Why I Still Use A Stroller For My Pre-Schooler

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There are a lot of people who don’t like strollers. Parents and childless alike seem to be personally offended by the existence of strollers in a space that they must inhabit as well. They’re big. They get in the way of everything. They are impossible to maneuver through a doorway without assistance. They’re expensive for no real reason. Man, strollers suck. But I still use one on day trips with my four-year-old.

First, I guess I should backtrack on strollers sucking. It’s really not that the strollers themselves are to blame. There are people with strollers who suck. There are actually people everywhere who suck, whether they’re pushing around a child in a carriage-like contraption or not. You just notice that the people with strollers suck more because they’re easier to pick out of a crowd. What with their behemoth of a baby-cart and all.

Yes, I am happy to admit that rude people with strollers suck. They ram into people’s ankles. They made expectant faces when they walk to a door and no one immediately opens it for them. Then they don’t even say thank you. They push their strollers through crowds of people like the semis of the sidewalk, knowing that their sheer mass will convince people to move out of their way or wait for them. All of those stroller-pushing people suck.

But believe it or not, there are other kinds of people out there pushing strollers. We are hyper-aware of any ankle within a three foot radius of the spot we’re standing in. We never push to the front of the crowd at the zoo, but keep our cart at the very back of the exhibit, out of the way. We say “Thank you,” an almost unbelievable number of times to everyone who keeps a door open, squishes to the side or tells us that we dropped something. And we really, really mean those “Thank you’s.”

There are horribly rude people who push strollers around, but there are also those who aren’t trying to bowl anyone over, they’re just trying to have a nice day with their kids without bothering or imposing on anyone else. I consistently strive to be the second kind of stroller-wielding woman.

Plenty of people wonder why I still use a stroller or wagon at all. My daughter is 4-years-old. She can walk just fine. She probably runs faster than I do, no matter how little those legs are. Shouldn’t she be able to walk on her own? I’ve gotten plenty of looks when I whip out the stroller for a longer zoo trip or a big day of shopping. Amusement parks, fairs and festivals are all appropriate times for me to lug out my stroller, but some question why it’s necessary.

(Photo: SVLuma/Shutterstock)

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