(Caveat: That picture is from 2015, but still a good representation of how we feel today)
One gripe I have about our area is the lack of baby stores. Never did I think my hubby and I would find ourselves mad about something like that, but here we are. The closest pottery barn kids is 2 hours and change, the closest buy buy baby is over 3 hours away, and all the Baby’s R Us stores closed down. The only possible way to test out these major registry items (car seat, stroller, pack-n-play, high chair, furniture) was limit our options to what target had on display, or hop in the car and spend a whole day driving. Since we already drove 2 hours to pick out and purchase our nursery furniture, and my need to pee and re-adjust my positioning every 30 minutes has taken over, we opted for aisle O6 to do our stroller research.
The first trip to stollerhood was just the Hubby and I, and while we both have masters degrees, we have never looked or felt more inept in our whole lives. Combined, our stroller IQ was a -150, and we honestly wish we could have gotten the security footage to watch at a later date and laugh at the ridiculousness. Going into this, we had some recommendations from friends and family who are new-moms, and due to target’s limited supply, we were looking mainly at Chicco and Graco. Our initial thought was, ok these are very nice but what on earth do we need to look for?
We pushed them around and amazingly so, they were all very smooth—on the nice indoor target floors. If anyone was enjoying the show, they would have seen us wheeling around various strollers, my purse as the baby (though I believe it is actually heavier than most one-year-olds), doing donuts and making sharp turns, because this is clearly what we would do with a child in it…testing out which one had the most control, which was the most grounded, and of course which one was the lightest. We took the carseats in and out, proud of ourselves that it only took 5 minutes and two people to find the lever that released them. OK great, they all function as a means to push a baby around and transport said baby to the car without waking her. What it basically came down to was how easy they were to collapse and get into my car…
Well here lies the reason you should never shop alone as parents-to-be. Also the reason you should do it at a baby store and not a target if you have to do it at all. It did not take us too long to find the pull levers in the middle of the stroller, though some are cleverly concealed under the padded seat, but once we got them fully collapsed, the fun began. We could not get the Chicco one to stay collapsed, and it proceeded to wheel itself open every time we tried. We cheered once as we thought we had gotten it to stay, only to simultaneously groan as it snickered at us and sagged itself open again. We got the Graco one collapsed and locked in place, a big high five for that one, but for the life of us could not figure out how to open it back up. At one point my hubby put both of them back on the shelf, one sagging and wheeling itself open like a sad caterpillar, and the other still folded and locked never to be opened again. I guess our laughter floated over to an employee (thirty minutes into the struggle thank you very much) and like a knight in shining armor we saw bright lights as we heard “Do you need any help?”
“YES!!!!! PLEASE!!!! We cannot get this one to stay collapsed, and we cannot get this one to open back up!” We both breathed a long sigh of relief and turned to her anxiously to hear what had to be the easiest most obvious solution ever. She walked over to the Graco stroller and much to our chagrin, started walking around it slowly in circles, head cocked like our yellow lab when he hears weird noises coming from the TV. She pushed the same buttons we did, attempted to yank it open like we did, and then let out a little, “huh” like we did. Clearly we just lowered our stroller IQ a few points and were nowhere better than when we started. I asked her point blank if there was anyone who worked in the store who specialized in the baby section. She shook her head, but then walked away and called another associate over.
I don’t know why I let myself feel hopeful, because this girl literally proceeded with the same exact steps the three of us had already tried. I even accosted a lady who entered our godforsaken aisle O6 and asked her if she knew anything about strollers. She shook her head and all but ran away. Just as I had given up hope, I screamed “WAIT! What about this!?!” and with one tiny lift of a very cleverly hidden lever, the whole thing came crashing open. OK well not crashing, we still had to push it open, but it felt like it should have. I know this might seem like a tiny victory, but I felt sort of proud of myself for being the one to figure it out. Sad. I know but just let me have this.
“Well, we are DEFINITELY NOT getting THIS ONE!” Hubby put it back on the shelf happy to be rid of the stupid “one-handed fold” with false advertising and the need for a doctorate degree stroller. Needless to say we did not bother asking the employees to look at the other stroller, and we just decided to leave the store altogether. We may have left even less excited to look at strollers as we were when we started. All along I shared snapchat videos of our mis-adventures with my brother and sister-in-law, in hopes that she would see how desperately pathetic we were, and she very graciously offered to take me to target on their next visit to see us.
That my friends, is a whole other post, for another time!
Here we are looking a little cuter and more put together…. 😀