I have pushed all manner of strollers in my life. Single, double, triple and quads. All-in-a-line, nested one-up/one-down, and side-by-side. Under $20 cheapo umbrella strollers from Zellers, and over-thousand-dollar
conspicuous consumption luxury models.
I like some better than others. I prefer all-in-a-line and one-up/one-down over side-by-side. Side-by-side doubles are much harder to manoeuvre, to get started, and to push once you’re going. I prefer the ones with three wheels, two large in behind and a smaller up front. Again, much easier to manoeuvre.
But though I have my preferences, a stroller’s a stroller. I don’t care whether they have plush seating, cup-holders, extra-large basket, super-duper suspension. They can be bright or bland, trendy or classic. So long as they hold the child safely and get us where we’re going, I don’t much care. I will grouse, quite a bit, if I’m somehow stuck pushing two children in an extra-wide, heavy-as-lead, side-by-side double with those two stupid wobbly wheels up front. But if you have one and love it, well, more power to you! It’s none of my concern what kind of stroller you push.
with one exception.
There is one kind of stroller that truly annoys me: the double-wide stroller whose primary purpose is a bike trailer, converted to sidewalk use.
I really hate seeing one of these bearing down on me on a crowded city sidewalk. I really do. Now, if there are two children in there, I can cede the necessity. I would argue that an in-line or one-up/one-down model is more considerate in the city, but for two children, I’ll cede you your sidewalk-hogger. And you know what? I figure that’s pretty gracious of me, given that your two kids are taking up more space than my four.
But when there is ONE kid in there? Annoys the crap out of me.
One kid, surrounded by his or her cup, and snack, and books, change of clothes, a few toys. One teeny rajah, master of all he surveys, taking in the vistas before in luxury and leisure, a cool drink at his fingertips. And the rest of us dodge and weave, making room for the double-wide with its Precious Cargo.
It’s just inconsiderate. Really.
Not always, but often, these kids are BIG. Three years old, four years, even older sometimes, perfectly capable of walking wherever they need to go. Perfectly capable of wearing a small backpack with their necessities, if they really are such, inside.
This is not a neighbourhood where a family will only have one stroller, and so if they need one that can be towed behind a bike, it must do double-duty on the sidewalk. These families often have three or more strollers. For their one child. Who, a good percentage of the time, should be walking anyway.
Why is it that one child should take up double the width (the dimension that most matters on a sidewalk) than my four? And why should I be the one dodging?
Outrageous, is it. Bah, humbug.