I have a confession to make: occasionally, I find newborn babies to be quite boring. I realise this is a terrible thing to say, as someone who is currently in possession of one myself. But let’s face it: all babies really do is eat and poo. They don’t even sleep much. And whatever their parents proclaim, most babies look exactly the same. That’s not to say I’m not over the moon to be a dad to little ones, or that I don’t love them (I cried like a baby, appropriately enough, when each of my three children was born). Let’s be honest, though: kids only really start getting interesting from around a year onwards. Before that point, it’s a pretty hard slog. Yes, you love them like crazy; yes, you feel so unbelievably blessed to have these precious people in your life; but it’s still exhausting and, often, unrewarding.
One thing all babies have in their favour, though, is that their needs are very simple. A bit of food, the occasional nappy change and a roof over their heads is all that’s required. Despite this, the marketeers would have you believe that you’re at risk of being arrested for child neglect if you don’t spend your hard-earned cash on a whole load of baby-related tat. And this week, the idea of must-haves for newborns reached a new nadir with the announcement that Aston Martin have teamed up with Silver Cross to create “the most exclusive pram in the world.”
The Silver Cross Surf (Aston Martin edition) will only be available in Harrods – obviously – and will have all sorts of luxury features including “air-ride suspension” (eh?) and a certificate of authenticity, something that will obviously be of great use when trying to lug the thing into the boot of the car or cart it onto the bus. Further design details included to tempt the cash-rich clowns who’ll buy this product are its suede-lined seat pad (how do you clean the vomit off that one?) and its fully reclining seat – factors which, according to a Silver Cross spokesman, means “this really is a must-have for the most fast-paced lifestyle.”
Must have? MUST HAVE? I’ll tell you, Mr Silver Cross Spokesman, what a must-have is: breast milk. Honestly, have a word with yourself.
It’s an extreme, obviously – but this kind of nonsense is one of the things that just makes me look forward to my little ones getting past the baby stage. A couple of months ago, on the day I went to collect my wife and Child Number 3 from the hospital, I nearly got a parking ticket because someone had turned up on the ward, camera in hand, to try to flog us a ‘photo memory pack’ there and then. Dazed and knackered, we ended up just letting the woman take a load of photos, benignly agreeing that yes, it would indeed be lovely to get a photo of our wedding rings entwined around our newborn’s face – and of course, you’re absolutely right, eighty quid is such a small price to pay for such a precious memory.
So, although most of us won’t have the spare cash to waste a couple of grand on a pram, it’s still easy to end up frittering away your hard-earned money on a whole load of other nonsense that, let’s be honest, most little ones won’t even notice. What’s more, just as all babies are strikingly similar, the one thing you’ll discover about all prams is that no matter how much they cost, you’ll still never, ever be able to get the sodding thing to steer in the right direction when you’re running horrendously late.