Tag Archives: pushchair

The perfect pushchair…

Doesnt exist.

I’m a pushchair moron. Anyone who has ever seen me try to steer my pushchairs around anything will know that. The people who have had their feet run over by said bad steering will also know that.  Before you ask, yes my driving is awful too.

Anyway, having finally lost the last end of my rag with the Phil & Teds after a seat catastrophe and then a tyre catastrophe and being housebound for a week, we decided to go and purchase a side by side double stroller.

We went into Babies R Us at the weekend and looked at the Cosatto You 2 twin.  We had a short test drive and then came home to order the Polka Dogs version from Amazon.

So, today it arrived.

I took it out of the box, started to build it (sunhoods, adjust seats, footmuffs, test brakes etc) when Toddler brings me a small piece of grey plastic and asks “What’s that Mummy?”

Well, I’d heard a bit of a snap when I’d tested the brakes but I know that these things can make a noise when they click in, so didn’t think anything of it, but upon checking, one of the back wheels had cracked.  Not the most awesome start, I must admit.

I got straight on the phone to Cosatto and they were fab.  A new wheel is coming tomorrow, no questions asked.

So ignoring everything I know about health and safety and being a bad parent, I decided to take myself and my stir crazy kids out for a walk.

I have yet to brave the supermarket so these are early impressions.

Let me hit you with the Cons first:

1. It’s wide.  I can’t fit it in the house, but we expected this.  I’m a bit concerned about getting it through narrow doors elsewhere but I can’t think of anywhere I go regularly where I can’t either leave it outside or get someone to help me.  So more of an inconvenience really.

2. The wheels.  They are plastic, as is common with this type of stroller.  This makes for a bit of a bumpy ride as we have a lot of the textured paving around our way.  However, the pro of this is that the vibration seems to make the kids sleep.

3. The raincover covers both sides at once (although I don’t think this can be done any other way.)  It did mean that when she decided she absolutely did not want the rain cover on, it mean that he had to get a bit wet too.

4. It’s quite bulky – even when folded up.

Hmmm, I think that is about it for the moment.

Pros:

1.  My two love being next to each other and he really enjoyed being able to see everything and having the wind/rain on his face.

2. No possible way it could have a puncture.

3. She can’t kick, punch or poke him too hard from a sideways angle.

4. It’s not heavy to push.  Surprisingly, and even with a Toddler and a 3 month old seems fairly well-balanced (although you can feel the weight difference when going up or down hills.)

5. Goes very easily up kerbs and doesn’t feel like it’s going to tip at all.

6.

So there you have it.

One big fail

That’s what today was.

I was just thinking I had run out of event based blog material and was in the process of typing up my notes…then today came along, ran me over, ground into reverse gear, and did it again.

This morning was a mummys and babies and toddler group. I couldn’t face it. However, this meant that by lunchtime she was climbing the walls, so we couldn’t refuse OHs sisters offer of tea and cake.

Well, if you’ve been reading the blog regularly, you’ll know that the old Phil & Teds has been digging it’s own grave via my hatred for a while. Today, I chucked it in. Ive known for a while that the doubles kit was giving out, but today, she was sat on his legs. Terrified of a trip to a & e for toddler induced trauma, I headed back home and pulled out the gaffa tape.  I used to be an expert with the stuff so fixing this chair so it didn’t sag two inches below where it should sit should be a doddle.

I then had to feed and change O before attempt 2 at leaving the house.  I must mention at this point I had the rain cover on but decided the sun cover (which was in the car) would be better.  I opened the boot, pulled the sun cover out, closed the boot…and realised my fucking keys were locked inside.

Cue panicked (unanswered) calls to OH (lodger was also out).

I began to head for OHs sisters, and got partway there before O started howling. I checked him and found my fixit had failed and she was once again resting precariously on his legs.

Of course, she pickec that point to start jumping up and down in the seat.

I left a message for OH who then had to come home from work and came back and let myself in the back garden.

I was furious. Mostly at myself for being a total fuckwit and locking my keys in the car. Partly at OH because he wasn’t the one stuck outside with a tired Toddler feeling his blood pressure rising.  And because he would never get to experience that joyous feeling of losing control of your children and branding yourself worlds worst parent.  I was a bit pissed off with the Toddler too for being relentless, threatening to dunk herself in the huge puddle, going headfirst down the slide, climbing on the chairs, picking up stones, climbing on toys on the rock hard patio etc etc.

