30/05/2017 07:37 BST | Updated 30/05/2017 07:37 BST

The Buggy Stages

Today my Donkey died an undignified death. My Bugaboo Donkey that is.

Today the wheels came off. Literally. Halfway back to the car. It'd had enough.

The wheel that fell off first was directly under the handy side-basket. Designed, I believe, for your shopping, and not, as I use it, for your other children who are refusing to walk. Only a week ago my three year old was slung in there after a 10 minute walk turned into a 40 minute amble punctuated by whining about his legs hurting and the sun being too bright.

My buggy's untimely demise made me think how weird is the world of the push chair? It's almost mystical - you know absolutely NOTHING of push chairs before they are required and then you notice absolutely everything about them.

And so I give to you the buggy stages:

The Carry Cot Buggy Stage

You know, when they have to lie flat and any kind of propping up will irreparably damage their future abilities as olympic gymnasts. FACT: two out of three children will absolutely HATE lying flat during the buggy stage (statistic taken from my own sample of three). And you will therefore end up (a) carrying them over your shoulder for a few weeks before (b) buying a sling to throw under the buggy for when the baby cries (this could be every time they are laid down in the buggy so you will end up carrying them in a sling and pushing an empty buggy for six months). WORRY NOT my empty buggied friend - this is an excellent substitution for the commonly used supermarket trolley.

The Car Seat Buggy Combo Stage

An ingenious idea. So ingenious that I bought the buggy/car seat adapters when I couldn't drive. Never used them. Plenty of people do though and the best thing about carseats on wheels = baby isn't lying flat and can stay sleeping on transition to next activity. But in case they don't you should prob also chuck a sling under the carseat buggy combo too, just so you can push your carseat round like it's a small but INCREDIBLY heavy automobile pet.

The Sitting Up in a Pushchair Stage

Hurrah! they are able to move into the big boy/girl seat bit, they can see the world. If you have bought into the idea of a ludicrously expensive buggy (as I did) then they can face outwards (hello world!) or inwards (hello again primary carer!). I was disproportionately excited about this stage. I felt like my children could get their entertainment quota just from viewing a world of possibilities from the comfort of their nappy clad bottoms. No such luck, before long we were experiencing...

The OUT Stage

My formally dainty one/nearly two year old is currently in this phase. During this stage their sweet little voices transform from sounding cherubic to sounding like Peggy Mitchell evicting people from her pub. Except they are trying to evict themselves from their trusty steed. 'OUT' (gravelly voice, inexplicably aggressively pointing at passer-by) 'OUT naaaaaoooww'. In this stage it is essential that you own a buggy you can easily fold a planking toddler into (an infuriating but undeniably impressive skill that all toddlers seem to possess).

The 'I Think it's Time to Get Rid of a Buggy' Stage

Happens at a different age for all us (we all have that friend whose two year old has been safely and contentedly walking everywhere since birth and is now asking for donations for their hike up Everest for their third birthday). But it's a pretty bloody momentous time. WARNING: You no longer have personal trolley, back away from the shops with your small child.

There are so many other stages of buggy usage that they seem too numerous to list. If you have subsequent children they also include the common 'do we need a double buggy?' debate. Usually directly followed by the 'they'll be fine with a buggy board' phase, and thus commences the 'walking with outstretched arms behind my buggy' stage and the 'wishing I'd got a double buggy' era.

I actually feel a little sentimental that the buggy is no more. I remember the excitement when it arrived, it all feels very real when you have a buggy in the corridor waiting to be occupied. It was so shiny, so new. Didn't last, people actually physically recoiled at the site of my buggy after it had been slimed on by my grubby trio of humans and I'm pretty sure it made someone vomit once.

But I can safely say I loved those wheels far more than I have loved any car I have ever owned. And I tenderly pimped my ride with 'buggy organisers', coffee cup holders and 'parasols' that I could never adjust correctly. They literally never once shaded anyone from the sun. I'm strangely proud of that.

And as I have not yet reached the 'time to get rid of the buggy' stage I am sat here waiting on delivery of a new stroller. Call me psychic but I highly doubt any 'strolling' will take place with that bad boy.

And so it is time to bid the push chair farewell, may it rest in pieces.

Written in loving memory of my Bugaboo Donkey. 2013 - 2017.

In other news I have a second hand Bugaboo Donkey for sale - may carry various diseases, one wheel missing in action, inexplicable amount of sand in side-basket.

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