Since we’ve moved to London, I’ve encountered a new feeling – Buggy Envy. I don’t drive here since generally Carlos takes the car to work and since the roads here are about as wide as a stick of gum (yes, I am a big chicken). This means that I walk everywhere, and Anna comes along in her stroller.
By way of background, to bridge that vast cultural divide between the US and UK, people don’t say “stroller” here. It is a buggy, pram or pushchair. Second of all, the selection of buggies here is astonishing. There are probably three times as many varieties available here as there are available in the US. Since a lot of people here don’t drive and walk everywhere with their infants in their buggies, the buggies take on some car-like qualities. I now understand the importance of having a big basket underneath the buggy – it is like the trunk of your car. After a big grocery shop, you can just stuff all your things in the basket and not have to carry anything. Then there are the different sizes of buggies. There is the SUV of the buggy-world, with big, air-filled wheels, a cushy seat and generally unwieldy on urban sidewalks. There is the middle-of-the road buggy that is like the family sedan. It gets you from point A to point B efficiently, but it doesn’t have a lot of style. Then, there is the Yugo of the buggy world. It is a tiny, flimsy buggy that makes you worried that if you bump the buggy into something, it may just crumple like an accordion. Now, as I walk around town, I find myself looking around at all the buggies with rather covetous eyes. Some of the buggies have become like status symbols in the same way that luxury cars are. For instance, the Bugaboo is a really cool looking buggy that a number of movie stars have been photographed using, but it is ridiculously expensive (I think they sell for about $750 or $800). Nevertheless, I find myself thinking wouldn’t it be cool to have a Bugaboo. There’s a new buggy on the market here from Stokke (cool Norwegian company that made the crib we bought –which I love) that seems to be trying to be the next Bugaboo. I’m not sure it is going to work. This is one weird looking buggy. I think it looks like an office chair with a baby sized seat on top and handles to push it around. It just looks a little silly.
In Anna news, today she started asking for a song that I sing for her by name. I’ve been singing an Icelandic nursery rhyme for her called “Bí bí og blaka” and today she kept saying “bí bí” to me until I sang the song for her. Also, she’s become the resident blesser in our household. She just walks around saying “bishyou” to everyone and everything. I was trying to explain to her that she needs to wait for an achoo before saying bless you. Maybe she just thinks people need to be blessed, sneeze or no sneeze.
Anna’s “bishyou” obsession has reminded me of two recent and strange occurrences. It has now happened on two separate occasions to Carlos and me when we’ve been out walking with Anna (safely ensconced in her buggy) that an old man has stopped us and done the sign of the cross over Anna. Is it just me or is that weird? It makes me wonder if Carlos and I look like such heathens (or bad parents) to old men that they feel the need to cross Anna to give her some extra protection?!?! Has this ever happened to anyone else?