We visit a pram shop.
I realise that this introduction is perhaps not the best way to draw people in, being of equivalent interest to TV’s ‘And now, starring Ross Kemp…’
I immediately find myself in enemy territory. There are prams everywhere. Couples browse hand in hand, cooing at each other in a lovey fashion, and I realise with a start that they are exactly like the people in catalogues. It is sinister. I am assuming that they are all models, and when a real customer walks in, they scurry out from the room at the back and take their positions in a catalogue-like manner.
“Do you need any help?” asks Lisa, the Pram Shop Assistant.
Clearly we need help. However, it is a point of honour that whenever I am in any form of shop, if the assistant comes over and asks if I need help, the reply is “I’m fine, thanks.”
“Yes, I think we need lots of help,” replies the LTLP. She has no dignity.
I don’t know when it was that prams became so complicated. Certainly when I was a child, they were very simple affairs, just a box sort of thing on wheels. The one I travelled in didn’t even have any brakes, and kept hurtling down the steep hill into the river, or that is what my mother said to the policemen when they brought me back. Anyway, it was basic. The Wartburg Knight of the baby transportation world.
But babies today seem to want to travel in unparalleled luxury. It is why we have so much anti social behaviour and thugdom, they are spoilt from the word ‘go’. Frankly, if I’d have been a few feet shorter, I would have climbed into one myself and the LTLP could have wheeled me round the rest of the shopping centre. It would have been good practice for her.
I am torn at the moment between one which converts into about 129347 other things in a Bond-like fashion, or one of the three wheeled ones. The latter do strike me as a bit like having a Range Rover for the school run, but it would be very practical on the sort of terrain that we would be encountering around the village. Plus you could do bash-ups in it.
In fact it is very noticeable in the catalogue – the traditional prams and push chairs are all illustrated showing an unfeasibly pert and pretty young mum lugging them around, whereas the three-wheelers all feature pictures of dad. They are clever.
Two hours later, we leave the pram shop. This is a new world for me, and I’m not sure that I feel at home.