May 9, 2011

Too Big for Stroller.

The website.

This has long been a big issue of mine. Back in 2005, I said:
Actually, my pet peeve about strollers isn't about how large they've gotten. (I assume this trend is worse in NYC, where people are into the "Sex and the City" trendy strollers and where walkways are more crowded.) My problem is the way people use strollers to immobilize older children who ought to be encouraged to walk. The dopey faces of the children who have adapted to this restraint really disturb me. What is happening to their minds and bodies?
And in '06, reacting to the trend of carrying dogs in purses:
... worse than not letting your dog walk is not letting your child walk. There are way too many children stuffed into strollers for the convenience of an adult and left with little to do but learn indolence and to grow fat.

110 comments:

John Lynch said...

When my son was finally able to walk, he walked everywhere. Never used the stroller after that. I think he was 18 months old.

Scott M said...

We only use a stroller for the 3-year-old if we're going somewhere extremely crowded like the Mall or, as we did this past weekend, a carnival. On the other hand, when we hike, we can barely keep up with her.

What's really ingenious about those giant robostrollers (I had one that converted into a backpack) is that they still manage to keep them collapsable/expandable with one hand.

They still have the "do not fold with child in seat" labels. Pathetic.

Pogo said...

Princes and princesses, pushed in their carriages, footmen at their side ready with food and drink should the whim arise.

They will make fine government workers.

Expat(ish) said...

We used to use a ginormously long double stroller with our <1 and <3 year old - but that was mostly used to hold food, clothes, etc, etc.

I always felt like I was pushing the Nemo.

But once our kids got old enough to walk....

-XC

Ann Althouse said...

If only those kid leashes were socially acceptable.

MayBee said...

Keep them in their strollers and car seats until they are 13 years old. It's safer.

tim maguire said...

It's a funny website, but obviously the work of someone who doesn't have children.

As you point out (and the blogger, along with Pogo completely miss), the stroller is for the convenience of the adult, not the child. These are not necessarily overly doting parents who coddle their children, they are more likely parents who don't feel like dealing with all the problems that go with staying on top of a child propelling himself.

When I was a child, we didn't have strollers, we had perambulators--bassinets on wheels. When you could ambulate, you were expected to.

Nevertheless, although my daughter is old enough to walk and usually does, on longer walks we bring the stroller. Cause, yeah, what I really want to do is pay $30 to bring my family to the zoo and then leave after 15 minutes because she's worn out. She'll ride. Don't like it? Tough.

Scott M said...

There was a kid, probably 5-6, at the playground yesterday that wore a red bike helmet the entire time we were there, sans bike. Normally, you can kind of tell when there's something a bit off about a kid and you take that into account when you see an out-of-place helmet. This kid looked, spoke, and played completely normally. I was still puzzled when I saw his mom, atypical liberal arts major type pushing 50 and eating something with a Whole Foods label on it.

Not that I'm stereotyping...

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

I knew a friend whose daughter demanded that she have a stroller and be pushed everywhere as the Queen of the family. They finally threw the stroller away and waited several says before she forgave them.

Geraly said...

i dunno... as a mom of two who doesn't/can't drive (poor eyesight), i occasionally allow my 8 yo into the stroller (our bike trailer)... i don't expect that she can walk for the extended amt of time that i walk. when she gets tired, she let's me know and we head for home...

sometimes, we have to walk my 5 yo to school when she isn't feeling well - i can't leave her at home and i think it would be cruel to ask her to walk when she's been vomiting all morning...

also, the few photos that i saw on that site show pics of families at zoos or amusement parks where it's crowded and some parents feel like they have to spend all day there and subject their kids to this special brand of torture... (we don't do that, we just go home or back to hotel...) so, i assume they use the stroller as a rest area and eventually the kids walk again... i know, i shouldn't assume... but i like to give my fellow parents the benefit of the doubt... plz don't let me down stroller parents! :)

Palladian said...

