Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bumping up and down in my little red wagon

That title will make sense to Raffi fans. (He's a big hit with Lady P and most mornings the Sugar Cube House reverberates to his jaunty, singalonga songs.) But his cover of the folk classic 'red wagon' might not resonate with British listeners as much as it does on this side of the Atlantic.

Over here, the red wagon is A Thing. I'd guess that one in every five houses on our street has a Radio Flyer red wagon, tucked away in the back of the garage (yes, I stare nosily into other people's open garages), or abandoned on the driveway, or bumping its way to the beach. The beach, I think, is the reason people buy them around here. You can load your toddler, and a bag full of clobber in the wagon and haul it all to the beach.

When I put it like that, I realise it sounds a bit like a buggy. You can put your toddler and your clobber in one of those too. And so long as you've got sensibly sized wheels, your buggy will handle the sand just fine. And yet, the red wagon is the way to travel in Hermosa.

TLOML, like kids across the US for generations, got towed about in a red wagon when he was small. And when he got older, he towed toys and clobber and younger siblings around in it (ah! there's something you can't easily do with a buggy). So he's been dreaming of getting one for Lady P for a while. It was all I could do to stop him from putting it on our 'nursery essentials' wishlist before she was born. The only other wheeled vehicle I've known him hanker for more, was that beautiful 80s Porsche.

Frankly, the whole concept was lost on me. I couldn't see the benefit of a red wagon for transporting a baby around London or Saltburn. I had never seen one, and didn't know anyone who had one.

Now that Lady P is a sturdy toddler, and summer has hit Hermosa Beach, it's all starting to make sense. So it was that the purchase was made. And at the weekend, TLOML's long held dream came true: we took our child to the beach in her red wagon.
Much more fun than a Porsche and also a little less costly

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