February 27, 2011

Strollers

When I was pregnant with Rob, I bought a travel system (infant car seat plus a stroller the seat could snap into) on a good clearance. In fact, did I ever tell you I bought it one afternoon, and the next morning I went into labor? I cut that a little close, I suppose. I didn't want to get everything done Too Early in pregnancy and then be at loose ends later on. And also there were so many seat/stroller options and I couldn't figure out which was best. Anyway this has nothing to do with the story.

The stroller that came with the travel system was nice while the car seat would snap into it, but once Rob was out of the car seat the stroller was so big and heavy and bulky, I hated lugging it around and hated using it. But umbrollers were too flimsy and often didn't have baskets underneath. I wanted something in between, and, by happy accident, I found a floor model stroller on clearance that was exactly what I wanted: lightweight and non-bulky, but sturdy and with a nice roomy basket underneath.

I used that stroller for Rob, and then for William, and then for one twin at a time (like when I was out with only one of them, or when I could let one of them walk, or when my mom brought a stroller, or anyway this is kind of a boring parenthetical), and then for Henry. When Henry had just turned three, that stroller finally broke (a fatal structural snap), and goodness it had certainly earned it! I felt silly buying a new stroller when Henry was so close to not needing one, especially when this is the VERY SAME THING that happened with our crib: it made it through five children, and when Henry was about a year and a half old it broke. It seems like equipment is made to last through four children. (Although, our boy winter coats have lasted through three boys, which makes me think this might be an issue with HENRY and not with equipment/clothing.)

I dithered and fretted and finally bought another lightweight, non-bulky, sturdy stroller with a basket underneath, figuring that the timing might be silly but I DID still need/want a stroller, and someone on Freecycle would get lucky when we were done with it.

Then last weekend, Paul backed over it with the minivan.

So now I have used one stroller with 4-1/2 children, and the last 1/2 child has used TWO BRAND-NEW STROLLERS.

18 comments:

Marie Green said...

Ugg... well, at least we can't blame Henry for the minivan incident, can we? (Or wait... was he DISTRACTING Paul?)

Marin at age 4 1/2 still uses a stroller sometimes- like on days when we're going to a Big Mall, or a fair or zoo or anyplace where there's lots of walking. She also usually naps, so even if she no longer usually will nap in the stroller, if we're out during her usual nap time, she will need to get off her feet for awhile.

Our jogger, which we never load in the car, but use SO MUCH around our town/neighborhood is on it's LAST LEG. Like, I'm afraid to go too far from home with it, for fear the wheel will pop off, and Marin and I will be caught too far away to make her walk back. I was thinking that I'd get a new jogger with this baby, but not until NEXT summer... but now I'm thinking I should look into this summer. Marin would still use it on long walks (when the big girls ride bikes and David and I walk; she couldn't keep up either on foot or on her bike), and then I'd be able to use it for the baby next summer and on...

Anyway, do you ever dread the END of needing a stroller? I HATE mall shopping w/o a stroller! Especially in the winter, with all of our coats and all, and then any packages... WHAT will we DO when we no longer need a STROLLER to haul all of our STUFF (and, ah, KIDS, too, of course.) I've even considered taking a stroller on mall trips when I don't have any kids with me. :)

Barb @ getupandplay said...

That is a pain to have to buy two new strollers so close to each other, but think of it this way- if you average out the stroller purchases over your whole parenting career, it isn't as bad!

Nicole said...

Hee! That made me laugh, in a sympathetic way. I was kind of sad when we sold our last stroller. At one point I had about seven, for some weird reason. I only have two kids.

Joanne said...

I have had a lot of strollers too, for some reason. The one I use the most is the one that you first had, it had a car seat that snapped in it and had an excellent basket and cup holder. I used to walk a lot on city streets, so I sort of liked the big-ness of it and it folds up pretty easily. ANYWAY I am still using it for my third but it is getting close to the end - but it was given to me by a friend whose baby had used it so that's four kids! Your test stands with me, because I couldn't use it for another kid, I have gotten rid of the car seat, long expired, and it's sort of shaky in general.

lifeofadoctorswife said...