People with children who aren't able to tolerate walking should either stay home or find a babysitter, tim. Don't like it? Tough. Don't have kids, then.

Pogo said...

Tim, I had 3 kids, and understand the struggle.

We had a wagon for those longer days, for all the equipment and the sleepyheads and the weak of limb by days' end.

Plus I carried them a lot.

But I see lots more of these than I used to, with some kids never seeming to walk, and a lot more parent catering to them.

Scott M said...

Tough. Don't have kids, then.

Awfully tyrannical for this early on a Monday, isn't it, Pall? Do you have kids?

Franklin said...

Strollers in NYC are a problem, not necessarily because they're so large (although that is part of it) but primarily because the parents wield the strollers like a bulldozer - the parents use the strollers to block traffic and walk unimpeded while the rest of us have to stop and wait for the stroller nazis to pass.

It's seriously like having an automated crossing guard in front of you - stop! - VIP coming through!

Palladian said...

I despised the stroller when I was a child. As soon as I was old enough to toddle, I refused to sit in the stroller ever again.

And yet I still grew indolent and fat...

Scott M said...

Plus I carried them a lot.

This is why I like the stroller/backpack combos and have had one for each kid as they come up. Putting them in a backpack not only allows you more freedom of movement (if you're going were pavement doesn't) but it both keeps the pace at your walking speed and gives you an impromtu workout.

TWM said...

"If only those kid leashes were socially acceptable."

We used those things all the time when we were stationed in Germany. We still used them for about two years after we returned to the States.

I highly recommend them and screw anyone who complains.

Fred4Pres said...

We are getting weaker by our over indulgence.

Scott M said...

I highly recommend them and screw anyone who complains.

I see the logistical up-side to using them, but I could just never bring myself to leashing my kid.

Palladian said...

Like Franklin, I live in New York City, and strollers make life absolutely miserable here. Actually it's the ill-mannered yuppie twats (male and female) pushing the strollers that are most of the trouble.

If you want to really learn to hate strollers, take the J train to the Marcy avenue stop in Brooklyn in the late afternoon and try wading through the sea of Chassidic women with Smart car sized strollers who jam the exit as they make frenzied attempts to fit into the passenger elevator.

Freeman Hunt said...

My brother was wild. He would run off constantly. Run off into crowds, run off into physically dangerous areas, run off to hide from my mother.

So you would have seen him looking too big in a stroller, but if he hadn't been in the stroller, he wouldn't have been allowed out at all.

MadisonMan said...

screw anyone who complains.

The best advice you can give a new parent: Do what you think is best and ignore people who make comments.

madAsHell said...

You ain't seen nothing....

I've seen women with small dogs in baby carriages.

Scott M said...
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Scott M said...

Do what you think is best and ignore people who make comments.

Unless, of course, you were ever hospitalized after setting down your beer and uttering, "Hey, watch this."

MikeR said...

Gosh. Get a life, folks. It's not easy being a parent. We don't need more people making weird rules.

Julie C said...

The WSJ had an editorial by the woman who wrote Free Range Kids - now there's a backpack carrier available to hold your 7 year old when he/she can't walk anymore!

The only time we ever had a stroller for my son after he'd reached walking age was for Disneyland. When you've paid $500 for a family of four to spend a day at Disneyland that day is going to go from 9:00 a.m. until midnight - no slacking! By the end of the night my husband was begging for a stroller!

Patrick said...

The use of strollers depends upon where you are going. Yeah, our kids could walk, but it's not practical to have a 15 month walk everywhere, unless you want to limit the places you go. Especially so if you have more than one young kid. That said, once they were about 3, or so, they can keep up enough.

I did find the comment on that page that "when I have kids, they will..." Yeah, I said lots of stuff like that before I had kids.

dbp said...

It seems to me as if the stroller is used by many parents as a replacement for discipline. In those times when our kids (we had three in five years)would not stay close when we needed them to--we would hold their hands as we walked. Or sometimes carry them.

Palladian said...

