Thursday, August 22, 2013

worst stroller EVER IN THE WORLD (or not)

warning: this post may be insanely boring for non-parents or any other normal people who have not wasted hours of their life deciding which stroller to buy. crazy people, carry on. you are welcome here, and you're in good (or bad?) company :)

when we had baby #1 we got a stroller that i LOVED. that i still love. the bumbleride indie. (except for this one small incident where there was a recall with the front wheel and i got the email and i thought, oh, i'll just take care of it when i get home from work, it's not like anything is going to happen in the next 4 hours. and then one hour later the front wheel fell off while the nanny was walking J! wtf, universe?! at least it happened in our front yard, and not on the side of our crazy busy road! scary! ugh!)

ANYWAY. once #2 arrived, i figured we should invest in a stroller that could accommodate both kids (even though we barely ever use it). however, it is commonly known that i would rather pluck out each and every one of my eyelashes than get some ginormous double-wide thingy. i don't know why. double-wides just chap my hide. they don't fit in doorways. they don't fit in store aisles. they're like mini mom-powered urban assault vehicles. they just bug. i was vehemently and irrevocably opposed. so i did tons and tons of research* and even though many people said "just get the double BOB already" or at least get the double-wide bumbleride, it seemed that the most popular non-double-wide alternative that did not cost more than a mortgage payment was this pretty little lady right here - The Baby Jogger City Select Double Stroller.
[*by "research" i mean, locate reviews and ratings
that support the conclusion that i already came to in my mind.
confirmation bias, baby :)]
and let me tell ya, she wasn't cheap. with the second seat, the carseat adapter, the kickstand (or, "skateboard," as J calls it) and all the other assorted attachments and doodads, this baby rang in at about $750 (plus tax. should have at least bought it in Delaware! dangit!) but i had myself convinced that this, and only this, stroller would do. it was the best (well, not the best. but the best we could (not really) afford). and my babies deserved the best(ish). so i got it. i had pushed the kids around Buy Buy Baby in it but didn't get a chance to really try the thing out "for reals." our nanny "test drove" it the next day and when i asked what she thought she basically said "meh" but i was like, oh well, because i am not getting a freakin' doublewide. (she didn't want a double BOB either, but it was clear she was not a huge fan of this stroller.)
a couple of days later i actually had an opportunity to take the thing out for a ride myself and i was none too impressed. while it had moved reasonably well over the smooth, level linoleum floor of Buy Buy Baby, pushing it up a bumpy hill was really tough. especially because Big J insisted on being in the front so he could have an unobstructed view, which - i'm no engineer, but i'm pretty sure is not the most effective approach to weight distribution. it was also difficult to maneuver it around turns - even the slightest turns - and i mean really difficult. i felt like i was pushing a giant cardboard appliance box with a 30 lb weight at either end.
crap. this thing kinda sucked. we talked about returning it and getting something else, but again my stubborn ass would not succumb to the double-wide and there weren't any other front-n-back/sit-n-stand type strollers that appeared to be any better (or so i told myself). plus, despite its drawbacks, this one was super flexible in the ways that you could manipulate it - double, single, front facing, back facing, facing eachother, back to back, etc.. (however, you may not be able to tell from the photo, but in almost every combination, at least one of your children can kick the other). still. we (okay, I) ultimately decided to keep it. we did not encounter the full extent of the stroller's suckage until our trip to Disneyland last winter. trying to push a cardboard box-o-babies around a deserted neighborhood with wide turns is one thing. trying to maneuver said baby box around tens of thousands of enthusiastic Disney patrons with equally unweildy child-carrying apparati was damn near impossible. we ended up paying to rent a single stroller for J and I just carried Baby in the Bjorn. it was that bad.
after that day, i was filled with fury whenever i saw or thought of the baby jogger. city "select" my ass. i meant to write a scathing review on amazon but never got around to it. however, even a scathing amazon review probably would not have saved the likes of me, with my WASP-y "it is more expensive and therefore must be better" mentality. but. pity the poor couple who happened to be testing out the esteemed city select one day when i was walking through BBB. now look. i abhor unsolicited parenting advice. or unsolicited any advice. i try really really hard not to give it unless it is explicitly requested. (except for my family. i boss them all the time :)) but i felt it was my CIVIC DUTY to warn these people about the scourge on modern civilization that is the baby jogger city select. i just went off. i was like, "excuse me? i just feel like i should tell you. that right there is the ABSOLUTE WORST $700 i have ever spent in my entire life, and believe you me, i have spent money on a lot of stupid shit. seriously. do. not. buy. that. stroller. you will rue the day." they looked at me like i was 68% crazy, so i backtracked a tiny bit and was like, "i mean, i don't know, maybe you will like it, but definitely try it first, like really try it, and put your big kid in the front because that is where he is going to want to sit, and you will likely discover that it is like pushing a double milk crate around on crappy asphalt." anyway, they probably bought it as soon as i was out of sight. i would have - at least, before The Disneyland Debacle of 2012. but whatever.
then. i go home. i tell DM about this incident. no less than seven minutes later i am moving "The Beast," as i refer to it, from the living room to the garage, when for some reason i notice that there is a little pull knob by the front wheel. i was like, "huh. i've never noticed that before. i wonder what it does?" i pull it over to the other side. IT UNLOCKS THE FRONT WHEELS. do you understand what i am saying here? THE FRONT WHEELS OF THE STROLLER HAVE BEEN IN THE LOCKED POSITION FOR ELEVEN MONTHS. locked, as in, will not turn. in actuality, this baby turns on a dime. WHOOPSIE-DAISY. the fact that i made this discovery on the night of the Buy Buy Baby Incident was clearly God or The Universe's way of serving me a nice tall glass of shut the hell up, and reminding me that my general policy of not pushing unsolicited advice is a wise one.
so yeah. that happened. my apologies to that poor unsuspecting couple at Buy Buy Baby. and to Baby Jogger. even though i do stand by my pre-disney assessment that the stroller is just "meh" and if i could do it over again i would definitely not spend $700.
the moral of the story: i am an idiot. and i should have just gotten the double-wide. 
the end :)
oh wait. ps. DM also hated/hates The Beast and not-so-secretly blames me for its presence in our lives and in our garage, which is fair. however, a couple months ago we were at a street fair and he saw a front/back double stroller and he said, "whoa, look at that stroller! that's cool! why can't we have that?!" i looked over and then replied, "we HAVE that stroller, a.k.a. the worst stroller in the world!" so. i am not the only one who was lured by the siren song of the city select.


  1. $700? Wow. My "baby" is 11. And I'm pretty sure her mostly widely-used stroller was the umbrella stroller that came free with $50 purchase (piece of cake!) from Toys R Us.

    Your story is a funny one. Reminds me of the time I spent the day driving my dad's car only to find out I'd had the emergency brake on ALL DAY. He didn't think it was nearly as funny as I did back then. (shaking head) Fathers.

    Visiting from #FindingTheFunny

    1. I know. I have no excuse for myself aside from post partum insanity (aka motherhood) ;)

      I've done the exact same thing with the E-brake, IN MY OWN CAR! I also routinely get out of it and accidentally leave it on (it's the push button kind). I've had it 6 years but apparently I'm a little slow on the uptake!

  2. Baby strollers play an important role in your life as a parent, so you should choose one with care. Both you and your child will be getting quite a bit of use out of the stroller for the next couple of years. You want to find one that's the right size, durable and of course

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