I love this post - your comment about "this is a boring parenthetical" made me giggle, and now I have this vision of Henry sneaking tools into his crib and slowing breaking it at night and then hiding them in his pajamas or whatever so you'd only see an innocent little boy.

(I also read this whole post thinking it would somehow resolve with "and we need a new stroller because we are having another!" but I have babies on the brain, so forgive me.)

Sarah said...

I am with you on really liking the travel system WHILE the baby is little and you can just snap the car seat into the big stroller. I kind of hate the actual big stroller, though, even though I like the snap-in convenience. Big stroller is cumbersome and heavy and snapped shut on my hand just last week, in fact, leaving a giant bruise between my thumb and index finger. And it takes up all my trunk room.
Besides all that, our big stroller is kind of broken- it's fine in the upright position, but if you try to recline it, it falls through completely in the back- like some kind of support mechanism is broken. This isn't a problem while snapping the infant carrier in, but I'm thinking this fall when Jameson has outgrown his car seat, we're going to have to get a different stroller... and I am unapologetically excited about it. So many new patterns to choose from!

Sarah said...

Oh, and I also agree with Marie G.: I always feel weird and empty handed now when I shop without a stroller, like I'm missing a limb or something. I don't know where I will put my drink and throw my coat and load up my packages when I'm out shopping someday without a stroller!

JCF said...

Ugh, I would be annoyed with those stroller purchases too. At least the good news is that you get to use a nice, new looking stroller! This is dumb, but sometimes I look at people who have brand new strollers/diaper bags/car seats/etc. and are on their first kid and remember when my stroller/whatever was bright and shiny and not covered in a thousand scuff marks and snacks. And my stuff is only 3.5 years old (but I am on kid #3)! We think we want to have one or two more, so I've often wondered how bad my stuff will look if it makes it to kid #4 or #5.

Magic27 said...

Your story made me laugh (with you, sympathetically, not AT you...). We were very stroller unfriendly - both girls essentially stopped using one when they turned about 2 and a half. Yeah, they whined about walking, and did get carried about quite a lot, but they will basically walk without any problem and have done since they were 3 and a half at most. We only ever had one "big" stroller and then an umbrella one. I HATED going out with the stroller (France isn't designed for "modern contraptions", everything is too narrow) and was delighted with my ex's hard and fast "no stroller after 2" rule...
For Henry, can you not just borrow one for the (presumably) short amount of time you'll be needing it?

Heather R said...

I just love your writing style. You can write about anything at all and I enjoy it.

I have 5 strollers right now...for 2 kids, ages 21 months and 4 years. I was going to tell you all about them, but this is your blog:) There is one I really don't need or want anymore, but the others all have their purposes and I just can't part with them yet. Even though I actually hardly ever use any of them because there are almost always shopping carts where ever I go and the older one walks. I am hoping to use the double jogger again once the warm weather comes! There literally isn't anywhere to walk outside right now!

velocibadgergirl said...

I must know...what stroller(s) did you get for Henry? I don't like umbrollers but will eventually want something other than our big travel system stroller, I think.

Swistle said...

Velicibadgergirl- I got the Jeep one that I think is only carried by Walmart. It cost about $50.

Swistle said...

Velicibadgergirl- AWESOME: I found it at Amazon.com! Now I don't have to give my money to Walmart just because they have the awesome stroller!

Anonymous said...

Optimism re: newly broken stroller - at least Henry wasn't *in* it.

And I too was hoping this would end in a "and now we have a new stroller for Henry and the new baby arriving in October."

Erin said...

Well, babies of the family have to declare their significance in dramatic ways.

Saly said...

I was waiting for this to end with new stroller, and new baby on the way. Oh well...

Hub is very anti-stroller. The baby is nearly 3, why bring it along anymore? While my other kids were great to walk at this age, I could see keeping Liv in a stroller for another year or 2. She is unmanageable in malls or stores if not contained.

I like our travel system though, have never used an umbrella stroller.

velocibadgergirl said...

Woohoo, thanks! :D

Kelsey said...

Henry getting 2 new strollers is the kind of thing his older siblings can/will hold over his head one day, even though none of them probably actually care about it that much... There are perks to being the "baby!"

Incidentally, I have never used anything but our travel system stroller - unless you count the temporary use of the DOUBLE travel system stroller. (Now that was a beast!)