Yesterday, the wife and I picked up our first real “serious” piece of baby technology, this hyper-advanced stroller/car seat combo that looks like you need a degree in post-structuralist architecture to operate. I mean, look at this thing!
There are latches and hooks and bungee cords and bars and five-point racing harnesses and shit. Our daughter is going to be better protected than Dale Earnhardt Jr. in this freaking thing, and I can only say that I’m incredibly jealous. Do you know what I cruised around in as a kid? It looked a little something like this:
I can’t get you a picture of the exact stroller I was in at the time because it’s long since deteriorated past the point of no return. You’l notice the absolute and utter lack of any sort of safety features whatsoever. There might be a little flimsy nylon seat belt or something. That didn’t stop me from tipping over in my stroller as a toddler and splitting the underside of my chin open on the asphalt, earning me about twenty stitches and a good reason to grow a beard almost thirty five years later. If you tried to put your kid in one of these things nowadays you’d be hauled off to jail by Child Protection Services before you even left the house.
You’ll notice there’s no car seat pictured here. That’s because in late April of 1978, when my parents took me home in their Volkswagen Bug they just stuck my mother in the backseat with me in her lap like I was a party tray for ’78 World Series (go Yankees, by the way). Meanwhile, this beast of a car seat actually detaches and lifts out so you can plunk it down into the stroller like some baby version of Voltron. It’s an incredibly complex piece of engineering that somehow folds down and fits in the trunk of your car – but you have to take it out of the box first. We learned that the hard way while we were double-parked outside of the Babies ‘R’ Us in at the Lehigh Valley Mall, ripping a cardboard box to shreds in the parking lot just so we could go home.
Still, if it keeps my daughter safe, it’s worth every bit of frustration. Besides, just look how pimptaastic this thing looks with a kid inside it: