Monday, 30 September 2013

Times have changed.

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?

11 comments:

mrsnesbitt said...

I guess the babies/toddlers need to face mum whilst she is texting!

Gwil W said...

A mirror at the end of a bendy arm would do the trick. Toddler could face forwards and see the big red bus and other interesting things and the pusher could see the toddler. They could make eye contact as when they felt the need.

Pondside said...

Interesting post, Weaver. I think it's a good idea to have baby facing mum while very young, but by a year, I think it's a better idea to have baby facing out. The world is an interesting place - why should a child be restricted to mum's face?

Hildred said...

Oh, I think you are entirely right, Pat. And as an aside, I have begun watching 'last Tango in Halifax; and am so pleased to note it is in West Yorkshire, - I didn't know and hadn't looked it up! Yet...

MorningAJ said...

As someone who never had children I'm not qualified to comment on this. Maybe someone should invent a rotary one, so baby can look in all directions along the way...

Heather said...

I used to think it was better for the child and mother to face each other, but realise that when older, the child can see more for itself when it faces forward.
Some of today's pushchairs are huge and take up so much room in shops and on the pavement. If they get any bigger the owners will need a licence to take them out!

angryparsnip said...

I agree with you. My children looked out on the world and enjoyed, and like you said learned so much that way. We played little games too !

cheers, parsnip

thelma said...

Facing out and seeing the world, my grandson would 'read' everything from an early age, always pointing things out. Although I don't like the big buggies, can anyone remember the prams that were so common many years ago...

Em Parkinson said...

I like Gwil's idea. I had OB facing out but, when we were looking for a 'buggy' as they now seem to be called, it was impossible to find anything that wasn't enormous. We couldn't fit it in the house and had to leave it outside, which wasn't idea. Some seem to have off-road credentials now too, particularly round these rural parts!

Elizabeth Wix said...

I used the super lightweight McLaren pushchair with my littles -easy to fold up for the bus.
The grandchildren have something resembling a tank and weighing the same....

12Paws said...

You are spot-on--baby sees Mum while eating, rocking, changing, bathing. Other faces & objects give adventure & lays the ground for enlarging knowledge. I'm a mom, grand & great.