A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ARMADILLO BY GREGORY STANTON
We thought he was the perfect choice for testing out the Armadillo’s compact and reliable design, along with his daughter, Etta. Here he takes us through a day that involved a lot of travel, some eating, a parenting disaster and those ever-illusive fish…
Quite exciting times afoot here at TheLondonDad, we were given the opportunity to test-drive the newly updated Armadillo from Mamas & Papas. We were tasked with giving it a real run for its money around town so decided to venture out on one of our family jaunts around our town … London.
What better than a ride on the tube, a quick stop in at London Aquarium, a pit-stop for lunch in Covent Garden before heading over to Liberty for a bit of shopping before getting the Overground home from waterloo. All in one day with an 18m old seems a bit much doesn’t it? And for those of you with a keen eye you will soon spot that we have had a change of clothes, that’s not because we treated the day like a movie star at the Oscar’s but because like all plans with an 18m old mini, everything went a touch wonky. When I say wonky I mean it all went wrong from the start.
The plan to get the tube worked like an absolute dream, South Wimbledon station is not the most accessible station as some of you may know so we had to navigate the escalators with Etta in the Armadillo. Not the easiest of maneuvers but with both myself and Alice on hand it was a complete doddle, we have since attempted and aborted the same actions with Cat the Dog in tow and 100% would not recommend it.
Arriving at Waterloo we breezed through the concourse and over the bridge to the south bank before we arrived at what was the longest queue I had ever seen for Fish, and we have queued at Tsukiji for breakfast sushi during our time in Tokyo. Being parents to an 18m old you don’t think about school holidays and the implications of them on the queues at central London attractions.
Vowing to return to the aquarium we decided that we would shake things up a little and think on our feet. Onwards and upwards, over the bridge and heading for Liberty to hang out and do some shopping was the best idea in our eyes. Etta loves walking the aisles and to us watching her it seems like she’s wandering around candy land, her eyes light up at the oddities dotted around the floors and she just loves all the toys in the beautiful children’s section.
Getting Etta out of the Armadillo at the other end we realized that for probably half of the 2 hours in the buggy, Etta had done the worst thing imaginable. Up to the disabled toilets on the fourth floor for a quick change, which turned into a slow change. Waiting in line behind 4 groups of slow people in and out of the bathroom only complicated our problem. Finally we are in the bathroom changing Etta and then it hits us, the worst mistake a parent can do, no not swearing in front of your mini and having it repeated, but forgetting the obligatory change of clothes.
So I run out buy a new set of clothes, which we quickly change Etta into. We are now 2.5 hours into our busy day and have achieved nothing. You think it couldn’t get any worse and then the lift doesn’t work, at this point we are about ready to give up. Walking down the stairs with a quick stop to have a peek out of the window and into the offices we decide that mummy and daddy need some lunch and more than likely a little alcoholic aid to get the day back on track.
En route Etta falls asleep thanks to the amazingly huge hood (seriously check out the size of it) so we decided to grab a well-deserved coffee before diving in for food.
For those of you that have not been to Flat Iron yet then we can’t recommend it highly enough, baby friendly, wide aisles for navigating with your buggy (not that you will have that issue with the Armadillo) and ten pound steaks with the added bonus of a free ice cream at the end of the meal. It’s the sort of place that we would rock up to pre-Etta at 8pm and be enraged that we couldn’t have a table and could only wait for one at the bar before having the time of your life and forgetting to eat at all.
Now back to the Aquarium where the queue is bigger than before and rather than subjecting Etta to the wait after she has been an absolute champion all day we decide to pull the pin and head home and promise to get back nice and early for opening the next day where we enjoy the aquarium for all its glory in complete emptiness.
The Armadillo in combination with the gentle rocking of a packed commuter train lulls Etta back to sleep without a whimper or the need of a bottle.
The aquarium on day two of our quest was completely worth the wait. We have loads of pop art around the house with Fish on and she couldn’t contain her excitement as she ran from tank to tank and window to window shouting ‘fissssh fisssh’ at every opportunity. We thought she would enjoy it but had no idea that she would appreciate it as much as she had done, perhaps we have watched Ponyo one too many times.
To sum up the day everything that could have gone wrong did but we loved our trip all over town. The Armadillo is amazing, we don’t recommend too many things here and this is one that we have been telling anyone that will listen about it. Alice and I love the one hand opening and closing, of all the buggies we have used its by far the easiest mechanism, so hats off to M&P. It’s the perfect size and weight for buzzing around the city center or out in a shopping center and the only thing that failed the test on our day out was our expectancy to get everything done as well as forgetting a change of clothes. I still can’t believe we did that.
Even though there were ups and downs, it sounds like a pretty successful weekend to us! Don’t forget to check out our Armadillo stroller.