Monday 9 November 2009

King & Queen of the dump

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?’

‘Yes, you?’



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

And exhale.

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.


WeaselMomma said...

I am laughing myself silly. Mainly because I read that last part as 'a nipple of applause', rather than ripple. Congrats on the stroller.

Mick said...


The start of lots and lots of shopping trips :-)


Ginny said...

I bet this is how Braveheart's friends felt when they read his blog.

Way to go, you warriors!

tysdaddy said...

Rock on with your bad slaying self! But you could have just borrowed mine . . . it's getting dusty and taking up way too much space in the garage . . .


Liz said...

So is the little one gonna be called Stig of the Dump?

Lance said...

Martin - That reminds me of the classic Christmas movie "A Christmas Story" If you haven't seen it, seek it out. You will love it. Anyway, Ralphie (Main Character) says in a hushed breathless voice:
"No! No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle! With a compass in the stock."

Forget it kid, you'll shoot your eye out.

You've been warned.

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

wow, a run on sentence. Soon you will be all 'AWESOME DOOD!'

SO where are the damn pictures of this stroller of awesome. Oh and call it a 'pram' it is way classier.

Ms. Moon said...

Ah- slaying the dragons one by one. We here in blogworld are SO proud of you. Really. We are.

The Almighty, aka God said...

The applause was from me.

Mwa said...

That's a huge moment. YAY!

tiff(threeringcircus) said...

and now you are on your way.

I Am Emily... said...


People in the Sun said...

Our stroller (sorry, Travel Set) was a gift. So was the crib. But we still bought a lot of rubbish. Like this wipe-warmer that we've never used. I put my foot down on the bath face-protector. It was me or the goddamn face-protector.

Veronica Foale said...

So THAT is why I had that random urge to applaud something. God, makes so much sense now!

River said...

Woo-hoo! You braved the Baby Dump and got away unscathed. i'm sure too, that the customer service person was equally glad to have a couple of customers (finally) who knew exactly what they wanted and bought and paid with no fuss. Now practise folding and setting up the stroller until you can do it without thinking. In the dark.

Edith said...


What a relieve for you guys! :)

Jane G said...

"like the severed head of an enemy king"


BTW,does "Baby Dump" strike you as a very strange name for a place to buy baby ecoutraments?

Unknown said...

That's so funny! Gotta catch my breath from laughing so hard!

Minze said...


Anonymous said...

You have a dump for babies? Harsh.

Impressed that you have god reading your blog though.

Irrational Dad said...

Now you've gotta figure out how to use the damn thing. I popped out some four letter words trying to figure that crap out.

Russ said...

Thanks to my six years of German, I was actually able to read your question. I'm rather used to long, run-on words.

Kim said...

I hope you also post the run on sentences that fly out of your mouth when you attempt to put all that together!

Bravo on taking this big step.

Putz said...

i can imagine people clapping as your decision was made...just think when all this stuff started with me in 1968, wating for our karen and the four years before that wanting for a sperm to unite with an you know how long ago that was, well figure it out, stollers all over again

Horse Chick said...

Kinda reminded me a those horrific trips to the auto parts store while my hubby is laying in the driveway under my truck, usually in the mud, using only four letter words to describe the situation!

G said...

oh my. this frightens me to no end. Score one for martinis.

Jenni said...

haha, glad you survived! did they try to upsell you on things? when we registered w/Oscar, the store was like, "But, wait! You've FORGOTTEN to register for a glider! And a wipe warmer! What kind of parents would you be without a wipe warmer! The poor, cold bummed baby!"

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

I'm still SHOCKED at how much your strollers cost over there.

And I can't wait until I see pics of Wee Fitz in it.

Martin said...

@WeaselMomma - a landmark so it was!

@Mick - we've done well, big stuff is sorted now

@Ginny - exactly the same. except my bollocks wasn't on show at the time

@tysdaddy - now he says...

@womb for improvement - the whole dump thing is offputting

@Lance - I'm going to have to look it up

@Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo - you are a pain in 'teh' arse

@Ms. Moon - started the vodka early tonight....

@The Almighty, aka God - Ah, another bloke who had little to do with getting his woman knocked up!

@Mwa - it is that

@tiff(threeringcircus) - wheeeeeeling

@~Tanya~ - you're easily excited

@People in the Sun - a wipe warmer? FFS.

@Veronica - clarity always comes eventually

@River - if only you knew!

@Edith - jazeker!

@Jane G - Almost disturbing. They also have a 'kids factory' and a 'baby park' that sell the same stuff.

