Ollie finds pram-buying is far from being a pushover

With one baby already on the way, talking about having another turns out to be a Very Bad Idea, as Ollie discovers during a pram-buying expedition. But quick thinking, coffee and cake soon restore order in the Banks household…

“That’s a clever feature,” said Ollie Banks when he realised that the particular pram they were looking at came with all the necessary accessories to make space for a second baby. “It could be really handy.”

With catalogue in hand he was getting into pram-buying; it was almost like looking for a brand new car, which appealed enormously. With a new baby due in February, he had put off looking for such essentials on the grounds that it was unlucky to do so before the baby was born. That had delivered the pleasant advantage that he was able to watch Rugby World Cup games instead of going shopping. However, he’d thought it a good idea to give in after health checks at the hospital had revealed that fears for baby’s health were unfounded, as a result of which he’d been allowed to accept an invitation from Arjan at Solo Expenses to watch England play Wales from a hospitality box at Twickenham at the end of September. That hadn’t gone to plan because England had lost the game in its dying seconds. As a result Ollie had lost a bit of interest in the competition.

Lizzie wasn’t so enthusiastic about Ollie’s comments about the pram, but he didn’t notice that she was wearing her darkest frown and had folded her arms across her ever-expanding midriff. He was too busy in animated conversation with the shop assistant who’d shown him the pram’s ‘extra baby’ feature. They were now discussing the ergonomics of the handle, the style of wheels, the way the baby carrier could quickly be clipped into the car, and the cup holders. Ollie was lapping it up.
Lizzie broke in. “When you two have QUITE finished… Do you think I might be involved in this? If there’s to be another baby, I’d like to have a say in it.”

Ollie finds pram-buying is far from being a pushover-1Baby CarriageThe sales assistant melted away like snow in April, leaving Ollie sputtering and alone. He knew he’d lost a lot of brownie points, and would have to work hard to restore them. He was back at the low point he’d reached when, on being shown the price of the pram Lizzie had in mind, he’d said: “HOW much? That’s more than the most expensive season ticket at Aston Villa!”
Lizzie had shot from the hip with her reply. She’d said: “That’s because it’s better value, and it’s something we’ll all benefit from when the baby arrives.” One-nil to her. “I’m doing this for us, you know, sorting out all this baby stuff and looking after Alice while you watch the rugby and think about your precious Villa.” Two-nil.

At the time Ollie had managed to stifle the comment that she was angry only because pregnancy was causing her hormones to play up, and he did the same again now. Instead he said: “I’m sorry. I didn’t think. Let’s go up the hill to our favourite café and get a coffee and a piece of cake. We could go to John Lewis afterwards. I think they have the right model of pram as well, and they might have it in the colour we want too. I think the extra baby conversion thing was a bad idea, by the way, when you think it through. Why would you want to buy something you might never need?”

Lizzie softened. “You’re a smooth talker, Banks. And it’s not just you talking is it? Not buying things we don’t need is a lesson you’ve learned from Solo Expenses. Before you started using that app the house was packed with stuff we had no real use for. Remember, it’s the money we’ve saved that’s buying this pram.”

Ollie agreed: “Yeah, and if we don’t buy the pram with the ‘extra baby’ features, we’ll save some more. Enough for this coffee and cake, I shouldn’t wonder. Perhaps they’ll have the double chocolate one? Cake, I mean, not pram.”

Lizzie raised her eyebrows and shook her head. “Oh, you,” she said. “Thanks for not suggesting you could have gone to watch Villa with the savings. Come on.” Neat sidestep and crisis over, thought Ollie. She linked her arm through his, and they set off.