (well, not quite. But you get my drift.) I also realised that they probably weren’t the most practical of things (there’s no way that’ll fold down and fit in the boot of my KA is there?)
So I reigned things back in. And the husband and I duly wandered round a few baby-tastic shops. But here’s the thing. Even somewhat cruddy-looking ones are hundreds of pounds. Ones with a bit of style to them (like this one by Bebecar) – that don’t feel as though the suspension is so naff the baby will still be rattling an hour after a trip to the end of the road and back – are again super expensive (less than the Balmoral admittedly, but still…)
And suddenly it seemed that we couldn’t just get a pram. Or if we did, it’d something of a false economy. Because then we’d need to buy a separate car seat (and you don’t want to scrimp on those do you?) And buy a push chair before too long. So you find yourself thinking, yes it makes complete sense to buy a “travel system”. Some nifty contraption that turns from a pram, into a car seat and into a pushchair. All with some super-simple flips and pulls and pushes and levers.
So we were left in a bit of a pickle. I spent many an evening trawling through eBay and Preloved and Gumtree. Yet even second-hand “travel systems” are not cheap (unless you don’t mind one with three wheels, or one where a dog appears to be living in it.) I got close to getting click happy on a Silver Cross one (yes, the dream hadn’t quite died at the altar of practicality) only to realise that £200 would get me a pram the perfect size for a, er, doll. (In my defence it was quite late at night. And it was pictured outside with nothing to give me any perspective of size.)
In the end, we were saved by the good-thinking of my in-laws. It turned out my mother-in-law had kept the 1979 pram she’d bought when pregnant with my sister-in-law. Just in case, y’know, it’d do a good turn for a grandchild one day in the future. Tucked away in the loft was this green cord beauty. A vintage-lover’s dream.
And one of my sister-in-law’s (the previous occupant of the aforementioned green cord pram) revealed she had kept hold of an iCandy Peach, though our two nephews had outgrown it. For JUST THIS REASON. How brilliantly wise. She had everything for it – only the frame had given up the ghost – and that would cost us a fraction of the price of buying the whole shebang.
So suddenly we are all travel system-ed right up. In fact it’s pram-galore at High Tide.
Now all we’re wondering is where you keep such things. I feel like they need a garage or something all of their own (NB we don’t even have a garage for the car.)
So um, where do you keep yours?