The Captain’s Chair

Well, in the last month of my pregnancy with #2, I have been feeling awful and enormous. This time around I’ve managed to get everything you don’t want health-wise and feel pretty exhausted constantly. But I still have an almost-2 year old, an incredibly energetic child (is there any other kind?!), who seems to have lost the ability to independently play as my belly has grown. Don’t be fooled by this picture – I am sweaty and faint and just want another snack bar.

This means for my sanity we MUST leave the house for hours every day to exhaust her at playgrounds and the like while taking rations for extended trips. I wanted to get her transitioned from the smart stroller to the new double dot buggy before the baby comes so this would not be another ‘new’ thing for her to take issue with and inspire the almighty tantrums – something I just couldn’t cope with right now as I trudge along down the sidewalk in the summer heat. At least I can prop myself up on the pram. Thankfully she saw the dot as a brand new “chair” just for her. As I assembled it, she played sitting in all the possibilities, but eventually claimed the “Captain’s chair” where the double attachment sits in front so the main seat can lay back flat for the baby.

We used it in this configuration and thankfully she napped in it happily under the wide brim main sun hood on the first afternoon (one of my fears was that she wouldn’t). After some outings, we decided to undertake some customisations:

1. Geometric Seat pads – I bought the grey seats with this in mind. I picked out a pattern that I liked and used a projector to display it on the seat while it was taped up on the wall, then I used a white paint pen to mark it out. Now I have a one of a kind seat and love it. I kept the back side as original in case another pattern strikes my fancy.

2. Grocery keeper – when the double seat is not slotted in the back, there is a big space in the undercarriage storage bag where groceries (when piled in there) can fall out backwards. After a loaf of bread ended up in the middle of the crosswalk, I decided to devise a temporary solution (because it will be obsolete in a few months when we are using both seats). One meter (75c) of elastic from the fabric store later, I had a zig zagged grocery keeping device. I thought about making a fancy button or snap closure for the end, but tying it to the frame ended up being so simple and it blended in well with the black frame.

3. Storage – I can put my nappy bag underneath in the ample storage bag, but often all I need to get out of the house for a short time is keys, phone and wallet. I found the perfect hidey place for my wallet was in the folds of the main seat that I wasn’t yet using! When you fold down the main hood’s window cover, it’s completely hidden. For the other bits, I bought a Britax Stroller organiser, but there are lots of others that will fit just fine on the full handle. 

Although there are endless options with P&T to find the perfect pram for you and then get the colours that suit, these extra touches make it really feel like mine and even more functional. I also love that I can still manoeuvre the dot with just one hand (like with the smart), especially on those rainy days when I’m holding an umbrella, or finishing my coffee whilst rushing to playgroup (nothing better than other children to wear yours out.) And when I run out of energy to supervise painting (to make sure she doesn’t decide the wall is a canvas), I can always let her play in the Captain’s chair, pretending she is at the helm of a boat, or just reading about one. It’s definitely going to get me through to the next phase, wish me luck!

About the author:

I'm Tasmin, a photographer and the mother of a boisterous 2 yr old daughter Waverley and new baby boy Charleston. After doing (too much) research when I was first pregnant I became a Phil & Teds convert and love using all their toys to make my life as a mum easier. My partner and I love to travel and Waverley has 5 countries on her passport already! I have also co-founded Portrait Equality which loans instant cameras to travelling photographers so they can give out family portraits along their journey. Enjoy following us on our journeys as we share them with you and our families..