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By trade I am a journalist with a background in current affairs, culture, health and fitness, travel and high profile interviews. I also own and run an outdoor fitness business aimed at people that hate gyms and bootcamps (www.spartanfitnesslondon.co.uk). Most importantly though, I am on Shared Parental Leave from May 31 to October 3. Everyday from 0730 to 1800 I will be in sole charge of a real and completely awesome baby girl.

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Monday, 4 July 2016

DAY 32 – BUGGY BUGBEARS


Daddyshortlegs Baby Joggger City Mini GT

WHEN it comes to chatting about buggies/prams/stroller/pushchairs there won't be many that are more happy with their product than I am with my Baby Jogger City Mini GT.

The user-friendly piece of kit is robust, has excellent manoeuvrability, is remarkably easy to assemble and fold up and it looks super stylish, especially for people like the Milk Lady who are obsessed with the colour red. Furthermore despite not being designed as a running buggy the Baby Jogger is versatile enough to cater for a decent run on roads and flat grass.

And when the product is in "pram" mode, when a new baby needs to be kept flat in the compact or deluxe pram, the storage basket is pretty large. 

As you may have predicted though, there is a "but". A giant "but". For all of the merits of this superb baby vessel, of which there are many, when it is in standard "stroller" mode, the amount of under-baby storage is simply inadequate.

I've had many a rant, to myself and to whoever happens to be close by when my self-destruct button has been activated and steam is billowing from my nostrils, about the lack of room for the infamous yet vital Baby Bag. As the kids might say, "O.M.G," there have been some fireworks.

A particular standout moment with regards Buggy Undercarriage Meltdowns came ahead of my latest walk to Baby Yoga, one of my favourite parts of the week. As always A-Bomb and I were due to meet the NCT mums at the end of our road to walk up for breakfast pre-yoga... lovely. Meet at 0850 for a leisurely 15-minute stroll. Sure.

There had been a textbook 0700 wake-up from M'Lady, a nappy change, a feed from the Milk Lady, some porridge fingers in the high chair and by 0825 we were dressed and ready to go... we just needed to pack the all-important Baby Bag under the three-wheeled buggy. Now, I will admit that by now I should have known to have loaded the bag *before* plugging in the baby, but I had not done that. A-Bomb was plugged in without any fuss but I knew that once on-board, movement needed to take place within at least 10 seconds before annoyance, then full crying would kick in. No problem... I just needed to sling the bag in and we'd be off.

I grabbed the bag (a blue and pink number that I recently subbed in for a fetching red Longchamp carrier that was far too big for the buggy) and attempted to wedge it into the tray underneath the Lady. No chance. It would not fit. A-Bomb was already making noises about not being on the move. I whacked the brake on to ensure the buggy didn't roll away while I pushed the bag harder.

I had already stripped out several emergency clothing items, baby goggles, and a sunhat to trim down the bag's size. I had even reduced the number of nappies from the mandatory eight to just three to save space. On reflection that was mental – I got away with it, but it was a stupid, irrational move that should never be repeated. If anything I deserved to end the day covered in a nutty substance for my naivety. Never leave home without EIGHT extra nappies.

After one minute of wrestling with the bag I had made zero progress and whoever was filming me was making multiples of £250 for You've Been Framed. A-bomb was now super frustrated because she could see no reason why the bloke who pushes her was not pushing her. A fair point. My front door was open because to allow for a quick exit but at this stage it was just giving passers-by a window into a mad man attacking a pushchair. I was basically taking run ups and shoulder-charging a small bag into my daughter while aggressively muttering things along the lines of "oh dear, I wish this bag would pop underneath the buggy, because I am now late. Fiddly Dee".

With me dripping in sweat, veins popping through my skin and my eyes popping out of my skull,  my pre-yoga inner zen had been knocked somewhat sideways. A bag containing nappies, some milk and some spare clothes had reduced me to a shell of a person all because the storage compartment on the Baby Jogger City Mini GT is not acceptable, in my (correct) opinion.

Anyway... eventually by sheer brute force the bag was pushed into place and we got on our way. We weren't even late, thanks to my excellent, relaxed preparation. It was never in doubt, I had it under control.

Breakfast at our favourite place, Tota (ww.tota-restaurant.co.uk) was excellent and Baby Yoga (www.northcotebaby.com) was great... a good way to chill out, even when required to hold a whale baby above my head for long stints.

Just, to reiterate, A-Bomb and I love our buggy and still would not trade it for a a different model... but we would politely suggest to Baby Jogger that efforts could and should be made to increase the storage capacity.









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