@Aden Meyler - easy now! & welcome!

@Minze - heh, cheers.

@bsouth - and to think, up until now, me and him were never seen in the same room!

@Joe @ IrrationalDad - 2 hours we spent. nearly broke it too.

@Russ - er... the run on was in English...

@Kim - all in time!

@Putz - did they not use a pony and cart back in those olden days?

@Horse Chick - hmmmm, similar, sort of... ;-)

@Martinis or Diaper Genies? - My guess is you scare easily.

@Jenni - The issue here is to try and get the service in the first place!

@Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] - Your politeness is amusing.

Corkmum said...

I knew when I started reading this post exactly what you were up to! It is the hardest decision to make, and you will still be forever comparing your buggy with others for the rest of your buggy life!! I was sad enough to google it.....once I deciphered your gobbledigook...and it looks like a good buy! Love reading your blog. Am thrilled for you both. Next to figure out how to get the car seat in and out of the car without tipping Fitz out...

Susanica said...

I have to agree with Jane G. that your line "like the severed head of an enemy king" cracked me up! Can't wait to hear about your next journey into this strange new land! -M

areyoukiddingme said...

I could do internet research all day, but I still had to spend some time in the store lifting and folding and reassembling strollers until I found one that was easy to work. That's why I'm applauding (or maybe calling you foolish, and laughing when you can't get that stroller to work).

Anonymous said...

holy crap! if the bump wasn't proof enough that you are really having a baby, a true blue stroller, car seat, baby bed will really make it sink in!! This is HUGE!! congratulations :)

Don't forget the Baby on Board sign for the back window. How do they write that in Dutch? "Backje offke. Kinderje habe Kalashnnikov"?

Sinead said...

We spent ages choosing a pram. I think it was the only part of the pregnancy I got enthusiastic about. As a result I got what I wanted, despite AFM wanting one with a cup holder. Even though I love(d) the one I chose, I would probably choose a different one now. First time parents are suckers for the wingdings that come with parenthood.

Paddy in BA (Quickroute) said...

the're multi purpose too and can be used as shopping trolley, wheelbarrow, and a sled

Monty said...

You might wanna think twice about your purchase -,8599,1937003,00.html

Martin said...

@Corkmum - it felt like the best one when we looked at them, we're happy with it.
Thanks :-)

@Susanica - it was my trophy!

@areyoukiddingme - it was test driven in two previous stores too!

@geeksinrome - they actually use - 'baby on board', the Dutch are probably the heaviest leaners on the English language around.

@Sinead - A cup holder? the plonker.

@Quickroute - I've already earmarked the wheels for a racing trolley.

@Monty - You might wanna think twice about the irrelevant story about a different brand. ;-P

and I KNOW you found that story in 'the sun' but went looking for a Time version before posting the link.

MommyHeadache said...

oooh you lucky guy! to get a new stroller...I think i got a hand me down. Nothing like that new stroller smell eh?

Monty said...

oh Puhleeze, my web browsing is restricted to truly newsworthy sites. The sun does not count. Page 3 of the sun does, though.

Anonymous said...

Yes I would also like to see this strollerslashbuggyslashpram! The pockets and flaps on those things amaze me.

I shall soon be pulling our dusty flea ridden moth eaten dog-eared old hand-me-down pram from the attic and dusting her down and thinking of you.

hotmamamia said...

damn...took you long enough! Actually, it is a really good thing you aren't Jewish cause you would be out the night before little 'x' was due buying all this shit and you would NEVER put it together until the night before said 'x' would come home...a big superstition for the tribes of Israel.....nothing goes up or gets put together til the child arrives!

A Free Man said...

Oy, Xbox person:

A) My significant other is never right, I am always right.

B) Wait until you're out walking your spawn along some Dutch canal carrying a steaming cup of coffee. You'll drive over a bump and that scalding beverage will slosh upon your groin. Then come and talk to me about cup holders and their usefulness as a pram accessory.


IrishNYC said...

Yay for strollers! You do realize, of course, that 3 or 4 months into the baby actually being here that you'll realize you've picked the absolute wrong stroller, and you'll need to justify the 3 new ones you'd like to purchase. Or maybe that's just me.

Martin said...

@EmmaK - We have no hand-me-down possibilities!

@Monty - Out of curiosity, did you read the sun or here first?

@K8 the Gr8 - It's a matter of national security, can't be shown

@hotmamamia - yes, that and the whole getting to keep my entire penis thing make me glad.

@A Free Man - wait, a man, a baby, in public?
You funny guy.

@IrishNYC - I'm hoping, that is just you.