I was visiting some of the Smithsonian museums this last week when I was nearly crushed to death between two Winnebago-sized strollers. One of these was a triple-long, but it's not as if they were pushing three children around — two of the available seats were being used to carry diaper bags and coolers and other kid paraphernalia. Ridiculous!
When I was a small person, strollers were of the “umbrella” variety — they folded to to about the size of a walking stick and could easily be carried on one arm or stowed away when not in use. But that was back when the only thing parents put in a stroller was a kid's ass — nowadays, moms and dads feel the need to pack half the house every time they take their children out in public. It's like historic pictures of those farmer families during the Dust Bowl (think “Grapes Of Wrath”) loading up every worldly possession and heading west to start over — every time these folks go to the park or on a play date, they take more with them than Matt and I even own. Sippy cups, snack containers, seven changes of clothes, a half dozen of the kid's favorite toys, multiple binkies, three or four movies and a couple of story books, playpen, sunscreen, blanket and pillow — I wouldn't be surprised to see one of these mega-strollers rolling down the sidewalk with Granny Clampett strapped to the top in her rocking chair. The next “behemoth” model should come with a U-haul hitched to the back. Man landed on the moon with less equipment in tow!
Seriously — what people consider a “standard” size stroller these days is just ridiculous. It's the pre-school version of a McMansion — these glandular contraptions come with cup holders, car seats, luggage racks, beach umbrellas, food trays, shopping carts, fold-out beds, stereos, TVs, DVD players, microwaves, and refrigerators. They've got four-wheel drive and monster truck tires and anti-lock brakes. Some of these vehicles have more technological advances than our Airstream (and that's our full-time home!) I hate to imagine that big-ass pimped-out strollers are the next status symbol for continually ladder-climbing suburbanites — mini-vans were bad enough!
I might be able to forgive these people if they would just learn how to drive the things — but it seems that the bigger the stroller, the more oblivious the parent navigating it. There's really no safe place to hide — if you're in front of them, they'll roll over your heel and give you a flat tire. Stand to the side and you risk ankle-clippage. And when you walk behind one, you're guaranteed that the pusher will come to a jarringly abrupt stop. Actually, I've changed my mind — I don't think it's obliviosity, but intentional malice. Members of the stroller set seem to go out of their way to annoy anyone in their path. They block sidewalks and doorways, take up an inordinately large amount of space in store aisles and public restrooms — and don't even get me started on mondo-strollers at zoos and amusement parks! I just love places like the Baltimore Aquarium that don't allow strollers in the first place — parents have to park them downstairs and force their kids to propel themselves forward under their own foot-power. Wow, you should hear the parents bitch when they have to leave their mobile support unit behind for half an hour!
In my fascist state, there will be size limits on baby strollers — anything wider than a child's butt and bearing more cup holders, storage containers, and gadgets than a car will be outlawed.
“The only thing these people lack are lunar excursion modules.”
Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream with The Husbert and two fur-babies. Learn more at GettingOrganizedAToZ.com and RamonaCreel.com.
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