Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mom be nimble, Mom be quick...

Mom jumps over the candlestick?

Well, not quite, but I've always been a light traveller when it comes to the kids. Pretty as those fancy diaper bags are tossed over the giant death star strollers, we pretty quickly discovered that we were minimalists when it came to hauling gear.

I got over the idea that I had to carry Isabelle around in the car seat bucket thanks to my midwife who said, "Uh, you could just, you know, carry her in your arms...". A revelation that came too late to spare us the expense of the giant stroller... alas.

For most of Isabelle's babyhood, I went out with a bank card in my back pocket, a carrier and a diaper tucked into the pouch. That's it - it was enormously freeing to be able to walk around like a normal person and not be relegated to hunting down elevators and ramps. As my husband calls it, the "disabled by children" syndrome.

But as they grow, so do we need to adapt. Tom is still wearable (and prefers to be carried very often), but they have a lot of gear these little explorers. And while I have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to carriers, my broken-by-pregnancy body can only haul so much.

With two kids now mobile, I'm often at a loss - do I bring a double stroller? I hate the double strollers - we have two of them and I don't know which heavy, awkward, pain in the butt one I dislike more. I put on quite the show one day this week when we returned to the car after a pleasant amusement park visit and I found I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to fold the freaking stroller up. I tried every which button and lever and the #*!@&$@*#&!@ just wouldn't budge. I tried putting in the car open - no go. Then I took out the doggie bars and tried again. Still no good, plus now I had to figure out where to put the doggie bars. A group with two dads was coming down the aisle and I could tell I was a source of amusement. It's one thing to be locked in my own private battle with a hunk of philosophically questionable baby gear, entirely another to be laughed by strangers. So I threw it. And it folded - and buddy laughed all the way to his car.

I'm not sure what the moral of this story really is? Strollers suck? Well, they kind of do, but they also allow you to carry more stuff than the average human mother can. And while less is more, food and gear for two little people, plus two said little people is more than I can carry most days. Is it that I bring too much gear? Maybe. Or that I put too much importance on being agile and get annoyed at the trouble that the stuff causes more than I should?

Or maybe the moral is that sometimes violence is the answer. Violence against strollers, not strangers who laugh at you, that is.

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