(parents, I’m looking at you)
I’m slowly realising that Redux Week – in which I take old post titles and concepts and rewrite and rework them – is increasingly becoming ‘here were things that once annoyed me, that still annoy me’. And with this sudden, yet really not altogether surprising, revelation on board, here are some ways in which prams piss me off, and have continued to piss me off, for almost a year.
As well as being an imposition on non-prammed humans, and stifling the freedom of the poor, almost fetal, persons strapped within them like flies to a spider’s web made of oppressive love and increasingly ridiculously materialistic standards of parenthood, prams reflect negatively on the kids being carted around. My memory of being a squishy ball of barely-formed features and a still-functioning pancreas is a bit hazy, but looking back as an older person I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that there’s definitely some elitism and resentment among babies who are associated with prams: why does she get the biggest pram? Or he get his own one where I have to share with my annoying twins?
And while actual infantile criticisms may be a bit more crying- and wailing-based than these questions, the point that even babies can tell when you’re being a cheapskate in not being lavish enough in the, entirely arbitrary, chariots you’re providing for them is a valid one.
Prams are also limiting in a broader sense; in the first post I talked about how a pram-based child’s experiences are confined to those deemed ‘acceptable’ or ‘interesting’ to the enfranchised adult pushing them around, but even this choice from a limited range of options isn’t completely helpful. If you’re burdened with a pram, you can only go to places with pavements, and that are wide enough to accommodate your regrettable life choice and the stroller you’re lugging it around in, suddenly a lot of life’s best bits are beyond your plastic-wheeled grasp: no trips into woods to see nature at its most authentic and striking, no impromptu surfing trips, and no visits to the greatest theme park on Earth. And, of course, all these limitations are placed on the poor child without them necessarily having the knowledge that they’re choices are being limited at all.
But the true ‘evilness’ of prams comes in their perversion of the loving; prams are not intended to hurt, or to oppress, or to materialise one of the last genuine emotions humans are capable of having – love – into a race to grab four-wheeled chairs in Black Friday sales, but they do all this anyway, suggesting to my (totally not crazy or barrel-scraping) mind that prams themselves are a sentient evil, that feeds off positive energy to turn it into a force for destruction. Like the plot of like half the fantasy novels I’ve tried to write, or the awesome powers of No-Heart in the Care-Bears movies (until he’s inevitably confronted by a single, Earth-shattering Care-Bear Glare from all the bears put together that even he couldn’t resist).
And if there’s one thing worse than a being with the potential for limitless evil, as long as there is some good in the world, it’s an endlessly evil being that tries to help babies. God help us all.