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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Toby's been Tango'd...

His future might be bright, but his present is orange, as we've been forced to buy him the gift of a new buggy. Yes, I haven't just spent my annual leave doing remedial art projects in my dressing gown; I've also managed to get out of the house long enough to break a pushchair.

It was actually on Friday that I decided I was feeling well enough to get some fresh air, so in a moment of weather-related optimism, I decided to wheel Toby down to Asda in the buggy. We didn't particularly need anything, so naturally by the time we emerged from the store, I was carrying about half a ton of shopping, most of which was suspended from the buggy.

Now, I'm not sure if that was the cause of the breakdown, or whether it was just the cumulative effect of two children, five-and-a-half years and hundreds of miles, but as I pushed Toby up the steep slope out of the marina, the chassis of the buggy snapped, and the whole thing collapsed. Toby was concertina'd inside like a tight-fitting hammock, and I was struggling to keep the thing upright.

To cut a long story short, I was able to proceed only on the condition that (a) I didn't put any weight on the front wheels, (b) I held the handles apart as though I was going "Ta-da!", and (c) I didn't mind looking like I was doing irresponsible wheelies with a small child in some kind of clown vehicle.

I did consider abandoning the buggy on the grounds that it didn't appear to be fixable, and was likely to be chucked when I got home, but Toby didn't have any shoes with him, and there was no way I could carry both him and the shopping. And I was reluctant to abandon him too. (I'd paid good money for that shopping).

So I pressed on, and in a remarkable feat of endurance which almost succeeded in killing me, I managed to make it most of the way home. At which point I reached the limits of my strength, phoned Lisa on my mobile, and asked her to walk down the hill to meet me. She carried Toby the rest of the way, and I dragged the shopping and the broken buggy.

Upon closer inspection, the buggy was indeed unsalvageable, which is annoying, because it's lasted us for more than half a decade, and if Toby's anything like his sister, he'll start refusing to go in it about three months from now, so if it had just lasted us a bit longer, we could have saved some money and spent it on a new pair of walking boots for Toby.

As it is, we've spent forty quid on a cheap stroller which makes him look like he plays football for Holland. The only upside is that I might be able to recoup some of the cost via a sponsorship deal with Sunny Delight.