Thursday, May 12, 2005

fresh from the netherlands

Our strollers and carseat got here today! Call me uncool, but I have been super-excited about this all week. We've been tracking the progress of the packages via UPS, as they left Drachten (in the Netherlands), landed in Philly yesterday morning, traveled to Secaucus by the afternoon, and finally arrived in New York, right on time for delivery this afternoon. Not too shabby. Thanks,!

Here's a picture of the boxes after I transported them up from the lobby. They look kind of big, but none of them were really that heavy. Which is good, because the whole point is that we didn't really want a stroller that was built like a tank or anything like that.

I first cracked open the box with the carseat, since I knew at least that didn't require any assembly. Cooper was extremely interested in the proceedings and was sniffing like crazy, leaving big wet sniffmarks everywhere. I was pleased to see that the carseat also came with a free gift box (cadeau box gratis) that contains some sort of weird squeaky chew toy (Doudou knuffeldoek of Kniipspeeltje) a baby grooming kit (Manicuurset) and a bib (Slabber--great word for bib, by the way). Loving the Dutch.

So I took out the carseat and played with it. It looks very plush and comfortable, and with a seat slightly larger than the U.S. infant carseats I've seen (which makes sense, since the upper weight limit is almost 10 pounds more). But I was getting antsy to see the strollers. So I paged Joe and told him to get his ass home to help me assemble them. I paced around. I sat on my hands. Then I realized, for chrissake, I have a fucking medical degree, surely I could assemble a stupid stroller without having to wait for some boy to do it for me. So I did.

I was mildly intimidated at first by the sheer number of little parts, and the fact that the assembly instructions were entirely pictorial as the booklet was written in something like ten different languages. But once I got started, I realized that it was actually pretty easy. For one, there were no tools required--everything snapped into place like Pipeworks, Pipeworks, Playskool Pipeworks (give it the works!). And, the design was refreshingly clear and intuitive, unlike much of the hospital equipment I have to deal with. To this day, depending on the model of hospital bed, I still have to struggle to figure out how to get that siderail down.

And there it is, lovely to behold. I assembled it with the seat facing the parent, but you can also flip it around to have the seat facing out. So far as I can tell from my limited trials around the apartment, this seems like it's going to be one smooth ride for Cal. Lucky. I don't see anyone offering to wheel me around. The fun part is that you can also remove the seat, snap on the (included) carseat adaptors, and...

...voila, rubber baby buggy bumper. You can't see it, but the carseat has a retractable sun-shield that can be pulled up as well. This carseat feature will be handy for when the kid is a kidlet, I think. The stroller itself, though, holds up to 20kg (or 44lbs for us Stone Age non-metric Americans) so hopefully we'll get a lot of wear out of it. Also note the little black bag located between the two big wheels at the front. It's handy for storing the rain cover, tire pump, instruction manual and what have you. You could put your wallet and keys and stuff in there too, there's plenty of room. As some people have noted, however, there is no cup holder. So maybe now's the time to get that beer hat with the two straws sticking out of it.

And let's not forget the coup de grace, the lightweight travel stroller that we also ordered. They're not kidding about that thing folding up small. Look at it next to that pair of scissors for reference. It really is quite compact.

But it unfolds to a regular full-sized umbrella stroller. Magic! Also, it was much easier to assemble out of the box--all I basically had to do was to unfold it and snap on the front wheel. This comes with the carseat adaptor feature as well, but I didn't take a picture of that, because I'm sure you can extrapolate from the other picture how it all works. Also, the stroller really is that orange. Orange like a roadcone. Ain't no one running over our kid in the street.

As for the actual performance review of the strollers, you may have to wait until we actually have someone to wheel around in it before I can give you the full report. (We tried to simulate a Cal-like passenger by dumping a pile of books in the seat and pushing them around the apartment, but I think it's not quite the same thing.)

* * *

This weekend, my resident class and I are headed to Mystic, CT for our annual class retreat. (Last year, as you may recall, we went to the Hamptons.) Even though I'm not going to be in their class in a month, I want to go along just for fun. Unfortunately, the plans for Mystic seem to so far be 1.) visiting a winery, 2.) hot tubbing at the hotel, and 3.) generally getting shit-faced, so maybe it won't be so much fun for me after all. It'll be like that high school Physics class trip to Great Adventure where I was too chicken to go on any of the rides, and was self-appointed coat and bag holder for everyone else.

Currently reading: "Stuck Rubber Baby" touted as the next "Maus," at least according to a review on the back of the cover. Eh, not really.


  1. Awesome! I learned that walking with a blind dog and a baby in a stroller can be relaxing and fun if I let it. I also learned that it's pretty hard to take pictures while you are walking with a blind dog and a baby in a stroller.

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