They say the journey of parenthood is long and turbulent.
Prams. They’re a shopping cart. A portacot. A handbag.
But you know you’ve spent too much time behind the handlebars when pedestrians in front of you start looking like crash test dummies and you feel an alarming compulsion to run them over.
I’ve always enjoyed walking. But since giving birth to my daughter, those walks have become more of a chore. There have been countless will-you-please-go-to-sleep-
And with every trip, I notice things.
Have you ever noticed how people hog the kerb-ramp? It’s like, ‘Hello! I’ve got the weight of a toddler, three litres of milk, laundry detergent and a bag of oranges all crammed into this pram. It’s not that easy to hitch it over the gutter’.
And perhaps I’m naïve, but before I joined the pram brigade I truly believed that motorists would take care around a child.
We were the last ones crossing in a long line of pedestrians at an intersection in Surfers Paradise and the little red man had just begun to flash when it was finally my turn to drop the pram wheels into the road. The sun blinded me; my ears were full of the roar of traffic; then, unbelievably, I felt heat beside my hip. I looked to my right. And there it was. Inching towards us. The bonnet of a shiny Mercedes literally nudging the hem of my dress.
At that moment, I wanted to bash the jewellery-clad 60-year-old woman with my handbag. Some call this “displaced aggression“.
I call it pram rage.
“It really exists,” says Jess Flannigan, 31, mum to three-year-old Sebastian. “Just the other day I was on a crowded footpath and I could hear people huffing and puffing behind me wanting to get past the pram. I moved it over and let them pass, and then they just dawdled in front of me!”
But pram rage isn’t just for those blocking the path. That rage can be directed at the very pram itself.
Jess says, “No matter how good it is, you will have at least one day where you will hate it. Where you will kick it or hit it or want to throw it against a wall. Something will go wrong with it and you will want to take all your pent-up anger and frustration out on it. For me it was the foot pedal. It just kept getting stuck.”