Friday, 25 March 2016

Hand-me-down kid

Hand me down kid: A 'review' of the Maclaren Mark II 2 buggy in BRIGHT PINK. Kinda.

Below is a picture of my son at about seven months old, sitting in his buggy. 


He hasn't really used it a lot due to the fact that, up until three months before this photo was taken, he still screamed pretty much non-stop unless he was in the sling and even after that it was touch and go. Happily, as you can see, he now seems to be fairly content sitting in the pushchair so I may use it a bit more from now on. The sling is undoubtedly easier for negotiating shops and busy areas but the buggy is handy to hang bags off of and I'm getting a bit sick of using my 15 year old sixth form college rucksack as a change bag, it isn't at all glamorous even though I've picked off all the awful band logos that seemed like a good idea to teenage me.

Maclaren Mark 2 II review - in pink. Bright pink
 A manly fistpump
As you will no doubt have noticed, the buggy is pink.

And not just any pink, a really obnoxious bright day-glo pink. I am, as it happens, aware of this. When I went to buy this buggy, which was also available in blue and silver and is awesome because it weighs less than a newborn baby, it was half the price in this colour. At the time I only had a girl and I really didn't think too heavily about it. Yes, the colour is pretty dire...but I saved myself £75. I'm a money saver at heart (thanks, dad) and I cannot argue with that.

I mean, it doesn't actually matter, right..?

Well, I didn't think it did. So imagine my amazement when the following exchange occurred just outside my local shop:

Old biddy: Oh, lovely little smiler you have there. What's her name?
Me: He's called Screamy McPukesalot (I didn't really say that. I gave his name. Obviously)
Her: He?
Me: Yes! He. My darling little boy Screamy.
Her: Mumbles something incoherent, shakes head and walks off.

Now, maybe I am being over-sensitive.

Maybe her abrupt ending to the conversation was not, as I perceived, in direct relation to the fact that I had a pink buggy containing a baby boy. Perhaps she really could not think of an appropriate ending to the conversation. Maybe she was exceptionally socially awkward. But the most likely explanation is that she thought I was a bit of a weirdo and wished to converse with me no longer. It is not be the first time I have encountered this kind of attitude, and I very much doubt it will be the last.

Poor little guy eh? Maybe I should have bought him a less terrifyingly pink buggy, perhaps something in a shade of blush? I do concede that this particular hue of fuchsia is kind of horrible. But I fear that this is only the start for him; after all he is the little brother of an older sister and his mum is pretty cheap.

When I found out that I was expecting a boy, I was quite shocked. 
Using his sister's cup.
Blue for a girl... what was I thinking??
Somehow I had just assumed I would have another girl. I have a sister. My dad had sisters, daughters and then a granddaughter. Adding a boy into the mix seemed unlikely. And yet, here we are. My first reactions after finding out the sex at a scan were ridiculously practical, 'What am I going to do with all the girl's stuff?' and 'This is going to be expensive!'. Also, 'How on earth do you do boy nappies?'.

Once I'd had time for the news to sink in, and another scan confirmed that he was most definitely still a boy (and not a shy one), all the very pink and very girly baby clothes got packed up and moved on to make space in a rare and very much uncharacteristic burst of organisation. Anything that could possibly be deemed unisex was put in storage for the new arrival. Everything that wasn't an item of clothing got kept. 

He will have to endure a multitude of pink bibs, cutlery, toys... 

It's not that I bought everything in pink for my daughter, it's just that a lot of things only seem to be available in pink or blue; it appears that shops like to push stereotypes from a young age. But given only we will see him at night time, a pink sleeping bag shouldn't pull his masculinity into question and he doesn't seem to mind very much. Oh no, hang on... Perhaps his nightly protests are to do with the colour of his sleeping attire?! 

will stop short of putting him in dresses (most probably - you can't be prepared for every poonami and food explosion); I'm not trying to make a point. A friend of a friend commented on a lovely little baby girl in a dress and pink tights at a baby group, only to be told it was a boy and the mum just preferred girls' clothes. As much as this is of course her own business, I can't help thinking that the kid is going to have a few questions when he finds the photographic evidence of his early cross-dressing exploits. Also, I barely put my little girl in dresses. I don't mind girls dressed in pink and boys in blue, if that's your thing I suppose, but it's not really me and dresses just aren't that practical when you have a toddler who has all the grace of a baby elephant and routinely trips over her own feet.
The (girl) toddler dressing up.
Not as Elsa (this time).
Unless, of course, he wants to wear a dress. 