It culminated in her having a screaming hissy fit while I shouted at her and the neighbours called over the fence…and OH opened the back door.

I was absolutely exhausted. I came in and O and I cuddled (she didn’t want to join us) and phased in and out on the sofa while she hassled daddy and tore my notebook to pieces using one of my new biros.

Her nappy change was a battle. She kicked me, she put her hands in it, she tried to roll over…I had had enough.

Then, I opened my eyes and found her wandering around with no nappy on, announcing she was pooing and pissing all over the carpet.

So I decided I didn’t want to see her until the morning.  Until I had calmed down. It’s bad enough we are now trapped here as I refuse to use that pushchair.  It’s worse that we still don’t know what is going on with the CM. I just needed space.

I came to bed. He bathed her and then let her in here woth me. We ate cake (skant consolation) and I made him put her to bed.  He guilt tripped me about that.

What a shit day. I’m going to sleep the fail away.

Why I hate our pushchair

Last Wednesday was again, a Bad Day.

I seem to be having a lot of these lately.

It didn’t start out as a Bad Day,  In fact, she went to the childminders and with OH working at home, it had great promises of being a Good Day, a Nice Day, a Pleasant Day even.

It started out with a trip to the local Family Point to see my Health visitor and get O weighed.

I walked over there as usual after playing “build your own” with the Phil and Teds.  Honestly, the more I put that thing together, the more it suggests to me that an NVQ in construction is probably one of the prerequisites to owning one.  You wouldn’t go and buy a car and have to put the wheels on and seats in every time you wanted to drive it, so why make your consumers do that with a pram?  Anyway, I digress.

I wasn’t particularly nervous about going to Family Point even though I had been warned it was hectic.  When I’m not having a Bad Day, things like large groups of people don’t bother me. I HAD forgotten I was wearing a t-Shirt which said “Monkey says SHUT IT!” in very large letters on the front, but never mind!

It was packed.  There were kids everywhere, I blocked in about 5 push chairs.  And all this after I had gone the wrong way to the centre in the first place (I’d come from the other side and mis-judged it.)  A “lovely” lady was there to point me in the right direction, as PHEW I would never have been able to see the huge red brick building with COMMUNITY CENTRE painted across it otherwise!

Anyway, Kids EVERYWHERE.  Massive mayhem.  The Toddler would have LOVED it.  I mean she would have been in her element.

I sat down in a corner after talking to some of the mums about how old/cute O is and some of the older kids wanted to touch him as they were fascinated. He got grabbed a few times but he slept through it.  I explained he was used to is as she “loves” him all the time.

My Health Visitor called me and we weighed O. He’s 13lbs 5oz now.  Huge.  As big as a 3 month old.  But he’s following his line.  He’s not fat.  He’s not losing weight.  He’s normal.  they have no concerns.  I have no concerns.

I reminded my Health Visitor that I wanted to be involved in her quest to improve maternal mental health and she said that as she is heading the initiative she’s in charge and would like me to do it.  She made a note in her diary to ask about the crèche for the Thursday group and sent me on my way.

Obviously, O needed feeding, so I earned my “Breastfeeding at a packed mothers and toddlers group with Toddlers poking the baby” badge.

Then it was time to budget shop.

I am trying to do everything on a budget.  And stick fairly strictly to a menu to try to cut down on the amount of wastage we have.  I’m also hoping we will save money by being very restrictive about what we buy and buying things ahead of time rather than ad hoc as this seems to result in buying unnecessary items (cute baby clothes, chocolate, toddler toys, seeds, a cake we will never eat etc etc)

So, I’m mentally working through my list and have picked up cans and tins of stuff.  the basket is heavy and it’s resting on the handle bar and across the sun visor of the pram.  I always rest it here.  I don’t normally have a problem.  But today, while I was in the frozen meat aisle on the phone to OH asking him where I could find the frozen chicken chunks, the pram went over backwards.

IT WENT OVER BACKWARDS on to O’s head.  One of the shop assistants shot over and asked if I was ok.  I was in shock and just stood looking down at the stupid pram for what seemed like 10 minutes.  I was horrified.  O was asleep.  he remained asleep.  The only thing that seemed to happen to him was that he went a little red from having his feet higher than his head.

