Depending on which one of us is walking the boy, my wife and I have ‘His and Hers’ baby carriers, writes Ben Keenan.
Mine features adjustable padded straps made from soft woven polyester for superior comfort, military grade easy click fastenings, re-enforced Velcro support sleeves, lightweight galvanised rubber pin-studded overmouldings and comes with a compartment which I believe contains an easy to assemble jet-ski.
My wife’s, on the other hand is 3 metres of mauve fabric. Putting mine on is a two-person job which requires specialist training with members of Mensa’s baby unit. My wife’s ties elegantly around her body like a sari in less than a minute.
This week, in a change from the norm, I set my shiny black marine kit to one side and attempted to embrace the soft simplicity of Jen’s device. Wearing it, the idea of taking the boy for his mid-afternoon constitutional instantly fell by the wayside and in a scene reminiscent of a man wrestling a snake in a faraway jungle swamp, I removed myself from its vice like grip and vowed never again to wear such a ridiculous invention.
Working where I do, I see hundreds of new dads heading for our baby changing facilities looking as if their bundles of joy have been duct taped to them in a moment of last minute frustration and it makes me crave a simpler time. Most parents would have had two options back in the day whereas I have about 500. They could either carry the child or push him or her in a carriage that weighed more than some cars do these days. Now there are shelves and shelves of products which, let’s be honest, all do a similar job, but come with completely different price tags. Maybe one day, there will be less variety and our focus will solely be on which tool does the job best but alas, for some, how it looks will still be a million times more important than how good it works.