So having children turns thoughtful, considerate people into rude, stroller-pushing assholes?

k*thy said...

The best advice you can give a new parent: Do what you think is best and ignore people who make comments.

and MikeR...exactly.

MayBee said...

The best advice you can give a new parent: Do what you think is best and ignore people who make comments.

That's always good advice until you are on a plane with a kid whose parent doesn't believe in telling them not to kick the back of your seat.

Patrick said...

Palladian:

No. The rude stroller pushing assholes were assholes before they had strollers and kids. It's just more obvious with strollers and kids. It's pretty easy to push a stroller without being annoying (except to people who just don't like kids), and pretty easy to apologize if you make a mistake.

CJinPA said...

Photos are mildly disturbing...but it's clear that in several of them, the smaller, stroller-appropriate child is nearby.

The bigger sibling was likely getting a temporary ride.

Of course in many of the shots, the overgrown rider is all there is.

edutcher said...

"My problem is the way people use strollers to immobilize older children who ought to be encouraged to walk."

Precisely. You see kids, good-sized kids, riding in the cart in supermarkets. My mother would have killed me if the thought even entered my head.

"There are way too many children stuffed into strollers for the convenience of an adult and left with little to do but learn indolence and to grow fat."

Hmmm...

Maybe they see how union teachers use Ritalin to keep the unruly ones quiet and take a leaf...

Good, perceptive post.

Phil 3:14 said...

This post will expose the wide parent vs parent-less divide

Speaking as a parent of now adult kids I would point out:
1)as Geraly did, many of these photos are at locations that will involve lots of walking. Go to Disneyland. You can rent strollers meant for older kids.
2)As for parents with strollers being rude, I'd only point out my continued experience shopping at Costco. It always seems like the shoppers there are inconsiderate...
until I consider it hard to get a true sense of one's space while pushing one of those "out-sized" shopping carts.
3)Now as grandparents we have two strollers. The small one that easily folds up (good for quick trips) and the large one that has plenty of carrying space (i.e. for diapers, change of clothes, food)

BOTTOM LINE: I will literally and figuratively give parents of small children a wide berth.

E.M. Davis said...

3.5 year old walks a lot, but will ride occasionally at the supermarket and places like Disney World, where getting lost/separated is more likely.

Although a stroller would have been nice yesterday at the mall --- the little girl decided we needed to look at everything in the boys 8-20 clothing section at Macy's.

I agree with the point of the site, but I can understand a few exceptions here and there.

Pogo said...

I have mixed feelings, and regret my facile complaining.

Kids used to be the norm, now they're freakish, especially in liberal enclaves like San Fransisco.

There is an endless supply of critics to parenting, too, making the experience that much more difficult.

So much easier to have none.
Of course, the Shakers found out what that eventuates.

Greece and Italy are discovering this as well.

My apologies to the parents here.

Oligonicella said...

Palladian --

Moronic statement there. It affects you how that his kid rides? Other than, say, a sensibility like not wanting men in shorts.

Pogo said...

"That's always good advice until you are on a plane with a kid whose parent doesn't believe in telling them not to kick the back of your seat."


Jeebus, that was you???

Chip Ahoy said...

You all make very good points, but come on, those kids pictured over there are big.

TWM said...

"I see the logistical up-side to using them, but I could just never bring myself to leashing my kid."

After raising three sons - current ages 26, 22, and 15 - trust me, you'll have done much worse to them over their lives.

My standard answer, "Good, something else to discuss with your therapist."

Oligonicella said...

What irritates me far more is seeing that pitiable kid being dragged along by their parent to the point of painful exhaustion.

There's nothing good or bad about a stroller/carrier. There's nothing good or bad about having them walk. There's only good or bad on how you treat your kids.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

So it's better for a girl once she's 2 or so to sit on a walking parent's shoulders, since then she can see like an adult with a long neck? May be.

MayBee said...

