Friday, July 17, 2009

Taking the plunge!

I am a minimalist when it comes to baby gear - when you come into our house, there is nary a jumper or saucer or bouncer or swing. We have had babies for centuries without any of this stuff and they are all fine, so why start now? We've got a Moses basket that we can cart the baby around in, but that is really it. He's good - we just lay him on the floor or the couch or the bed or whatever.

I tend to feel that strollers are overrated too. Our stroller experience is limited as I prefer to wear kids and keep them close to me with my hands free. We did/do use a snap n' go that we borrowed from a friend when Peanut was little and are using it for Pumpkin now. I do like that because if the baby is sleeping you just keep them in the carseat and pop it into the stroller - nice. It stays in the car if we need it, but mostly I just use a baby carrier and wear the little one.

Once I was pregnant and it was harder to carry Peanut in her Ergo, we started to use our small umbrella stroller for walking the dog and longer outings, but this stroller still looks brand new and it is two years old so clearly it is not getting much love. Besides, although it is functional, if I take too big of a step I step on the back wheels of the stroller which is annoying. Also, if I do take it out, the bin for storage is minuscule so it is hard to carry anything without also having a bag over my shoulder. So, it is a cut stroller, but not for serious stroller users.

Well now that I have two little ones, I have been deciding what to do about the DOUBLE STROLLER DILEMMA. At first, I was just not going to do it. Those strollers are like steering a cruise ship - who needs it? Then, we realized after going to two family events/festivals that Peanut gets tired quickly and is getting a little heavy to be carried, so having a stroller for both kids may make more sense than we thought.

Here are the facts:
- I rarely use a stroller now - only for dog walks and the occasional mall trip
- Honey carried Peanut for at least an hour on each of two very hot days when she was truly tripping over herself at outdoor festivals
- I'd rather carry one babe - in the Moby or Ergo if I have the choice
- Pumpkin is not yet big enough for the Ergo (close though!)
- The Moby is too hot to wear outdoors until the fall
- The Baby Bjorn is the only good option for carrying right now because Pumpkin fits in it and it is the coolest (temperature) to wear
- I hate the Baby Bjorn
- I will have the occasion to wheel both kids around indoors and out
- I have stroller envy when I see really nice strollers and very well heeled people pushing them (maybe it is envy of other parents looking so polished when I just do not feel at all put together)
- I need to get out and exercise
- The dog must be walked

So the upshot is that we do need a double stroller. Simple enough, but do you realize the intricacies of this??? There are twin, tandem, and jogging strollers. There are 5 and 3 point harnesses, front swivel and locking wheels, jump seats, extended sun canopies, lay flat seats, and a myriad of other options to choose.

After really about two weeks of hard study (I'm totally serious - like studying for finals), I narrowed it down. We needed a side by side stroller, with 5 point harnesses, no center wheel in the back, swivel wheels in the front, big sun canopies, a decent divide between the seats (she they don't pinch each other too much) and we needed to be able to push and steer easily over indoor and outdoor even surfaces with the occasional grass, mulch, or rougher terrain.

I finally decided that I could get all of this in a jogging stroller, and since I can count the times I have been to the mall this year on one hand, I really need it for outdoors more than anything. Again, seems simple right? Double jogging stroller - how many of those can there be? You'd be shocked. I narrowed it down and have been combing craigslist for the deals. Well, of course, the ones I want are not there, and when they are, someone buys them in an instant. So, I did it. I bought a brand spanking new stroller for an absurd amount of cash. All of the reviews said it was worth every penny. All of the discussions in the mom forums, online groups and chats were positive about this stroller. It sounds like the people like me who want a stroller for the same purposes love this one. For what it costs, this stroller should make me look polished and poised while pushing two babes around the block. Let's hope so!

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