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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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'We're finally getting rid of the buggy. Here are 10 things I won't miss about it'

The ‘no buggy allowed’ signs, the leaf sludge and, of course, the dog poo, writes Claire Micks.

Claire Micks

FOR WEEKS NOW I’ve struggled to think of something to write about. The well had run dry. The writing had been ‘written off’. Nothing was inspiring me to sit myself down in front of the laptop.

Until this afternoon. When I ended up in near tears on the side of the road as I had that horrible realisation we have all had at some stage of our parenting careers, that the brown, innocuous looking, squidgey substance on the side of my buggy, was, in fact, poo.

Yes, that got me all riled up alright.

Not to be too graphic about it, but its location on the buggy indicated it had come courtesy of one the children’s shoes. The same shoes that had already trampled all over the front seats of the car, en route into the back. That had then trampled on their own seats, before they had been comfortably propped up against the front seats as they patiently awaited transportation. Yes, it was a full on dog s**t invasion.

I thought I might vomit on the spot.

For no matter how long I am in this game, I will never get used to the fact that our buggy is effectively a poo magnet, that at any one time, no matter how careful I am, seems to harbour varying amounts of that foul, stomach churning substance, somewhere on its person. And it finally got me thinking – what else about the buggy will I not miss, now that it is eventually on it’s way out?

Now that they really should be using the legs God gave them for carting themselves about, without me having to obediently steer their every move.

shutterstock_280921028 Source: Shutterstock/Ekaterina Pokrovsky

1. No more poo. This time of year is particularly bad. You feel like Jack Nicholson in ‘As Good As it Gets’ as you try and avoid what might be a fallen leaf mascarading as a poo, or vice versa. You’re never quite sure which. Which is particularly difficult with a three wheeler.

Where those foul piles, or their more benign friends, are virtually impossible to avoid. (Oh, and not letting on to the occupants of the buggy whenever you do experience a ‘contamination’. No matter how badly you want to shout multiple four letter words at the nearest pooch. Because they are quite likely to get hysterical about it.)

2. Or worst still, the late Autumn ‘leaf sludge’ which we by now have delightfully spread across our pavements. God only knows what’s buried in there. So, you are left with little choice but to just put the head down, wheel on through, and hope for the best. Because it’s that, or taking the poor kids onto the side of the road in a poo avoidance effort. And I’m pretty sure that’s not anywhere to be found in the Safe Cross Code.

3. Not having to lift it in and out of the car. It always struck me as the height of bad planning, that just as your lower back and stomach are in the worst condition of your life, that you are expected to regularly lug kilos of solid steel in and out of your boot.

4. Fighting with rain covers that never seem to fit properly. And just allow the water to pool like an impromptu water preservation system, until you have to try and ever so delicately remove it, without simultaneously soaking the kids. Like an adult version of ‘Buckaroo’ or ‘Operation’.

5. Dealing with punctures. Whilst in rush hour. In the rain.

6. Forceably getting children into it. Maclaren are yet to invent a buggy that is capable of entertaining a three-year-old who insists on doing ‘the plank’ as you unsuccessfully attempt to tie the straps. (And avoid eye contact with any other person in the vicinity. As it feels like a fundamental breach of your child’s human rights that they can no longer be left free to wander out in front of the nearest car at a moment’s notice. What parent out there hasn’t endured the singular mortification that is the very public ‘please get into the buggy’ battle?)

7. Big buggy, small spaces. Doorways. Shops. Lifts. Cafes. I wonder what it will be like to finally not have to navigate steps, and the audible groans of other customers as they see ‘the tank’, and its occupants approaching. Liberation?! Oh to experience the luxury of ignoring the ‘No Buggies Allowed’ signs.

8. Getting back that few square metres of space in our house which has effectively been known as ‘the car park’ for the past five years. That dead space can now be reclaimed. As can the few yards of floor between it and the door that have a permanent mud ‘snail trail’ courtesy of Irish weather and high traction wheels.

9. What lies between those creases in the upholstery. I’m surprised the National Centre for Disease Control haven’t sent out their people to investigate.

10. The unique frustration that comes from losing the front bar of the Phil & Ted. Or other related appendages. At this stage we are on our third. Have somehow managed, not once, but twice, to ‘mislay’ three foot of solid steel. One word. How?

So, I have no doubt whatsoever that I will be emotional finally saying goodbye to my trusty three-wheeled friend, which I have leaned upon, in so many ways, for so many years now. But I will not miss the remnants of Rex and Brandy around my house. Yes, our four-legged friends can relieve themselves wherever they feckin’ want from now on. My dog poo radar can finally be turned off.

Now, if only I could dispense with the nappies….

Read: Ireland is on track to become the most obese country in Europe – it’s time to tax sugar>

Read: ‘When I left Ireland there was a sense of fear, now it’s a different place full of optimism and change’>

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About the author:

Claire Micks

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