There's a long history of society giving weird rules to parents. Sometimes the parent can discard the weird rules. Sometimes they are really good rules. Just because you are a parent doesn't mean you are doing it all right. Just because someone else is making a comment doesn't mean you are doing it all wrong.

Consider the commentary of others and either learn from it or call them assholes and move on.

TWM said...

"There's only good or bad on how you treat your kids."

True, although the definition of "good" or "bad" is in most cases totally subjective.

wv: "lawlam"

As in "In liberal-land, parents who ignore nanny-staters and raise their kids the way they want to can end up on the lam from the law."

Oligonicella said...

TWM - Yes, but to that: Unless there's some law broken, my child rearing is my business.

I transported my daughter by stroller, on my back, on my hip, on my shoulders, by hand walking, on a leash and free ranging - it depended on the situation. No method is "bad", as one can easily imagine a situation where each would be appropriate.

TMink said...

You should have seen our triplet stroller! Three in a row, it was like pushing a semi-trailer.

Trey

Shanna said...

I hate using strollers with my nephews, but the consequence of that with an 18 month old or so is that they can walk for a while, but they get tired at places that require a lot of walking, like say the zoo. And then when they get tired you either have to stop or carry them.

Freeman Hunt said...

I have a double jogging stroller that I use when I want to walk a distance longer than is reasonable for my sons. If some childless ninny wants to complain about seeing my four year old in it, I don't care.

My sons, who are two and four, mostly walk everywhere. The other day we started across a crosswalk just as the walk signal came on,and we were almost across when it switched to the flashing don't start walking signal and a woman making a left turn leaned out of her car to scream at us, "DON'T WALK!" I assume she wanted us to stop walking in the middle of the road. Maybe she hated that my children weren't in a stroller.

Pogo said...

I think she meant your toddlers should be driving, as it appears even idiots like her can get a license, so why bother walking?

Skyler said...

Tim McGuire pointed out, "the stroller is for the convenience of the adult, not the child."

And isn't that the problem? Kids are learning that they are inconvenient, and they're learning that they don't need to exercise or grow to be strong.

My daughter walks, or I carry her. And as she gets older, I am less and less inclined to carry her. At four years old, it's pretty much going to be her walking unless we go more than a few miles.

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skyler said...

But I'll also say that my wife will use the stroller much more frequently than me because she's not as strong as me and can't carry a kid around.

Leashes are for animals, not children.

No back packs or papooses for me. That's what arms and shoulders are for. The exercise is good for me too.

cassandra lite said...

As bad is what's happening to children's imaginations by those DVD screens in the back seats of their parents' cars. Never having to endure boredom anymore--their minds passively entertained/occupied--they don't have to exercise the muscles up there that create new worlds. What a future that portends for the arts.

Pogo said...

"...unless we go more than a few miles"

Unless.
That is the discussion, innit?

Scott M said...

No back packs or papooses for me. That's what arms and shoulders are for. The exercise is good for me too.

It's more comfortable and better for long distances to have the 18-month-old in the backpack facing forward. This not only is better for him, but it keeps my hands free for smackin' the 3-yr-old and 7-yr-old.

That being said, would you say the preponderance of parenting these days is for or against spanking (when appropriate...let's not be idiots about this issue). Remember when it was anathema to good parenting to lay any finger, however well-meaning, on your children?

Pogo said...

Rather than spanking, I'd make them watch an hour of MSNBC in time out.

William said...

Your life has truly reached an admirable level of ease and contentment if the only thing you can find to bitch about is the occasional need to walk around a stroller......What I truly find annoying is women who take out children with disabilities or excessive ugliness in public. Disabled and ugly children are so depressing. It's a real downer just looking at them. Maybe if more people would criticize such overly indulgent mothers, they would leave their kids at home.

MadisonMan said...

Leashes are for animals, not children.

See, this is the kind of advice I'd suggest a parent ignore, because the person giving it has no inkling of why your kid is leashed.

You smile, say Thank you! and go on your merry way. Getting mad at such "well-meaning" people is fruitless.

