J and I bought a stroller this weekend - a Maclaren Triumph - and doing so launched us right into a state I'd been hoping to avoid, despite its inevitable onset, and that's the state of "parents with gear." We've been incredibly fortunate in that we've inherited a ton of baby necessities from J's coworkers, as well as been given so many useful gifts - our carseat, activity mat, bassinet, swing, Pack n' Play...I mean, everything - and we haven't really had to shop for much yet, so heading into Babies "R" Us to get something more complicated than diapers, well, it was huge. We didn't do that much research besides soliciting a few recommendations from friends, but lucky for us there was a certified stroller expert working at the store that day. Ok, he wasn't literally certified, but this kid - I think he was about 18 - he knew his stuff. I kind of wanted to invite him over for dinner after hearing him list the most important details for every model, folding and unfolding them, encouraging us to do so ourselves, and all in a very non-salesman way, like, he didn't care if Babies "R" Us made a cent he just wanted us to have a product that lasted, and for our precious child to be safe.
We got to try the stroller out yesterday walking around the Carroll Gardens neighborhood in Brooklyn with my brother and a few friends after brunch. Looking around, we noticed that the area seemed to be a hotspot for hip couples with kids, and - as if we needed to get any more cocky about our purchase (J was basically doing wheelies, announcing "This stroller is AWESOME") - we noticed that a bunch of them had the exact same model as us. The very same stroller. We walked proudly on.