Seven years ago, we went to Babies R Us in Grand Rapids to make a pretty big decision on a pretty major purchase: a car seat carrier/stroller set. We didn't know what we were doing. We were prepared to spend a pretty penny at a time when we considered ourselves to broke (Ha! We had double incomes, we weren't broke, we were rich!). We even brought a support system of 3 of our closest friends. This was unintentional as they had zero kids themselves but we were on our way out to dinner and a movie (see, we were rich!) The three of them meandered around this gigantic baby store oohing and ahhing over everything and we actually had to drag them out of the store once we had made our purchase 10 minutes later. Ok, that is a lie.
And we started to compare and test. We carried the carriers. Like we reeeeeally carried them. We carried them with our hands, then with our elbows. We carried them on our elbows until they were sore and we compared those times with those of other carriers. We pretended to lift them into a vehicle. We practiced getting them in and out of the car seat base. We rolled it on the ground as if we had gotten in an accident. We adjusted the straps to make sure that any size baby we would have would fit in the thing. And then we test drove strollers. We pushed stroller after stroller after stroller. We pushed the stroller really fast in case we'd ever have to run with it. We made an obstacle course out of other strollers in which we wove in and out and around and up and over to make sure we could turn on a dime with the stroller. We pushed them back and forth to test their alignment. We trampled over car seat bases to test the suspension. Jordan jumped on the footrest to check the suspension (this is the truth!) We folded and unfolded the strollers and lifted them up to mini-van hatch height. We reclined the seats, buckled and unbuckled the buckles. We overlooked nothing. We investigated every option and made sure of all the color options they came in. We somewhat compared prices but, you know, money wasn't really an issue for this!
Our support team was very helpful in trying to appear interested!
And finally, almost an hour and a half later, we made our decision. We were going to be the owners of a Chicco carrier, base, and stroller.
Did we make the right decision? Absolutely! Four babies later (and therefore, four very messy toddlers later) the thing still corners like it's on rails. It's been pooped on, peed on, spit up on but it still shines up like new. And we've been able to cram all of our 4 kids on it at the same time in one shape or form.
It was one of our best purchases ever! And I'd say our Chicco was pretty proud to be along for the ride: Florida, Chicago (many a time), through caves in Kentucky, Cumberland Falls, Silver Lake, antique flea markets, camping, the Atlanta Zoo, the Creation Museum, Jellystone Park, so many memories.
Jordan brought it up to me one night: 'We don't need this anymore do we?' And we shared a sentimental moment together: when and how we made the purchase, the precious times in which Jordan would install the base and carrier which meant a child would be coming home from the hospital in it soon, carefully unbuckling our sleeping babes from the comfort of the carrier. But we have a little umbrella stroller and a jogger to carry our last child that's at the toddler age now. Our babies aren't babies anymore. Seven years later and it's time to say goodbye.
So thank you and farewell, Chicco! You have always been a part of our family....