Scott M said...

because the person giving it has no inkling of why your kid is leashed

Exactly. You should, at a bare minimum, check the phase of the moon before bitching about a kid being leashed.

Freeman Hunt said...

The Baby Bjorn and the Ergo are, in my opinion, essential pieces of baby equipment.

A baby can't walk anywhere, and it's a pain to haul a stroller out for every little trip into a store or library. The strap-on carriers keep your hands free and keep most babies more contented than they are in strollers. Win-win.

Ankur said...

I am with FreemanHunt on this. My wife and I hike a lot - short 3-4 mile hikes during the late afternoon/evening in the summer and long 10-12 mile hikes in the weekends. The trails around here are usually rather steep where you can have a 600 to 1000 foot elevation change in a 3 mile walk.

When my wife's 5 year old nephew comes to visit, he LOVES to go on hikes with us. Especially the downhill parts. His short legs get tired keeping up on the uphill parts and an all-terrain stroller is the only way to make sure we all enjoy the walk.

So..yes, people with their weird rules for other parents: just shut up.

Scott M said...

Win-win.

Except for the emasculating baby-in-front mode. There's simply no way to look cool as a man slinging a baby in the front.

If he's in a backpack, you could be rescuing the baby from a burning building...or crossing a post-apocalyptic wasteland with only your wits and a machete to feed two mouths, or...

Well, that's how I dealt with it, anyway.

Freeman Hunt said...

As Chip notes, however, some of the kids on that page are huge. By the time I was nine, I was expected to walk around Chicago all day long with my dad, a very speedy walker, when we went on our annual baseball vacation. To keep up, I often had to jog alongside him.

Ankur said...

And yes...Baby Bjorn's have been a godsend when it comes to carrying our six-week old everywhere.

If I have to choose between a quiet, happy baby versus looking like an uncool marsupial...I will choose marsupial every time.

Freeman Hunt said...

Yeah, my husband will not don the Baby Bjorn or the Ergo. I'll probably get him a backpack carrier next time we have a baby.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think men look perfectly fine wearing Baby Bjorns or Ergos.

Ankur said...

Well, my little daughter is going in a backpack carrier when she is strong enough to hold her head up. But having the Baby Bjorn enables me to keep my hands free for hiking poles, for grocery bags, for picking up the mail, for taking photographs..etc.

Scott M said...

I'll probably get him a backpack carrier next time we have a baby.

If you get a good one, they're just as comfortable for the baby and the man-vehicle. If you opt for an inexpensive one, your beau will have problems most likely where the straps pinch (not enough padding) or the waste (again, not padding) where the frame makes contact.

On a long hike, that pain builds up until you're on the verge of divorce over who last unloaded the dish washer. Things like an uncomfortable baby backpack can go from, "Honey, can you adjust this strap for me," to "SIR, PUT DOWN THE WEAPON AND COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP" very quickly.

holdfast said...

The problem with a kid leash is that our little dude thinks that he is a Rebel Snowspeeder, and I am an At-At.

rocketeer67 said...

Leashes are for animals, not children.

If you can't control your animal in public without a leash, you should keep it at home.





I can keep rolling down this nanny-slope as far as you're willing to indulge me.

rocketeer67 said...

I think men look perfectly fine wearing Baby Bjorns or Ergos.

Plus, let's face it - a sitzpinkler can't sit down to pee with a backpack on.

I kid, I kid!

TWM said...

"Leashes are for animals, not children."


Why? Because it offends you sensibilities? It's a tool that allows a parent to control their small child while still allowing the child to explore and exercise. I'm confident that no toddler's self-esteme has ever been damaged by wearing one.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Leashes are for animals, not children

As long as it isn't a choke chain around the kid's neck, who cares.

Actually they are halters on a tether and they work very well for keeping your toddler from running off suddenly and into danger.

I haven't been in the children mode for quite some time now. However, since I became a grandmother in January, I've been shopping for baby and kid stuff lately.

