Strollers are wonderful inventions—nothing beats being able to wheel your child along for several blocks when the weight of carrying him would rip your arms from their sockets. They’re definitely necessities—but when did they get so huge?
I’ll admit it: my “baby” is about to graduate from high school, and when he was small enough for a stroller, the strollers seemed a lot smaller, too. They didn’t have all the bells and whistles the new ones have, and they took up less space.
Which brings me to this blog. I’ve heard lots of complaints recently from adults who feel they’ve been mowed down by the stroller brigade, held up by parents wrestling with the logistics of unfolding strollers in aisles and parking spaces. Generally, they feel they’ve been given the “move—can’t you see I have a child with me?” vibe, an attitude that smacks of Specialness.
Put down the Haterade, please. I know just bringing up the subject drives some people, um, buggy, but the fact is, we’re all sharing the same sidewalks and aisles. And when the Hummer equivalent of a stroller is next to another one of the same ilk, there’s often little room for anyone else.
So mommies, daddies, nannies, whomever: maybe walking in single file isn’t as much fun, but it recognizes the sidewalk rights of your fellow citizens. Finding a spot in a restaurant or shop where your stroller isn’t in the direct path of general traffic is a matter of safety—for others, and for baby, too—as well as courtesy.
And non stroller-rolling folk: if you see a person struggling to open a stroller, or navigate it through a door, ask if you can give a hand. It’s how your mother raised you, right?
Karen Grigsby Bates is a LA-based correspondent for NPR News and the co-author, with Karen Elyse Hudson, of The New Basic Black: Home Training For Modern Times (Doubleday).
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is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for NPR News and co-author, with Karen Elyse Hudson, of The New Basic Black: Home Training For Modern Times (Doubleday).