I lifted the pram back up and checked him as best I could.  I was kind of scared to take him out incase there was blood and gore and horrible things.  O seemed to be breathing with no issues and reacted when I touched him, so I piled everything back on the pram and headed to the checkouts a little shaken and with a very sore toe where the basket had landed on it.

Maybe I should have called an ambulance and rushed him to A & E.  Maybe I should have asked a first aider to come look at us.  But I didn’t.  And I regretted this while I was waiting at the checkout.  I regretted it while I was walking home in the rain, my feet getting soaked through my very waterproof flip-flops.

I got back and we woke him up.  I swore I could see marks and bruises on his head where he fell and I felt sick to my stomach that I had been careless and stupid enough to let that happen.  I always considered myself a cautious mum and could never understand how women did silly things like overload a pushchair and yet I’d done it.

OH re-enacted the accident with an empty pushchair and reinforced that there was no way he could have hit his head.

To say I am relieved is an understatement. He’s absolutely fine.

I wish the same could be said for my poor toes.

Phil & Teds update 2

Ok, I believe my last update on this contraption was when we were still using it 1 man.  Since then, we have expanded the family by one and are unable to wuss out and use the Mothercare jobby.

Obviously being forced to use a product automatically puts it into the dislike category for me however I’m starting to learn that it’s not all evil. For starters it can turn on a sixpence.  It’s totally easy to double back on yourself in Sainsburys without needing an entire aisle. This is, of course, provided there are no steps, kerbs or badly laid paving slabs…but more on this later. It also holds two children and barring that third wheel (which actually seems to be the bane of most of its faults) is around the same size as a normal pushchair.  I do love the width. I used it with one of the panniers on today and still found it cleared doorways with ease.

When we first got it, I loathed the baby under configuration and I’m still not totally convinced by the baby in footwell idea, but for a laying down baby and toddler, baby under works.  When she is in the top seat, he is cozy and mostly covered.   I would even go as far as to say that he loves it because it is almost womb-like.  When the pushchair is moved, or she moves, the cot part swings gently. This caused a little concern for me at first but it is such a soft swaying that again I would say it imitates the motion felt in utero.

There is still sadly not enough space for my shopping, the top seat seems a bit flimsy when madam is pulling around in it, there are too many buckles, zips, catches and fastenings and it makes you look like a twat when you’re trying to put it up.  There are also so many bits to it and they don’t fit in the shopping basket and panniers.  If you had to take it in its entirety somewhere, you would need to drive.

Then we have that front wheel.  Wheels on my previous pushchairs have caused some issues if you land on them while they are pointing at a ninety degree angle but I’ve found this easy to push through with minimum distraction to passengers.  Today a ninety degree angle wheel forced us to a grinding halt…in a road. Pushing through caused the whole pushchair to judder, waking O.  It is most likely my driving style and a partially flat tyre, but aren’t I the kind of idiot they really want slamming this thing into kerbs?  I seem to be awesome at slamming it into other people’s feet!

I also had a problem getting it out over the standard seal on our standard pvc front door.  I decided to go backwards so as to not risk having it resting on the third wheel at all and the back wheels refused to go over the seal. There must be a knack to it (I bloody hate knacks) but I couldn’t get it to budge.  It doesn’t appear to be practical to lift the back end using the handle due to weight distribution so I had to bend down and use the chassis to haul it over.  Ok, this is doable in your own home, but not great if you’re out trying to get into a shoe shop.

Having said all this though, I WOULD recommend this pushchair if you have 2 under 2. I’m finding it is endearing itself to me and I’m so much more patient with it now I know what we (the pushchair and I) are capable of. I know I’m not and never will be able to push it to its limits but it is doing a good job of keeping my children comfortable when I feel the need to walk somewhere and even loaded with Toddler, newborn, all their associated crap and some of my crap I can still drive and steer it with one hand!  It’s also wise to keep in mind that we have an older second hand model that has already been heavily used and sat in by three children, so I would expect it to have developed a little personality.

Damn you Phil & Teds, you are winning me over!

Phil&Teds – an update.

After scrubbing this pushchair down, both the OH and I have been avoiding it.  Every time we’ve gone out, we’ve found an excuse to take our big Mothercare pushchair.