It is amazing how things have changed since I was raising a child. Everything (strollers, car seats, high chairs) has gotten HUGE and extremely complicated. Way over engineered.

Also is there anything that doesn't have flashing lights, animation, music, moving doo dads? Seriously, talk about sensory overload. When do the kids get to use their own imagination and develop their own creativity?

Scott M said...

When do the kids get to use their own imagination and develop their own creativity?

When you take a couple 2x4's, a miter saw, and copious amounts of grit 150 sand paper and end up with a wicker basket full of squares, rectangles, triangles and half-circles.

Freeman Hunt said...

When you take a couple 2x4's, a miter saw, and copious amounts of grit 150 sand paper and end up with a wicker basket full of squares, rectangles, triangles and half-circles.

(Or you take the easy route and order the same online.)

Scott M said...

(Or you take the easy route and order the same online.)

Heretic.

Kathy said...

When do the kids get to use their own imagination and develop their own creativity?

They really don't. My mom and mil cannot understand why I refuse to have a DVD player in the car. Yes, it would be convenient, but then I would never be pushed to plan fun games and songs for our trips and the kids would not learn to amuse themselves. When extended family gathers, on either side, the kids are often hooked up to electronic devices of one sort or another. The adults are hooked up too.

Scott M said...

Freeman,

Just sent you an extreme version of building blocks at your gmail.

ricpic said...

Unless the use of the stroller is constant I don't see it spoiling the child.

prairie wind said...

I hated the stroller so my kids walked a lot. I'm not a shopper so I didn't need the stroller for long days in the mall, nor did I need the stroller to hold all my shopping bags....which is why a friend recommended I get a twin stroller. I thought that was silly. I also hated the idea of leashing my kids--partly because they were accustomed to holding my hand and partly because the possibility of tripping up a stranger with the leash was alarming. Put a rambunctious child on a long rope? Would you also let them play with those toy golf clubs in a crowd?

As for those long days at amusement parks...WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? Kids just don't require that much entertainment.

Synova said...

"If only those kid leashes were socially acceptable."

This.

Nothing is acceptable anymore. The "leash", the play "pen", whatever. And heaven help you if you let your child walk and they duck behind something.

I like the strollers, though, even when the kids seem a bit old for them. That the kids are in the stroller when you see them doesn't mean they weren't walking for all the time you weren't looking. Being someplace with a tired out kid SUCKS.

Synova said...

"People with children who aren't able to tolerate walking should either stay home or find a babysitter, tim. Don't like it? Tough. Don't have kids, then."

I find this outrageously hostile.

Maybe handicapped people and old slow folks should stay out of your way, too?

Synova said...

"Your life has truly reached an admirable level of ease and contentment if the only thing you can find to bitch about is the occasional need to walk around a stroller......What I truly find annoying is women who take out children with disabilities or excessive ugliness in public. Disabled and ugly children are so depressing. It's a real downer just looking at them. Maybe if more people would criticize such overly indulgent mothers, they would leave their kids at home."

Thank you, William. This is my reaction as well.

Heaven help you if you don't have enough hands, or a strong enough back, or just stay home where you belong.

reader_iam said...

I say do what works for you and your family, and ignore the cranks and busybodies. There's no pleasing them, anyway, and even if you manage to please them, it only encourages them in their cranky, busybody ways.

reader_iam said...

The dopey faces

Correlation is not causation. Hell, sometimes it's not correlation. Ever consider that the dopey-looking ones are actually dopey? : )

tim maguire said...

Palladian said...People with children who aren't able to tolerate walking should either stay home or find a babysitter, tim. Don't like it? Tough. Don't have kids, then.

Seriously? So if I want to go to the zoo or the amusement park, I should get a sitter. And if I want to bring my child with me, then I shouldn't have children.

Really?

Now I see why so many people think you're an idiot.

Pogo, sorry for my earlier knock. You're one of the more entertaining posters here and I should have granted you artistic license. Palladian, on the other hand...

Just Lurking said...

