Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Parenting Thing - It Begins?

We bought a stroller. 

I had no intention of buying a stroller so far in advance.  I mean, it's not like we're going to be strolling Baby Duck home from the hospital in January.

I had been talking about strollers for a while though.  And scoping them out every time we went somewhere.  I don't especially like striking up conversations with strangers, but I found that my desire to learn how people liked their baby strollers overcame any shyness.  So I asked moms at the mall, dads at the farmers' market, couples pushing strollers in Forest Park, how they liked their stroller.  I knew that I wanted a jogger to accompany Coop and me on our daily walks and I was trying to decide from among a Mountain Buggy (highly recommended by David's aunt, but the most expensive and least cute), a BOB (most popular stroller seen out and about, but so large) and a Phil and Ted (cute colors, although David ruled out my top choice of apple green in favor of--you guessed it--Cardinal red).  I compared online reviews, read about the strollers in the Baby Bargains book, and considered what I would be using the stroller for (it's going to be our everyday stroller, really, and I will be walking the neighborhood everyday with it but no serious trail running or anything like that).

In the end, the Phil and Ted won, mostly because it can be converted to a double stroller with a doubles kit that attaches to the back of the stroller but doesn't make the stroller take up any more space.  Sure, the kid in the back doesn't have much of a view, but I knew there was no way I was ever going to want to get one of the huge side-by-sides or one of the long train-style strollers.  So this seemed like a good plan.

I'd mentioned this to David several times, interrogated a woman pushing a Phil and Ted at the farmers' market (she loved hers--and it was apple green!), pointed her stroller out to David in person and later shown him pictures online.

David seemed willing to accept my well-researched decision, but not particularly excited about the stroller.  Not that I really expected him to be.  Once I made up my mind, we talked about the fact that we could register for the stroller but no one would buy it because it is so expensive.  So we might as well just wait and buy it with tax return money in February or March after the baby is born.  That seemed like a sensible plan, so I figured that was the end of it.

A couple of weeks ago, we visited a local store called Cotton Babies to investigate our cloth diaper options (and let me tell you, there are lots of them--that's a whole separate post in itself).  The very nice and informative sales woman gave us a tour of the different diaper options (the Eco-diaper, the Flip diaper, the Bum Genius, the Bum Genius 4.0, the Funzi Bunz, the "traditional" diaper covers, etc.).  I took notes because, seriously, how else could I keep track of all the options?

At the end of the tour, we wandered the store a little bit more and I oohed and aahed over the soft bamboo onesies and David played with the wooden toys and then we checked out the strollers.  David played with the Phil and Ted model, said he liked it, and then we headed home.

My mom and I were at the mall that afternoon when he called me.  He had found the Phil and Ted stroller online.  At a store that was running a $100 discount on the model we wanted and offering free shipping, no taxes.  Plus he'd found a promo code for 10% off.  He wanted to order to stroller right away.

Evidently getting to play with the "new toy" in person made it that much more exciting for him.  Suddenly he couldn't wait to get this stroller.  So we ordered it and the car seat attachment (Sold separately of course.  Of course.).

The evening it arrived, David eagerly began the assembly process.

Imagine our surprise that the baby was not included with the stroller.  For the price we paid, you can understand our confusion.

It was a somewhat frustrating process. 

The instruction manual has no written instructions.  Everything is shown in small, black and white pictures.  Which don't always offer the angle that would be most useful.  So it was a bit of a guessing game.  David was furious with the instruction manual by the time he got finished (although the stroller appeared to be put together properly).

  That smile - it's fake.

Cooper and Little Mac helpfully offer their assistance.

I reminded him of the time we borrowed a Pack 'n Play from the neighbor for his niece to sleep in and she brought it over with the instruction manual and we worked on it for at least an hour before I finally went back down the street to ask her to come over and show us what to do because the two of us could make no sense of the directions. 

At last, David had the stroller put together and both the dogs were very nervous about it.

Success!  Stroller appears larger than life due to small size of living room.

In the end, his assembly skills conquered the stroller's stubbornness.  Baby Duck now has a Cardinal red stroller.

At 21 weeks, the fetus is stoked about her new stroller.
And if we thought the instruction manual that came with the stroller was hard to read, just wait until we bring home the baby.  I hear that those things don't even come with a manual at all!


  1. we almost got divorced like 6 times assembling baby stuff. especially our IKEA crib. the babies were way easier than the gear :)

    super cool stroller!!

  2. I am a Phil and Ted's evangelist. I wish we'd gotten ours as our first stroller like you did because it can do EVERYTHING. Trails! Streets! Stores!! It is so worth the price when you consider that you don't have to buy an *inside* stroller AND an *outside* stroller. And also that you won't have to buy a second double stroller one day. We got it to use as a double and I get so many compliments on how compact it is. Enjoy!

  3. Rachel Watson (Affton)September 22, 2010 at 8:07 AM

    I have a friend that keeps on having babies. She loves her Fuzzi Bunz diapers. He has even bought lightly used before.
    Your friend from Affton

  4. I want to hear about the different type of diapers you learned about.

  5. I hope I get pregnant soon so I can utilize your research.