The day I tried to buy a second-hand pushchair

A few days ago I read an insanely funny post by Man vs Baby about taking your baby abroad for the first time. Although it made me laugh, I was also thinking ‘Shit, this is going to be us very soon!’

So in typical ‘me style’ I sprung into action to try to organise the part of it that I could control (and then all would be well with the world and I could tick it off the ‘things to worry about’ list).

First on the agenda was the pram. I love our pram but it wasn’t cheap. We fell for every sales trick in the book when we bought it as new first-time parents do and there isn’t a gadget we don’t have for it but eight weeks in it’s so far served us really well (aside from the time I physically could not get it in the boot at the local shopping centre and had a massive meltdown – the culmination of a day of bad feeding – only for my husband to tell me later I hadn’t even put the frigging handle down). It is not portable in the slightest though and I dread to think what kind of a state it would come back in after the baggage handlers got their iron-rod fists on it!

So, I set about trying to find a cheap solution. Having remembered a mum-of-two (or seasoned pro as I like to think of her) I met at a local breast feeding group say she gets most things second-hand on Gumtree, I headed to the site to see what we could get for as little as possible.

I should probably tell you at this point that I’m a bit of a snob. I hate taking things second-hand where I don’t have to and so add to that the primal, protective instinct new mothers have for their babies and what you had was me sat there turning my nose up at anything in let’s say a less than desirable area of the city, inspecting photos for any sign of smokers / baby sick from other people’s germy offspring and generally dismissing anyone using poor grammar or spelling (including overuse of the exclamation mark – seriously why does ‘great condition’ need one?).

I swiftly narrowed down the 300+ entries to five that met the criteria, were in budget and had pictures of the actual pram and didn’t seem to have been used as a wipe machine for a snotty child. 

I arranged a few viewings and off I toddled with my mum and baby in tow. Unfortunately the first viewing had slipped through the net of my stringent criteria and was not in a location of choice. Driving closer and closer to said location I began to get anxious and on finding the house I stared doubtfully (see – snob) at the dog poo all over the front garden, empty cans of beer lying around and I could practically smell the cigarette stench from the street.

I stared lovingly at my beautiful, brand new, eight week old son, my baby who still hasn’t had his jabs, the child that I would take a five minute detour for even when pregnant just to avoid one person on a corner puffing away. I glanced at my mum (a bigger snob than me) who was clearly biting her tongue and gritting her teeth. “I’ll wait here with the baby but if you’re not back in five minutes, I’m coming for you!”*

I crept up to the front door knowing already I was going to politely say I would have a think about it and then never think about it again. I knocked and there was no answer. I guess I could have knocked harder but I took it as a sign to get the hell out of there so I skipped back to the car and hot footed it away, following up with an apology about not being able to make it.

An hour later I was bundling a lightweight, pristine, brand new buggy from a discount baby shop that was significantly dearer than those I’d earmarked online into the car, telling myself “It will come in handy for the next one too.”

*Exclamation mark used correctly

Thank you to Man vs Baby – your blog cheered me up no end on a particularly difficult and colicky day.

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