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School Run

Two Words: School Run – by Amber

Wake me up when September ends

September has crept up on us again, marking the end of another successful Summer of keeping small humans entertained. Sighs of exhausted parents can be heard everywhere hunting for last-minute school uniform purchases and cries of children trying on ANOTHER pair of school shoes.

And then before we know it, we’re on the first school run.
School - Run - Two words that have a mass demographic of parents sobbing into their morning beverage. Torn between the relief that they won’t have to listen to their children nag for snacks all day and the devastation that they have to pull tired babes from their beds, and try to have them fed, dressed and looking half kept in less than an hour.

Whether you walk, drive, cycle or drag your little loves to the school gates, you’ve succeeded. And we’re all in this together. Now, we’ve just got tackle the next 200-odd days.

New Priorities

We purchased our Nipper in August 2018 after our old pushchair just wasn’t cutting it any more. The littlest was pushing 9 months at the time, so had outgrown the carrycot and was in the seat unit.
I knew that we needed another all-terrain contraption, being a fairly outdoors-y family with trips to the beach and woods a firm favourite past-time. But something with a little less bulk without all the fiddly bits that a lot of travel systems require.

I did a huge amount of research and had a fairly tough checklist of boxes that needed ticking:

  • REAL tyres (the bigger, the better)
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to manoeuvre
  • Sturdy
  • Plenty of seat room
  • Full recline
  • Easy to fold (so as not to confuse doting Grandparents)
  • Compact enough to fit in the boot of my tiny 206
  • SUSPENSION! (I’m known for a good power walk, and once you reach a certain speed, those unsuspecting tree stumps threaten to send the pushchair into orbit)

I had scrolled for days, reading endless reviews on every pushchair going. Perhaps I was being too picky and decided that maybe finding any type of all-terrain buggy to fit in the Peugeot was laughable. With a pretty tight budget, I wasn’t feeling hopeful.

Until I found the Out'n'About Nipper Single.

The Chariot

Nipper Single with rain cover
Nipper Single, ready for the school run. The British weather at its finest. At least the baby is dry!

Coming in way under budget, it was a winner. And not only did it sound functional, it looked awesome too. But did it fit in the car? With the rear tyres removed it absolutely did, and we still had room for everything else small people apparently require!

There’s ample seat room and a max. load of 22kg, which comfortably housed the 4-year-old who was adamant he wanted a test ride. The 360° swivel is great for tight corners and locked it’s brilliant for off-road adventures. There’s a mesh storage bag under the seat and zips on either side of the hood which are handy for a spare pack of baby wipes or keeping the reusable shopping bag you always forget!

Over the hills and far away …*

Let’s set the scene. We live in a lush little town in the Derbyshire Dales, not too far from the Peak District. And the hills are … well, from a hiking point of view, they’re epic. From the point of view of a mother with a pushchair and a 5-year-old, they’re nothing to be desired. That being said, my bum is in the best shape since pre-kids (silver linings and that).

Because of its lightweight build the Nipper pushes surprisingly easily, even uphill. We’ve all been there – puffing and panting, throwing the odd curse word around while trying to push a pushchair one-handed, only for it to veer off in the wrong direction. As the Nipper has a single handlebar (combined with the aforementioned 360° front wheel and lightweight), such profanities are a distant memory. Holding a little hand and a dog on a lead whilst controlling a pushchair at the same time is indeed an easy feat.

Morning ritual

A good way to keep fit and get those all-important endorphins flowing ready for a good day

We’ve recently moved house which has reduced the school run to about 0.8 miles. Previously it was just over a mile. 2 miles a day for the boy and 4 for me and the littlest. A good way to keep fit and get those all-important endorphins flowing ready for a good day (or so they say … have they tried to shake off their morning grump after a 25-minute disagreement about how to put shoes on correctly?).

Thankfully for my glutes, our new route doesn’t have quite as many inclines, and we have a couple of choices of which way to walk. We can stick to the main road and footpaths or for a change of scenery we can cut through the Meadows up into town. Either way, it’s about a 10/15 minute walk depending on how late we leave the house.

The town is an old market town so think cobbled streets and quirky snickets. The suspension and air-filled tyres make for a smooth and comfortable ride over all those cobbles and gravel paths (though the little one still likes to practice her vibrato) and despite its roomy seat it has a fairly compact frame so fits easily through little alleys and doorways. Not to mention how easy it is to drop down curbs and the odd step that seem to be randomly placed around town.

With the pushchair loaded up with a school bag, PE kit and an umbrella, the dog in one hand and the eldest in the other, off we go on our daily mission to school.

From leaving the house to arriving at the school gates and every other adventure we have along the way, the Out'n'About Nipper is an absolute dream. I only wish we’d invested in one earlier. A part of me is wondering whether there will be baby number 3, purely, so I have an excuse to use it a little while longer. Or maybe I could just use it for the dog …

* I would like to say this was a Led Zeppelin reference. However, I would be fibbing and making myself out to be far cooler than I am. We can all hang our heads in shame at the fact we know it’s a reference from the Teletubbies. Don’t @ me.