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July 24, 2008

Stroller Rage

J0387545 It's a typical afternoon at Fairway.  Crowded.  There's little room to get around, especially with a stroller.  And as I'm making my way down the vegetable aisle, The Bear (age 2) bellows, "Move! Out a my way!"  That's right Little Bear, go ahead, channel your Mama.  At least one of us can get away with vocalizing our mounting frustration. 

With almost four years of stroller pushing under my belt, there's little that hasn't come my way.  I've gotten a flat tire in Central Park; I've been out in thunderstorms without a rain shield; I've even had a stroller tip over backwards because of too many shopping bags hanging from handles.  But every now and then, there's something that really throws me for a loop.  And usually, it involves another pedestrian. 

For instance, take Exhibit A:  The lovely lady who let a door slam shut, just before I managed to wedge the stroller inside. 

Or how about Exhibit B:   The gentleman who decided to climb over my stroller and child, rather than move an abandoned shopping cart out of his way.   

Or how about Exhibit C:  I'm crossing the street on the Upper East Side, moving across the crosswalk towards the curb.  A woman is standing in the middle of the ramp, blocking my way back onto the sidewalk.  I keep aiming in her direction figuring she'll step aside. Instead, she stands her ground.  I approach, and before I can say "Pardon me," she lets loose.  "Who the F*** do you people think you are? What the F*** is wrong with you, aiming right at me."  I am speechless. For a moment, I consider responding, but stop myself.  Maybe she's crazy, not mean.  Plus, I've got to be the ultimate model of polite behavior for our boys. 

Of course a few bad experiences don't outweigh all the kind gestures I've experienced.  The people who have stopped to open doors.  Doormen who have carried the stroller up steps.  Friends who have helped me wrestle the kids and our gear into a Brownstone.  It's moments like these that I try to remember when I feel myself about to let loose on someone who exhibits little sympathy for those of us carting 100 pounds of kids plus stroller around Manhattan.

Then again, maybe I shouldn't hold my tongue.  My two year old gets to say whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Why can't I?

Original Post to New York Moms Blog. Andi Silverman is the author of "Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner's Guide to Breastfeeding" (Quirk Books 2007).  She also runs the blog Mama Knows Breast.

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