Justin and I went out to celebrate our exciting news on Sunday, but we left early so we could swing by Babies R Us to get our hands on some strollers.
I've been doing some research on my own, but Justin and I hadn't really sat down and talked about what we want. I thought it would be helpful to get in a store, test drive a few of them, and talk about our options.
Every time we do something "baby related" (WHOA that could mean something really different than I intended. . .get your mind out of the gutter. . . ) , I consciously make a decision to pause for a second and cherish it. I didn't know when/if/how we would be doing this. And it's hard to imagine just 5 short months ago I was praying feverently for either a pregnancy or for God to help me understand His plan for us.
So I make a mental note about how "special" this moment is, and as we walk into the store I think to myself, "whoa."
There is a lot of stuff here. How could something so small need so much?
We wander over to the stroller section and I spot the Britax B-Agile stroller that I wanted to test out. I really liked the one-handed close feature, and thought that would be important down the line.
We pull it off the shelf and I begin to scope it out. Justin and I are hovering around this thing, poking and proding it as if we are waiting for it to come to life. I'm pressing buttons, Justin is testing the brakes, and I finally decide to give the one-handed close feature a test drive. I find the strap in the seat and yank it up.
"Maybe I have to give it a really hard yank?" I ask Justin.
"Uh, sure. Try it."
I start really giving this thing a good pull, so much so that it's lifting off the ground, and I think to myself, "This is a piece of junk! It doesn't even work!"
We study the object for a few more minutes, way too prideful to ask for help. We were determined to beat this piece of machinery at it's own game.
Justin notices a button on the side of the stroller, pushes it, and grabs the pull to close the stroller. And the thing collapses like a beach umbrella in 90 mph winds.
"OOooohoohhhhhhhhhh. .. .. It has a LOCK so it doesn't close by itself or something!!" I exclaim, "I LOVE THIS THING. HOW SMART!"
Since we had earned our way into an elite level of parenting by figuring out the stroller ourselves, we decide to test out the car seat connectors and see how easy/hard it is to insert the car seat.
I leave Justin by the stroller and go grab the carseat. The connectors were already in place, so we simply slipped the carseat in and it locked in place. I push it up and down the aisle and think, "huh. we got 'dis."
Justin knocks it around a little to see how sturdy it is. He really gives it a few good pushes and shoves, as if we intend to take our newborn on a running hike up a rocky mountain. It was a little wobbly, but I'm sure with our actual typical usage (think sidewalk, Target aisles, etc.) it would be just fine.
After deciding I had seen enough, we tested out a few others. We also tossed around the idea of getting a carseat caddy system (stroller attachment made just for carseat) and then getting just a plain stroller for when our boy is a little bit older. My engineer husband is big on "having the right tool for the job", and this is why I brought him stroller shopping. He thinks about things so differently than I do, and I'm grateful for his perspective and logical thinking.
I could be sold on something just because it's grey and "popular" while he really thinks about usage, functionality, etc.
Since we had been considering a carseat stroller situation, we decided to give one of those a test drive as well. We grab the Chicco KeyFit Caddy and push it over to the carseat section. I find a random Chicco carseat on a shelf, and attempt to remove it from the base. I'm looking blankly at the instructions, pressing the buttons and nothing is happening.
"Okay, I can't get this thing out!"
"Let me try" Justin says, and puffs out his chest as he approaches the carseat.
I'm over his shoulder, watching, learning, and realizing that he can't figure it out either. We're both pressing buttons, grabbing straps, yanking handles, and nothing is happening.
We finally manhandle this thing to the ground, still attached to the base, and hover over it to try to detach it from a different angle. I can feel our elite parent status melting away. As this point I'm prepared to kick the carseat apart from the base. Justin remains calm and is trying to figure out the logical way to remove the carseat.
An employee walks by, and I look to him with sweat on my brow and desperation in my eyes.
"Um, kind sir? Could you help us with this carseat?"
"Sure ma'am. . ."
Kindly, he walks over and pressed the button on the back of the carseat and it practically floats away from the death-grips of the base. This mysterious, hidden button apparently appeared when he came around because I swear it wasn't there while we were working on it. (It was there.)
He explains that most carseats have this button in the back and I immediately chime in with "Oh thank you for showing us! We are first-timers!" Trying to scrape up any last remaining shred of dignity.
As the employee walks away, we breathe sighs of relief and begin to assemble the carseat into the caddy. Works like a charm. I'm pushing it up and down the aisle, beaming with pride, and the employee walks by and says, "Lookin' good!" I smile, showing all of my teeth, and thank him once again for his help.
And I think "oh the stories these employees must have. . . . we are one of those couples now. . ."
We decide to leave on a high note, no more sold on what we want for a stroller than when we walked in, but much more educated and aware that we are in for quite the life-overhaul come December.
And we can't wait to figure out all this baby stuff together.