If he demands to be Elsa rather than Spiderman, then so be it (except clearly Anna is the heroine of the piece, and she has better songs, so I don't understand why they all want to be Elsa, but I digress...).

If, at age two, twelve or twenty, he does want to wear a dress, well then, that's fine (and most certainly cheaper). But I'm 100% sure it won't be because he had a pink buggy.

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20 comments:

  1. My middle boy (who's fast approaching 8) is currently prancing around in his absolutely favourite onesie in the whole world. It was bought brand new, specifically for him, because he asked ever so nicely. It also happens to be lilac and covered in MyLittlePonies. He asked me if he could have his (waist length) hair in french plaits the other day. He's a cheerleader. He also gives no fucks what anyone elses opinion is and watching him (verbally!) take down a kid at the park who asked him why he looked like a girl made me laugh for a good 10 minutes straight.

    Incidentally, he didn't have a pink buggy ;)

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    1. It scares me that a kid as young as 8 would ask someone else why they looked like a girl. Why would that even enter their mind? Sad times. I'm pretty sure the baby is not going to be able to pull off the long hair. He's going curly. We all know that's not a great look.

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  2. Didn't you know? A pink buggy will surely turn your son (*gasp*) gay?!

    I have two boys, so have never had to deal with this issue, although the whole pink/blue thing is a real bone of contention for me.

    I don't like pink much, so it's probably just as well I have boys - try as you might it seems to be inevitable these days that you get drowned in pink if you have a girl.

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    1. Yep I would never wear or buy pink over a more neutral colour but you go end up with a lot of it for a girl no matter what you do. Now she actively chooses the pink stuff. Sigh.

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  3. Ha ha, you just reminded me that my very underused buggy is fuschia too! I only have one boy, I've no hand me down excuse! I just didn't think Fuschia was that pink and it was all that Argos had in the style I wanted!! Not been much of a problem though as I've carried him a lot! Great read as usual

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    1. Glad it's not just me! Yea, fuschia is pretty pink. I don't think I realised quite how pink until I was home...

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  4. oh i really did have to reread the first paragraph a couple of times to double-check you meant son! We are so so swayed by colour its ridiculous ... I saw pink and thought daughter without even really registering that thought ... a great post and I completely agree - I don't think the pink buggy will be the cause of anything! #bigpinklink

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    1. How dare you, he is quite clearly a boy baby ;)

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  5. Sure, why not? We've saved all our little boy things to be used if there's a second- regardless of gender. Our lad also has some pink hand-me-downs. I think I'd draw the line at dresses though.

    #bigpinklink

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    1. Me too but only because he just doesn't have the legs for it...

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  6. I've put my son in pink before now-why not? Who ever said certain colours were the preserve of certain genders? There's a pic of my son in a pink vest on my blog-and very nice he looks in it too! #bigpinklink

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    1. It's a non-issue to me. I wouldn't even have thought about it if it wasn't for the silly comments!

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  7. Haha! I love it. My son had a lot of pink stuff too and he's turned out the most stereotypically boyish boy ever! Although he does like pushing a doll about in a buggy. Maybe I did that to him....or maybe he's just practising to be an awesome Dad! ;) Thanks for linking up with us! #bigpinklink

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    1. My daughter has a buggy... but it's a blue one and all her dollies are girls. Can't begin to figure that one out...

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  8. I'm not a fan of pastel pink in general, so it's a good job I had a boy! Undoubtedly though, should I end up having a girl, she will wear lots of 'boy' clothes that I already have - because they're not especially 'boyish' - it's just that they're blue! (And also, blue is my favourite colour!) #bigpinklink

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    1. I love blue. My daughter wears a lot of navy! She's never been a girly girl even as a baby!

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  9. love it. This whole topic is worth a thousand blogs. Fair play to you for not prioritising colorschemes but rather thinking practicality and using what you have.I do the same with my kids. My 9 year old now refuses pink but thats ok. when they are babies its a different matter. :)

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    1. I think by nine they can make up their own mine. I hope my daughter's tastes change. At the moment, when she deigns to wear clothes, they are usually awful with Peppa Pig on them...

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  10. I grew up with only brothers and am the veritable product of hand-me-downs and I think I turned out ok😉 If the stuff is still in good nick there is no good reason not to use them for baby #2, etc, regardless of the colour, etc. Loved this post! Thank you for sharing #bigpinklink

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    1. Everything is in great condition because honestly how much use do babies get out of anything? Too much flipping growing...

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