Being Modern: Baby buggies

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Indy Lifestyle Online

What better way to avoid the commercialisation of Mother's Day than by gathering the clan and stepping out into the spring air for a relaxing walk around the nearest green space? Avoid commerce? Relaxing? Are you kidding? It's like Brands Hatch out there. And the reason is the designer baby buggy, those things we used to call pushchairs.

No one can doubt the simplicity and brilliance of Owen Maclaren's 1965 patent for a lightweight, collapsible chair on wheels. No one can question that the Maclaren buggy revolutionised life for the modern mum on the go. But walk out into any high street or public space these days and it's like a pumped-up pushchair pageant. There are Bugaboos, iCandys Silver Crosses, Kiddi Coutures, Quinnys and Maxi-Cosis. There are joggers, off-roaders, three-wheelers and four-by-fours. There are double buggies, bunk buggies and, for all "Being Modern" knows, buggies that will set the speed to cruise control and walk themselves.

Want a "travel system" that will transform from car seat, to pram, to pushchair? The Stokke Xplory is a snip at £918 from your nearest Mothercare. Still got cash to splash on getting the little one from A to B? Don't forget the add-ons: cup-holders; changing bags; foot muffs; parasols; and even a "sibling board", so no one has to miss out on riding around town in "Look at me" luxury.

Because isn't that what this is really all about? Trace the trend back and you'll discover that first Tom Cruise was snapped running a double jogging buggy round Hyde Park in 1995, and then Gwyneth Paltrow was papped pushing Apple in a Bugaboo Frog back in 2005. But you are most likely not posing for pictures. You are supposed to be going out for a relaxing walk with your family.

Of course, of course, your toddler is special and only the best will do. Naturally, you have places to go, people to see and yes, these contraptions are light, convenient and rather impressive pieces of engineering. But isn't it also true that every once in a while (say as a Mother's Day treat), Junior might actually prefer a piggyback.