… “Thank you. Thank you very much.”
So it probably wan’t his fault. Well, it kinda was*. But it was also very much my fault for getting the stroller into a position where it can get broken in the first place.
Have I mentioned before that my lift is Very Small? It’s about 60cm x 60cm (circa 2 square feet, I think). That’s a guess-timation, based on the fact that I can barely fit in the lift with a pizza box containing a pizza with a diameter of 45 cms.
So, there was no chance in hell I was ever going to get a stroller/pram that would fit into my lift. Seeing as we didn’t have a minimum size limitation, we went out and bought – you guessed it – the biggest pram we could find (reasoning that we needed something hefty to fight through the snow).
Picture me on any given day, leaving the apartment to go for a walk: Michelin Man child bundled up head-to-toe in a snowsuit. Child then bundled into a sling in order to keep the maternal hands free. Maternal hands are then used to drag 10kg pram to the lift. Lift called. Lift doors (aka the Jaws of Death) open. Pram hefted in. Maternal unit hefted in, with child strapped to chest.
At the ground floor, a speedy exit through the Jaws of Death ensue, dragging pram with.
Except, today… I dropped the pram halfway as I had to reposition my grip. And wasn’t it just unlucky that I dropped it at the precisely right angle for the folded-down handle to slip through the crack between the lift and the floor. Fair enough, you say. It dropped into the crack. So pull it out again.
Not quite so easy. The part that had dropped had a button on it. The button had depressed, slipped through the crack, and sprung back out, wedged under the crack. So the handlebar was well and truly stuck.
Of course, tears were near as I ran and knocked on the door opposite the lift.
“Mozhna pamoch pazhaluysta,” which is about as close to “can you help me” as I can muster.
She looks at me, and the baby strapped to my chest, and at the Jaws of Death opening and shutting around my Big Fat Pram every two seconds. And she says, “Da”.
Her efforts of pulling and pushing are in vain, and she’s soon joined by a man who tries out his version of pulling and pushing too. Surprisingly, it yields few results.
So I try to tell them, in my crap version of Russian complemented by the universal language of arm gestures, that the handle bar is stuck because a button needs to be pressed down so it can fit back through the crack.
The man looks at me, nods, and disappears. The lady tells me that he’s gone to get some tools. I get on the phone to Mr Moi to vent and cry.
And before I know it, the man reappears with a Big Fucking Stick, and uses it at a lever to wedge the pram out of the crack.
And from one crack to another – CRACK! That’s the sound the pram made as it was set free. The button broke off, rending the handle unmoveable. It’s now permanently stuck in the down position.
This all happened in a split second as I was talking with Mr Moi on the phone. I held it together enough to thank them, and when they disappeared I cried even more because he broke my $850 pram.
I persisted with my outing – the teething crying monster would have driven me nuts if we hadn’t gotten out – but I was hunched like Quasimodo over the handle that is now permanently folded under. And as the pram is now 20cms shorter without the handle being up, every step I took I kicked the bloody basket under the pram.
*In the sense that many Kyiv-ites seem to struggle with the fact that someone can’t speak their language. Some make no effort to understand what you’re trying to say, using very bad Russian and sign language. So in that sense, yes, it was this man’s fault he broke my stroller.