My stroller, my savior

I always sneered at stroller-obsessed yuppies. Then I discovered a double-decker dream machine that changed my life.

Published September 28, 2005 5:19PM (EDT)

I never thought I could feel this way. I always mocked stroller-obsessed yuppies. I sneered at those Bugaboo-pushing, more-money-than-sense-possessing, a-baby-is-this-year's-version-of-the-Fendi-baguette-bag zombies. But today I love my Phil & Ted e3 Buggy with a white-hot Banderas-like flame.

I presume you do not know the Phil & Ted, as it is new to our fair shores. Allow me to introduce you: Phil and Ted are a father-son engineering team from New Zealand, and their stroller kicks all kinds of stroller ass. Basically it's a double-decker -- with one kid riding under the other. But it's barely bigger than a single stroller, incredibly light and easy to maneuver. You can actually navigate the thing through store aisles, fit through doors, and avoid screw-you-breeder glares from other people on the sidewalk.

In the city, life changes radically when you move from a single to a double stroller. One kid's an accessory -- you and your partner are still you, but with a cute plus-one wearing a CBGBs onesie. But two kids, fuggedaboudit. You're parents. It's a lot harder to pretend you're still the you who went to Burning Man.

Like the Bugaboo, the Phil & Ted looks great, but it's far more functional. It's light enough to handle subway steps, and it works in different permutations -- with one seat, with two, with one kid sitting and the other lying flat in a gently rocking bassinet, with one leaning back as in a Barcalounger and the other sitting upright. Changing the configuration of seats in the Phil & Ted is totally fun -- everything snaps into everything else with an all's-right-with-the-world satisfying click. I feel very MacGyver moving the seats around single-handedly. And even though it's a cinch, everyone in the playground stares at you as if you're splitting the atom. Very satisfying.

Had I bought the Phil & Ted when my first child was a newborn, it could conceivably have lasted me six years, through the end of my younger child's stroller days. Could our old Maclaren Techno XT, with its tender wheels and fragile frame, do that? I think not. And a Maclaren double is way too wide for the bodega.

So thank God for Phil & Ted. They let me feel, still, a little, like the girl who wrote for Let's Go and traveled solo through obscure Greek islands on a moped. I'm still that person, but lactating. And packing juice boxes. Phil & Ted have preserved my mobility. I fit -- through doors and into my old image of myself.

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Object Lust subjects are chosen solely on the discretion -- and unabashed enthusiasm -- of the writer. No product manufacturers are paying for this feature.

By Marjorie Ingall

Marjorie Ingall is a columnist for the Forward and a contributing editor at Glamour. She's also written for Parents, the New York Times, and the late, lamented Sassy.

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