The pram. Alongside nappies, the emblem of all that is considered to be rubbish about parenthood. “You want to spend your twenties forging a career and travelling the world, not changing nappies and pushing a pram about”.
Pramface, that horrible word, defined on Peevish’s online Slang Dictionary as:
|pramface||Noun. A teenage mother, usually from a council housing estate. Coined by the online gossip site, Popbitch, and originally a woman with the facial looks of a poor single mother as seen around a housing estate. Derog.|
What constitutes ‘the facial look of a poor single mother as seen around a housing estate?’ I wonder.
Before I had Tom, someone very kindly donated me a pram. It was beautiful with a big bouncy chassis and I loved taking him for walks in the park in it during our first hot summer together.
Shortly before Tom’s first birthday, when I was researching what model to buy online, I became aware of a breed of women who call themselves pramoholics. Pramoholics stop at nothing in their quest to get their hands on the latest pushchair but are quick to discard it via Ebay if it turns out to be a case of form over function. How ridiculous! Who cares if it has got three wheels, or cup holders, or comes in hundreds of zingy colours? All I wanted was something durable that would get us from A to B. I decided on a good old-fashioned Maclaren, just like Mum had for me.
My sensible attitude to prams went out of the window when I came across the Lulu Guinness Maclaren Quest. I’ve never been a sucker for designer labels but this had ‘I Love You’ written all over it in a gorgeous, bright, retro font. How inconspicuous. I don’t know what I was thinking but I knew it was the one, and when I found an offer online to get it for the same price as the grey or the navy model, my mind was made up.
My Maclaren has been brilliant over the past two years. It has carried Tom through the Australian rainforest, bumped up and down the trecherous 30 steps at our train station goodness knows how many times, and been like a packhorse when it comes to carrying shopping. As I don’t drive, it is a bit like my car. On one occasion, I called in on a friend on the way back from town with a weekly shop and a 6 foot tall palm tree all balanced on the back of my beloved buggy. Sometimes, it feels strange to walk without it, having nothing to hang on to; it’s a bit like a zimmer frame.
So, it was with great sadness and a bit of swearing that I watched a wheel roll off it in the supermarket the other night. I had been playing buckaroo again and however much my shopping weighed, it was enough to tip-up poor 15kg Tom. I called Mum.
“It’s a sad day Mum. My Maclaren finally died.”
“I thought you were going to say that, I was looking at it last time you were here – right back wheel?”
She told me I would have to go to a charity shop for a new one. I couldn’t find one. I looked into getting wheels on Ebay, started Googling and kept finding myself on pramoholics forums. Then, the following evening, she called again.
“Would you push a bright yellow buggy? I’m in Mothercare and there’s one here for £50.”
“Yeah I would Mum, but I haven’t got a spare £50.”
“Oh it’s alright, I’ll treat him.” she said, as though Tom would have been the one who would have had to have gone to Mothercare and part with £50. Good old Mum.
I went out on Saturday night. I have piled on the pounds and my dress was too tight, but I didn’t realise this until I was in the front seat of a cab to town with it riding up obscenely high. Trying to hitch it down without flashing the poor driver was no fun. The club was one of those places where people don’t really dance and let themselves go but stand around like mannequins, pouting and looking beautiful. My lumps and bumps would have ruined the perfection of it all so I kept them under wraps. I left my coat on all night long and didn’t feel the benefit when I stepped out into the icy air in the early hours. I’m never doing that again, so action had to be taken…
Tonight, my friend and I trekked the hills of Swinton, giving the new buggy a trial run. It’s going to take some getting used to, the angling, stuff like that. In the morning, I am determined to resume walking to Tom’s nursery instead of getting a cab, which saves time but costs money. I will cut through the estate and the park. So, if you see a poor single Mum around a council estate with the facial look of someone who is unfit and flustered, it probably isn’t a pramface, it’s probably me.
The Maclaren’s Best Bits