Pushchairs, buggies, call them what you will, have changed out of all recognition since my days of pushing one around the streets. Then it would be a simple, rather rickety affair which folded up quite easily (probably trapping a bit of skin somewhere on your hand in the process) and was light enough to lift up the steps on to the bus and carry to the back and push under your seat. Hardly ever would you need to buy one new - somebody, some relation, or a neighbour, would have an old one you could have. And after your toddler was walking well enough to flatly refuse the indignity of going in a pushchair, then you could pass it on to somebody else.
Of course few of us had cars so it was always the bus if we wished to go anywhere.
Now, have you noticed, all these expensive, trendy buggies that are around. They are almost a status symbol like cars, they are large and rather unwieldy and the complications of folding them down require a degree in ergonomics (do I mean that, I am not altogether sure what they are to be honest).
But the thing that worries me most of all is that nowadays baby is always facing whoever is pushing the buggy. I suppose it is something to do with making eye contact with baby from an early age, with being able to communicate, being able to reinforce that bond. But I liked pushchairs when the occupant faced the same way we were going. Then I could point out things as we passed.
"Here's a big, red bus coming. Why don't you wave to the driver?"
"Look at that lovely little dog over there on the other side of the road!"
"Look who's coming! Wave to Daddy."
And my favourite of all time was pushing my Grand-daughter around the streets of Halifax in West Yorkshire while she looked for 'e' in all the street signs. Her name is Emily and when she was very small she would ask if we could go on a walk and look for the 'e in emily signs'.
Alright, if the child faces the pusher then he or she has permanent
contact, but if he/she faces forward then how many different people will they meet and make eye contact with? I think that is a much better idea. What do you think?