I took The Toddler out on Thursday afternoon and thought I would give the Phil &Teds a go as I didn’t much fancy lifting the other one into the car, so I put it up in our hallway.  I seem to have got the hang of putting it up and taking it down which is an improvement.  I then tried to put the hood back on it.  For half an hour.  I didn’t mind lifting the Mothercare one into the car after that.

Saturday we went out again and OH got the hood back on.  I actually got a chance to drive the three wheeler and successfully steered it around the shop without tipping it.

I’ve found that I do like how agile it is and how light it feels to push with 1 child in.  I think it’s starting to grow on me, however, a couple of things I noticed today annoyed me.

The first of these is the harness.  5 little straps. It’s not the amount of straps nor the width of the straps, but more the way that if The Toddler is wearing a skirt, they expose her nappy to the world.  That and the fact you have to remember to pull them all out before you put the child in otherwise they sit on them.  Once the child is sat on them, its a bit of a faff to get them from under, around and behind the child, meanwhile said child has managed to launch herself halfway out of the pushchair again shouting “WALK WALK MUMMY!”.  Not a deal breaker but still something new to remember.

The other problem I have with the pushchair is the size of the shopping basket.   With our Mothercare pushchair, I can do a basket load of shopping, pack it up and chuck it underneath.  Not with this one.  It does have two small rucksacks you can attach to each side, but we didn’t take them and they don’t like they massively extend the capacity.  This lack of space lead to an argument in Sainsburys as he looked a bit lost at being unable to pack everything up and I had to find space to shove things so we could move out of the way of the tills.  The couple behind us were not best pleased nor impressed.

I’m going to try taking her for her walk in this pushchair on Tuesday.  I’ll be doing it alone on mixed terrain, so we’ll see how we get on.  That is of course if it doesn’t annoy me before we leave the house!

Phil & Teds double buggy e3 sport

Ok, this is not a review.  It cannot be classed as a review.  Everything here is personal opinion and based on experience.  I’m not a pram expert.  I’m no good with the damn things in general.

Omg, this pushchair is awful!  Haha.  I know loads of people love them but I just can’t get on with it.  At all.  Maybe its me being useless with pushchairs (the Toddler actually has “crash” and “oh dear” as part of her vocabulary!) but this one just seems to be full of “knacks”.

When we were picking a pram for the Toddler, this was one of the ones we looked at as OHs sister swears by hers (which is now ours!).  First of all, I couldn’t be dealing with all the attachments and clips.  Secondly, it took me half the length of Mothercare to flick the damn thing open.  These two things alone were enough to put me off.  However, the thing I hated most about this pushchair was the baby under baby thing.  Like you’ve just chucked baby 2 in the shopping basket underneath.  Now, to me, (and this is me being a little over sensitive) this seems like it may give way to some confidence issues.  Baby no 2 is restricted in what they can see, mum kicks them with her feet…well, clumsy big foot me would anyway, and the poor thing will end up with shopping dumped on its legs.

Needless to say, I opted for a Mothercare travel system.  Its bulky and heavy and the clip that holds it closed when it’s folded snapped in the first few months but I can put it up and steer it with one hand.  I can also put it down one handed.

However, it only holds one baby, and no matter how many times she protests otherwise, the Toddler is not ready to walk everywhere and won’t be for a while.

OHs sisters children are just old enough that she now only needs a single buggy, so we part exchanged our Red Kite single buggy – which is barely used but also a very good value lightweight but not flimsy buggy- for her Phil & Teds with all the attachments.

It was cheap.  I mean a steal cheap.  I needs a bit of TLC and the Toddler and I have been out in the garden scrubbing it down this morning.  We have just about every attachment going for it.  Its worth probably around £450ish new. And I WANT to love it.  So much.  But even this morning it has annoyed me.

First of all, neither the OH nor I could get it to go up.  Then undoing all the zips and fastenings in order to get it open enough to scrub was a complete pain.  I’ve already managed to almost tip it over on that third wheel and had a serious issue pushing it through the front door.  Luckily, empty, it is lightweight enough to lift.   However, the real kicker for me is the brake.  I have SPD which means the strength in my legs is very limited.  Not a problem with my pram, but I can’t even budge the brake bar on this one without bending down and flicking it on by hand.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I get annoyed by faffing and the Phil & Teds just seems to be one huge faff.  I’m hoping once I’ve had a few tantrums over it and thrown it a few times I’ll finally get it.  I’ll let you know how I get on.