We planned it in advance.
Three months of researching, testing, comparing, doubting, pricing, and pondering - right up until we decided to make our move.
A decision which came just 24 hours before we carried out our Saturday morning attack.
Motivational music was the order of the day on our way there, nerves were evident, but we were focussed.
Bulbous drops of rain began to fall quicker on the windscreen as I turned the key in the car park, the engine falling quiet. In silence for one last moment we stared at our nemesis looming large before us.
Fighting the urge to start the car and just go home again, with fear in our throats, we readied ourselves one last time.
‘You ready for this?’
As fast as a heavily pregnant woman with short legs can move first thing on a weekend morning, we bolted across the car park, towards the neon sign, and through the doors. There was no turning back now. We had to go through with it, the only question now remaining was would we succeed.
Would the forces of workshy customer service spring into action, enabling their forcefield of inverted invisibility, which renders the attention of its bearer unobtainable to the mere mortal?
Would the drawbridge of ‘that is not possible’ be pulled up before we crossed the moat into the courtyard of successful transactions?
Would the conveniently reusable sword of language barrier be wielded about our heads, forcing a retreat?
We couldn’t let it happen, not now, we’d come too far. This was too important.
‘Pardon, spreek je een beitje engels?’ I asked
‘Ja’ she said.
The store blinds flapped, the lights flickered, and the other customers protectively covered their pregnant bellies as I took the deepest of breaths before closing my eyes and continuing....’wewouldlikethemutsysliderwithraincoverandthesafe-to-go-carseatand adapterset(inkakiplease)andforgoodmeasurewewouldliketoorderthatcribupthereinmilkwhitewithmatchingmattress,heresourmoney,heresouraddress,thankyouverymuchgoodbye’
With that, we had defeated the intimidating beast that was the ‘Baby-Dump’ shop. With that, we had purchased a stroller.
It may have paid more for it than Gwen Stefani did for hers, but the accomplishment was symbolic.
Back to the car I carried the padded baby chair under my arm, like the severed head of an enemy king. The car park tarmac passed under our tired feet like the grass of a battlefield falls away from beneath those of happy warriors, the ford focus awaiting our victorious return like a faithful stallion.
The rain lashed down hard as we drove away from the grey industrial estate, and I can’t be certain, but as we accelerated up the exit for the A4, I’m sure I heard a ripple of applause sending us on our way.