This past Saturday we woke up with a great idea to buy Jude a simple tricycle for his 2nd birthday. Novel, says I; nothing says easy lovin’ than getting a simple ready-to-ride trike from Toys R Us. This from the family who researches so long into what kind of baby carrier to buy that by the time we get it he’s too big for it. But oh, life for the Mardocks isn’t as easy as simply going to Toys R Us and getting a $20 Radio Flyer.
At Toys R Us we discover that tricycles have actually “devolved” over the past 20 years into cheap, breakable plastic garbage heaps and cost $60 and up. (Of course when I was a kid, they were American-made solid steal and rubber). Rachel and I reconsidered the simple notion of buying a trike. We decided to search around the Tacoma area for other options to no avail. All garbage. Then we discovered there was this uber-fancy German trike company called Kettler. Hand forged by real Teutonic engineers, with all the bells and whistles. The particular one we were interested, I called the “Ferrari of Tricycles.” The Air Navigator. This bad boy has real air-filled tires, plus a push handle for the parents. But then it gets better: the Air Navigator's petite frame belies the fact that it’s approved for up to a 400 pound human. Its rear wheels swivel like a shopping cart so that the parents can push the trike seamlessly without lifting and repositioning the trike (lest it veer off the sidewalk and maim the poor child). And lastly, its front wheel locks so that the wheel is always pointed straight ahead. Another must as parents push the lazy child up and down the block.
I must tell you, I had stars in my eyes. Clearly I wanted this trike so much more than Jude could ever care. At $250 though, it was just a hard justification to make. Didn’t we wake up that morning just wanting a simple $20 trike? How did we get from Junker to Ferrari? After much introspection and consideration about whether the trike should be a family heirloom or just a toy, we decided to keep the money and get the trike from Toys R Us. At $60, it’s still more than we want to pay, but I feel like we avoided an epic frivolous purchase. Certainly Jude would appreciate that money towards his college savings plan. Although with a weight limit of 400 pounds he could still easily ride the trike to college.
So ends our trike story, and onto another story: whether or not Rob and Rachel will invest $700 on the swankiest duallie stroller on the market, or whether we’ll ever get it through out heads that humans have been raising babies for millennia without the aircraft aluminum frames, Baby Bjorn carriers, and video baby monitors…