Though you might have to invest in new Marigolds
The problem with kids – one of the many problems – is that their legs are too short. They then compound this flaw by being unwilling to move them very fast, except in pursuit of pigeons. I walk quickly, mostly because I’m habitually late for everything, and with two stumpy offspring and no double buggy, this was an issue.
Enter, with a clatter, the buggyboard. You’ll have seen them, no doubt, ridden by a crowing child who thinks he’s Ben Hur. Behind them you might catch sight of a sweaty mum or dad, pushing the equivalent of a pallet of bananas.
For all their usefulness, there’s surprisingly little choice. We bought the biggest seller, the Lascal Buggyboard Maxi, which clipped onto the back of our 3-wheel Quinny with a minimum of swearing. (If you’re looking to attach one to a smaller folding pushchair like a Maclaren, try the Lascal Mini BuggyBoard).
They come with a bunch of different attachments, and fit just about anything check compatibility here. They’re bomb-proof, and hold their value mysteriously well: though if you’re buying second hand, look for one that boasts ‘straps uncut’. This is less exciting than it sounds: the attachments come with a ratcheted strap, a bit like an over-sized zip tie. The temptation is to fit it and snip off the extra, but once that’s done you’re out of luck if you want to fit it to anything with a larger diameter.
Our eldest was 3 years old when we bought it. Though it’s now kicking around unloved in the corner of the kitchen she adored it, and we get everywhere faster. And who can blame her: your parents push you around while you make cheeky comments and eat snacks: what’s not to love?
Well…since life’s rarely as peachy as it appears on the box, there are a few drawbacks.
- Dog poo: with the buggyboard in place, we’re rocking 5 different wheels set at varying distances across a 3ft track. It requires the concentration of Yoda to avoid les crottins* that are scattered liberally throughout our neighbourhood. But then a child on foot is a dung-seeking exocet missile in any case.
- Fitting: those quick release clips have a tendency to quick release, particularly when I’m attempting some radical up-kerb manoeuvres. Annoying.
- Turning circle: with S on the back, Eddie Stobart in his 18-wheeler could do a swifter 180 than me. I’m at risk of popping a love handle with the effort required.
- Waddle like a duck: mileage will vary according to your model, but when fitted it sticks out a mile, so I have to walk with my arse sticking out to stop myself slightly from booting the board. If you shop for your trousers at Adams as one shorter friend of my acquaintance does (no VAT, you see), you won’t have that problem.
- Chills, they’re multiplying: I tend to make the eldest my official Dog Poo Spotter (important job), but even so she tends to get cold, quickly when she’s not on the move. But all these are minor inconveniences compared to the alternative: missed appointments, grizzly children and swiftly gathering dusk, miles from home. Got two kids? Get one.
* In order to check my dodgy French, I googled this. It was lunchtime. Big mistake, although it did lead me to this entertaining blog which did nothing to break down my cultural preconceptions but much to enliven my lunchtime.
Postscript Not long after writing this, were out and about and saw a kid on a buggy board, idly eating his sandwiches. WTF? Seems he was riding one of these bad boys, with integrated seat (though no cupholder, I noticed). I could come up with a dozen reasons why these might not be brilliant, but they’d be said in the same vein as my 7-year-old self when he said to his best friend that he’d rather not have electric windows because “you can’t get them as exact as wind-ups”. I WANT ONE.
Are you a rocking a buggy board (with built-in Smarties dispenser or otherwise)? Or do you think that boards are for wusses and fatties of the future? Let us know below.