When I see an older kid in a stroller I tend to automatically assume they have a health issue. I was often put in the carriage until around age eight, due to the severe asthma I had as a young child.

(I remember being mortified at the thought of being seen in a carriage by a classmate. It never happened, thank goodness.

And riding in the carriage didn't make me fat. I have always been small and skinny.)

Clyde said...

When I was growing up back in the 1960s, no self-respecting kid who could walk would want to be seen in a stroller looking like an overgrown baby. It would have been embarassing. And my parents certainly wouldn't have indulged me like that.

Rule of thumb: If she's old enough to cross her legs, she's old enough to use them to walk.

Clyde said...

@ Synova

I'd like to see the old, slow people have to wear an orange triangle on their backs like an Amish buggy, and for heaven's sake, to keep to the right so that the rest of us can move past them.

Just Lurking said...

When I was growing up back in the 1960s, no self-respecting kid who could walk would want to be seen in a stroller looking like an overgrown baby. It would have been embarassing.

LOL! Exactly what I was saying. I was a small child in the 60's, and you speak the truth.

acm said...

Usually the folks who gripe the loudest about kids being "too big" for a stroller are also the people who will huff and puff with frustration at a parent and young kids moving at preschool-pace through the crosswalk, the ones whose purses or gesturing hands will smack your kid right in the face because they simply don't register the below-eye-level kid on a busy sidewalk. Or they loooove to talk about how we're all fat and lazy because we drive everywhere, not recognizing that strollers make it possible for us to drive *less*. There's a park a mile from my house. If my daughter walks there, and plays hard, she's too tired to walk another mile back. So I can drive there and back, and miss out on a mile walk for her and two miles for me, or I can offend some of y'all by taking an umbrella stroller with us and pushing a tired, well-exercised four-year-old home in it.

Trooper York said...

In Park Slope which is the next neighborhood over in Brownstone Brooklyn, the stroller issue has been a big problem for a long time now. There is a big conflict between the hipster dofous brigade and the people they call "breeders."

In a bar on Union St they had a set up where in the front they had couches and stuff as well as a full indoor bocce court as well as table in the back. A bunch of Moms liked to come in at happy hour and park their strollers in the couch area and have a couple of cocktails while their demon seeds wailed and wiggled in the strollers. It got to the point where they had to ban them. Several bars and restaruants have followed suit.

Scott M said...

As well they should. Drinking, babies, and strollers should never mix, least of which in public. Less so in a fracking bar.

"You have a baby...in a bar..."

Sweet Home Alabama.

Trooper York said...

I have a big problem with strollers in my store. Typically they would roll in and track leaves and dirt and dog shit from the wheels on the new rugs I just put in. The mom or even worse the nanny likes to wheel around the store and bump into displays so they can knock down jewerly so it can break and stuff. They don't pay attention as their little darlings reach out with chocolates smeared hands to rub on $500 dresses. I have to police them very vigorously to avoid problems. It is a giant pain in the ass. I don't want to ban them but I might get to that point.

But sometimes it is just shitty situation.

MadisonMan said...

There's a park a mile from my house. If my daughter walks there, and plays hard, she's too tired to walk another mile back.

Solution: Know your child's limits, and leave while she has energy to walk home.

I think even at a young age, it's good for a kid to start to understand their limits, and that parents will not always be there to rescue/pick up after them.

I've said it before: Parenting is the gradual letting go of your kid. Letting go is easiest if you train them at an early age to expect it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I've said it before: Parenting is the gradual letting go of your kid. Letting go is easiest if you train them at an early age to expect it.

And the teenage years are God's way of really getting you to 'let go'!

Pogo said...

Letting go?

I was shoved.

NTTAWWT. Hi Mom!

Jennifer said...

I've never been a big stroller person. Despite having two kids, we've never even owned a double stroller. But, I also can't stand the I-know-what's-best-for-EVERYBODY'S-kids school of thought. Is there anything that invokes such a constant stream of criticism and jockeying than parenting?

