Boy Lacer has new wheels! Finally! To recap, we were a two pushchair family, a main buggy and an umbrella fold stroller that we could fit in the car for travelling. Then the wheel fell off the umbrella fold stroller and we discovered that we couldn’t buy a direct replacement as Boy Lacer was now over 10kg above the maximum weight (and we wonder why the wheel fell off). Not an immediate stress, as we still had our main buggy, but you can’t fit the main buggy in the car and put anything else in it at the same time, so our upcoming ‘holiday’ to North Wales was going to be a problem.
But then of course, the wheel of the main buggy fell off to, we borrowed an old standard sized Maclaren from a friend, which Boy Lacer could hardly fit into, so the search for a new buggy was getting urgent. Some research showed that Boy Lacer really needed a special needs pushchair, although he’s getting better at walking, his stamina is not that great or his ‘reliability’ if we need to get somewhere promptly. We’ll be still using a pushchair quite a lot I think until Boy Lacer starts school full time, in just over a year but even then I think we’ll need a pushchair for family days out or if he’s ill. So we needed something to last him till he’s 7 or 8 and something that could fit in the back of the car, along with everything else, if we were going on holiday. So that basically came down to one model, the Maclaren Major Elite. Now Maclaren Major Elites retail in Mothercare for £250, we have never ever paid that much for a pushchair and we just couldn’t afford it, we tried contacting occupational therapy to see if they would provide us with one, but our local occupational therapy service seems to be in shambles now, so we had to find one second hand. Now to anyone with a Maclaren Major Elite sitting in a cupboard somewhere, that you’re no longer using, I’d advise getting it on ebay, because you’re going to get a lot of money! There are a lot of desperate parents fighting over a handful of Maclaren Major Elites on Ebay, I entered and lost two auctions on Ebay for a Maclaren Major Elite before I finally managed to get one and we picked it up on Friday. We’re really pleased with the one we got though, it cost us a lot, but any of the Maclaren Major Elites of Ebay would have cost us a lot, but the good thing about the one we’ve got is that it’s only been used once, I had been really worried about paying a lot of money for something that had been ‘well-used’, getting it home, using it for a few months and then something breaking and then we’d be at square one again. So hopefully that won’t happen with the one we’ve got.
As for using it, Boy Lacer loves it, it’s much taller than a normal pushchair and he has to clamber up into it, so it’s like a climbing frame pushchair. There’s lots of room, as you can see from the photo above, he took a long two books and a teddy on the school run this morning. For me the extra height makes it a pleasure to push, I’m quite tall and I’ve spent nearly six years bent over too short pushchairs, no wonder I have a bad back. It also feels nice and solid and is quite smooth to push, quite looking forward to trying it out in the park. I’m also glad to be pushing something so ‘obvious’, me and Boy Lacer have been getting increasing amounts of dirty looks in town, when his behaviour is not 100% ‘acceptable’, you can hope people may realise when they see the oversized pushchair, or they could still be just as equally dense.
Downsides are; I’m not sure how easy this will be to work with buses, as it’s wider than a normal pushchair. I may, if I want to take it on a bus, have to fold it up before hand, which isn’t the most easiest thing to do, you have to take off the foot rest, push up three latches and then push it shut, which ok, isn’t that bad but if you’re the only adult and you’re having to keep an eye on your young autistic child at the same time and then once the bus comes try and get the pushchair on (which is still fairly long and bulky when folded) and your child who can’t make the gap between the bus and the pavement and may be freaking out because he doesn’t want to get on the bus because ‘it’s wobbly’ and possibly your shopping and keeping an eye on your other child . . . as you can imagine I think I’ll be taking the bus less!