Friday, February 10, 2006

Pushing my shopping cart again

A few weeks ago the family made their way to THE market and I became obsessed with getting a new stroller. God, our stroller is just, too big. I mean it is a freakin' Gracosaur and unbecoming of our sleek urban family demographic. We have a compact car and a compact house, our lawn is size-reduced, and we are both pretty short. Downsizing just makes sense. Some effort began and we casually looked for a new stroller, we re-read all the blogs.

Then we had to travel. Travel by air. The big voice says: Oh my god let's buy a new stroller and let's buy it this week. Hell let's buy two! A small voice said: maybe you could borrow a stroller from D...

We debated the merits of Zooper, Maclaren (of course), Silverwing... so an so is rep'ing the Ingelsina, maybe it's good? Lunch hours and evenings, we were buying a stroller. Those of you in the know will agree this is not the best environment within which one might make this type of decision, and the stakes are high. God, the only thing worse than owning a gauche stroller is entering the big ticket hell that is sleep or 'travel' baby crap.

By the time we heard from D, we had purchased 2 strollers. So we talk strollers with the A---s, they know 10 times as much as us about all manner of baby junk, what with being 10 times smarter and 10 times richer than us. We invoked the standard protocol and just looked on their paper. We're like that. The results of the conversation: The angels lent us their well-loved Maclaren for our trip and we are free to return the $700 worth of strollers we acquired on the panic purchase program.

Wu-wee, the Maclaren was soo cool, eh. We now must totally have one, right? Well maybe. It is a good stroller no doubt but it has its shortcomings. It is uni-utilitarian and that is sort of too bad. My big fat stroller is big and it is fat but it is also adaptable. It is a good high chair substitute with its snack tray and parents tray, too. As daddy pointed out when we bought it it even has a spot for your rolling papers. The Gracosaur is comfy and our girl is a good stroller sleeper when other methods fail. It was a great comfort to me when I went back to work last July that the sitters could take her out for a nice effortless walk and she'd be guaranteed a good doze in convertible bassinet on wheels, they parked her under the camelia and that's where I would find her happy and rested. The stroller I have has a big ass basket and I shop in town. 2 blocks east I have the 14 most competitive Chinese vs. East Indian fruiterers in the city, the German bakery down the block, and all the rest of it. That's how we shop. To the west I have the chain grocer, plus the organic hippies along side the fish store and stuff, that one's twenty minutes but it is a nice go around as grocery shopping goes.

I struggle with the Gracosaur, it is too large for many of the shops we frequent, but the replacements don't do all I want. It is the baby junk trap. Each product possesses a wide enough array of features to be alluring, but there is always a trade-off. All these things fuel a marketing algorithm that guarantees a certain degree of dissatisfaction. Always made better by the temporary usefulness of all things baby factors further layered on these things.

The most oft-told stories of my own baby days come from my Moms walking tales. She consistently tells of packing both my brother and I into the pram and setting off to town centre for shopping. I take my girl out just to walk sometimes but mostly I think in my travels I try to emulate my mom, or at least her memories of my early years. I really prefer to head out prepared to do something besides wandering. I guess I am looking for a shopping cart the size of a Maclaren. Wish me luck.


Blogger stefanierj said...

I have no shame--I love my Gracosaur (I also love that nickname, which I plan to use liberally now). In fact, we just lent it and its infant seat (how brill is that, I ask you--a stroller that lets you put your infant seat right in!!) to some friends. But then we're kind of into the blue-collar angle like that. Our station wagon is (gasp!) American, not Japanses. We shop (oh horrors!) at the big box retailers a lot because sometimes I just can't go visit 15 different damn merchants for all the stuff I need. I even, from time to time, feed my child stuff made by a baby food company and not lovingly made in my very own kitchen. So the pressure's off! You can't be as much of a un-hip mom as me!

10:30 a.m.  
Blogger Andrea said...

I bought the cheapest one I could find that had a basket under it. Love my stroller and it doesnt even have a brand name. totally lucked out,

2:18 a.m.  
Blogger L. said...

I can`t contribute to this conversation. I was a cheap umbrella stroller type -- picture shopping bages hanging off the handles, like a homeless person`s rolling closet. Many times, the stroller would actually TIP BACKWARDS, with a kid in it, because I overloaded it (we didn`t have a car in Tokyo). The kids all survived. The strollers all fell apart.

7:34 a.m.  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

I had a gracosaur but after running over three dogs and knocking an old man on his back and killing a small child in the narrow isles of local boutiques, I dropped the Gracosaur with the parents and bought a Maclaren Triumph. I love it.

9:53 a.m.  
Blogger Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I have a double Gracosaur. It is the strolling equivalent of a Hummer Limo.

1:53 p.m.  

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