Anyhow, here a ton of people have these little attachable step things that go on to the back of a stroller. Then, if older brother/sister gets tired on a long walk, they can hop up on the step and hold on to the stroller handle and take a little rest. Genius.

Just Lurking said...

I took a look at that web-site. It's too mean spirited for my taste. How does the blog host know s/he isn't putting a black dot over the face of a kid with a disability? Leave the kids alone.

prairie wind said...

You are right, Just Lurking. The site is mean-spirited. Childless people often are when children get in their way.

Though the site is mean, I do not like to see Mom and Dad hauling/pushing children around when the child is old enough to walk. Obviously, (right?), this does not apply to disabled children. However. Parents of disabled children are generally prepared for the needs of their children--those aren't the parents letting a nine-y/o squash herself into a stroller meant for a toddler. Parents of disabled children do not head out to an all-day excursion to the zoo or the amusement park without being prepared for the comfort of their child who will need a ride. At least I hope not.

Synova said...

Trooper, what people used to do was leave the buggy and baby outside the store where it could be seen through the window.

Perhaps you could make a cute little sign that says "park stroller here" and stick a play pen in the back next to the chair for waiting men.

Allison said...

--The problem with a kid leash is that our little dude thinks that he is a Rebel Snowspeeder, and I am an At-At.

Best comment I've heard all day. My second son would do that if he could, and laugh the whole time.

My problem isn't with strollers, it's with raising kids so they are used to being ignored. The 5 yr old in a stroller at Disney or a zoo? No problem. The kids in strollers so mom can talk on her cell rather than talk to her kids? Big problem. Kids should be in the world running around, picking daisies, stopping inconveniently for rocks mid-intersection, jumping in puddles and otherwise living life while keeping their parents on edge :) And parents should largely then find a way to make that an okay world for them to be in--and enjoy it. In Manhattan, I'm willing to give parents the benefit of the doubts and assume strollers are lock-up devices to keep kids from getting killed by other vehicles. But it'd better for them to live somewhere where kids can be kids.

The even more frightening thing is kids that old with pacifiers in their mouths. Not seen and not heard is the order of the day, it seems.

reader_iam said...

it's with raising kids so they are used to being ignored.

Pardon me for saying what seems to me to be the obvious, but isn't this ignoring much, if not most, of history?

And not just the aristocratic part. Do you think farm families of, say, 7+, of a 100 years ago spent all that much time focusing on individual attention? For just one example among myriad, my maternal grandmother, God rest her soul, the youngest of more'n a dozen, would beg to differ.

MadisonMan said...

stick a play pen in the back next to the chair for waiting men.

Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Mom will put kid in play pen (those that don't get grossed out at the thought of comingling germs) and something happens, and BOOM. Lawsuit!

Trooper York said...

The problem is that if they have the kids with them they just can not shop. The kids always without exception demand attention and act out. So they would sit in the play pen and scream. Not conducive to selling high end fashion.

Suburbanbanshee said...

Used to work retail in a mall store in a kids' department, so I'm familiar with the problem.

1. Never touch the kids unless you're fitting them. Herding them with a look or by getting ahead of them is okay.

2. Talk to the kids and the mom will shop. Usually kids are pretty bored, so they'll calm down right away if you talk to them in a casual way. (Or they'll be so surprised you're talking to them that they'll go shy and quiet. But either way.)

3. Give the kids an advertising flyer to play with, or a b/w printout of a picture. Never give them anything small enough to swallow by mistake.

4. Always have handwipes and/or tissues behind the counter to give the kids. And paper towels. And know where the trash can is, in case somebody needs to throw up.

Allison said...

--ardon me for saying what seems to me to be the obvious, but isn't this ignoring much, if not most, of history?

No. Kids were put to work. Doing something, being taught how to do it, being corrected is a lot more interactive than being stuck seated in a stroller. A lot of that work was watching the other children, so even smaller kids weren't ignored but played with by other children.