“I have made the monumental decision to upgrade the pram into a buggy,” announces Mummy ceremoniously over dinner.
“OK,” says Daddy.
“OK?” says Mummy. “Just OK?” Daddy is obviously missing the magnitude of this great milestone, but no matter… Mummy will show him.
Disappointingly, Daddy has not volunteered his assistance, so Mummy will also show him how easy-peasy it is to transform the pram, with one swift motion, into a safe and comfortable buggy in which the little one can cruise the great outdoors with a delightful new perspective of the world. Mummy has a vague recollection that there were one or two teensy-weensy difficulties when the pram was constructed, which resulted in Daddy consuming whiskey and a number of household items being broken, but the memory is so hazy and distant that it is barely worth mentioning.
Mummy will show Daddy how easy it is, because Mummy spent a great deal of time dragging Daddy round shops and trawling the internet for reviews, and convincing Daddy a pram would not do, it had to be an all-singing, all-dancing travel system. It had to convert forwards, backwards, inside out, upside down, for smooth terrain, rough terrain, with pockets in all the right places and adjustable everything. Once Daddy had driven Mummy to all the shops, and Mummy had cried inexplicably in at least one (as Mummy had a tendency to do when she was very fat and hormonal), Mummy found The Perfect One, and all Daddy had to do was pay for it.
The price did not matter for The Perfect One, and Mummy would never need another thing for this one had it all. (This was a teeny-weeny lie because, as everyone knows, there are always accessories.) It was super-duper easy to operate, lightweight and stress-free. And also, Mummy was having his baby, so Daddy should just cough up.
Mummy begins by removing the top from the bottom. But that doesn’t look right, so she puts it back on again. She gets the spare bits of buggy from upstairs but she cannot work out where they go. She tries them forwards, backwards, inside out, upside down… but they do not look like a buggy. Mummy is starting to sweat a little.
“A piece is missing!” says Mummy. “It is not immediately obvious to me how to construct this easy-peasy contraption, so a piece is missing.”
Daddy senses an opportunity to Prove Mummy Wrong, and steps forward.
“A piece is not missing,” declares Daddy. “I will show you how a man does it. This is a Man Job and you are but a woman.”
“Pfffffffffffftt!” sniffs Mummy but actually she thinks, oh good, now Daddy will do it and I can just watch and drink wine.
“Ho, hum…” says Daddy, as he takes all of the pieces apart. Daddy is very good at taking things apart. He is not so good at putting them back together again. Soon, all the pieces are on the floor and it is not clear which pieces are the pram and which pieces are the buggy.
Daddy stares at the pieces for some time, and drinks some wine.
“I will watch a video on YouTube!” says Daddy, “because I almost completely know exactly how to do it, but I just want to check one tiny detail that I am probably already right about.”
Daddy does not have a clue how to make the buggy.
Mummy and Daddy watch the video on YouTube twenty seven times.
Daddy begins with the frame, but the frame is the wrong size for the wheels. The seat is the wrong size for the frame. And the hood is the wrong size for the seat.
“A piece is missing!” decides Daddy.
“A piece is not missing,” Mummy points out, for the man on YouTube had all the same pieces.
Daddy makes the frame and unmakes it and makes it again. He tries to stretch the fabric over the frame but it keeps pinging off at the corners and the velcro won’t stick. He tries to attach the hood with bars that clip into holes, but the bars don’t reach the holes and the clips won’t line up. Daddy says some words that Mummy doesn’t want The Baby to hear, and drinks some more wine.
The man on YouTube is laughing at Daddy, and Mummy is hiding in the corner.
“Why did we get this buggy?” demands Daddy.
“The pockets! Adjustable everything!” wails Mummy defensively, pushing the wine bottle in Daddy’s direction.
Eventually, when Mummy and Daddy have consumed the cost of the buggy in alcohol, there is a semblance of a workable baby-transporter in the living room. Some mysterious miscellaneous pieces remain unattached, but Mummy has hidden them for fear of causing Daddy to have an actual breakdown.
“Thank goodness* that’s done,” says Daddy, “I never want to do that again!”
Mummy will wait a while before she tells him there is a different seat for 6 months+…
*Not the word he used.