Bringing Up Baby
Just when one thought that rich people do not have enough to worry about—the upkeep on the vacation home; those pesky windmills and their effect on the horizon; the need to pay social security taxes for the hired help—we get this from the local broadsheet.
There are a number of factors behind stroller mania, from pervasive celebrity culture to the fact that people are having children later in life when they're more financially secure, says Tracy Pilar Johnson, a cultural anthropologist with Context-Based Research Group in Baltimore who has studied the trend.
"High-end has become synonymous with 'what's best for the kids,'" said Pilar Johnson. "When people have kids, they want them to fit into their idea of who they are, of the identity they've carved out for themselves. 'If I drive a BMW, my child has to have a Bugaboo stroller, etc.'"
"As a first-time mom I had no idea of the importance of having a high-end stroller," said Sarah Francomano, 35, of Foxborough. "I registered for a Graco, I got the Graco, I like the Graco, but I have to admit that I am embarrassed by the Graco when I take my son into the city. I guess I really am this shallow."
Shallow, perhaps. Gullible, yes.
Silly me. I thought that strollers were supposed to, you know, let you push your infant or toddler around. The strollers in the article run from $450 to $1000—about the cost of a nice adult bike at your local bike shop. $175 buys a superb Maclaren stroller that not only folds up but is well nigh indestructible; $225 gets the two-seat version; roughly $100 buys one that is not quite as durable but will likely last for years. Anything more is paying extra for the brand name.