Thursday, 29 September 2011

Beating the buggy.

My son is nearly nine months, really needing to go and stretch his social wings. He is a very smiley, chatty chap but I feel he is perhaps getting very clingy to us and as of yet has not really hung out with children of his age. Being social is really important to me,it is a core construct and I don't really get people who are not social and feel sorrow for those children who are scared in school because they were not given social opportunities. I don't know, maybe I am putting a lot of pressure on myself but for my own piece of mind I have to try and attempt to getting him out and about and limbering up his social muscles. Before I go public my son and I are practicing trying to get him into buggy and then into car seat with both our dignities intact.

I shall also be required to do serious weight training. He is almost as large as my upper body now! Not only that but I have to lug buggies about, not something I am good at what with dodgy arms and dodgy every thing body wise! I nearly threw our first buggy, my husband and I were standing in our close trying to see if I could manage to unfold it on my own and fold it back etc. I could do neither and I hate feeling blooming crippled! Stupid buggy. I slung it aside and counted to ten and said "right its time for that simpleton red buggy to come out!". It is fantastic,where has it been all my life!!!!! It has sat in my sons room,lurking behind his cot and I almost forgot about its existence. My mother brought me two buggies, she said I would have to cope with the first and accept I would need help which really wasn't ideal but the second one, with its lack of singing and dancing go faster stripes, just a simple flick out stroller with a nice easy bar to pop down with my foot and kick back up. What a joy!

Advice with buggies:

Go to the Baby Show ran by Emmas Diary, get there early and try as many out as possible looking at all points listed below.

Or hit your local retailer and be prepared to spend an hour at least!

Here are questions to ask yourself- wish someone had told me these when I was pregnant:

1. Weight of buggy minus a child weight- can you lift it when folded, can you push it around with nothing in it. Wheels that twist are useful as you don't need to haul a buggy 90 degrees each time you go around a corner.

2. Now imagine a big old baby in there! Is it still manageable?

3. Don't be fooled into thinking someone else like a hubby,family or friends will want to come out every where with you to unfold and fold buggy, they won't so can you unfold buggy on your own? Are there buttons or levers on it that are hard to do with your feet, hands etc?

4. Now can you fold the buggy because imagine you have just struggled to get heavy baby out and into difficult car seat, do you have the muscle power left to press more buttons, fiddle about with levers to fold the buggy up and lift it into your car?

5. Harness- can you manage to do it up and undo it, imagine a wiggling baby, pull the harness out as though going around a baby or if in Babies R Us stick a big teddy in buggy and try the harness. I would always say get a harness with a big red button which releases the straps, this is a godsend if like me,you have poor dexterity and week pincer grip.

6. Check break mechanism on buggy is manageable for you.

7. Consider a second hand buggy but you do need to be prepared to go and check it. Go on Freecycle and see what is available in your area. If you explain to the Freecycle client that you need to check the buggy first they would definitely understand. A second hand buggy will have a loosened harness mechanism which will mean less hand power also the folding and unfolding mechanisms will be more worn and hence easier to do! However always check the buggy is in good condition!

8. "The more its got the more there is to go wrong"! In terms of for someone with physical difficulties never has an expression been more true. Seriously!!! I have not yet blogged about the awful car seats available and you will need every ounce of energy for getting baby in and out of that, if you take nothing more from this particular blog then do not get a buggy that has more than 2 levers to un-fold and fold up.You do not want to struggle with any more buttons or levers than 3, as I say I nearly threw our first buggy down our close. 

I rarely let life beat me, I rarely get down and always know there are ways around barriers but there are some high street baby items which have nearly beaten me. I would never and have never got mobility aids if I can avoid it, fortuantely when one has a baby and is creaky,one has to accept you will not be able to delight in plastic mobility aids to help with parenting, you will have to think high street baby equipment and try and make some thing from there work for you!

Mobility aids have yet to catch up with the notion that people with physical problems do actually rock and roll and have children. However we do and boy do I love being a parent. The joy I get every morning when I go into his room and say good morning, the pleasure I get from having him sit with his head resting on me whilst we cuddle and read one of his many books, to the funny face he pulls when eating ice cream. I am so privileged in my life. I never forget that. I have no doubt that I am like any other parent on these feelings :o)

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