Strollers have a bit of bad rep amongst the non-parent public – they bash ankles, clutter up sidewalks, and take forever to load onto public transport. However, as a recent graduate to the stroller-wielding club, I can say that it is much much worse being the stroller ‘driver’.
The first time I took out my (large) double stroller I was astounded by a woman who not only did not hold the door open for me, but had the nerve to walk in front of the stroller and through the door that I was struggling to hold open. Shock held me speechless. After all, who does that?
As it turns out, quite a few people. I have discovered at least four different ways by which certain rude people will leave a mum to struggle:
1. The ‘I didn’t see you there’. These are the people who will steadfastly study their iPhone, the nearest billboard, even the sky if that’s what it takes to avoid lifting a finger to help a struggling stroller mum.
2. The ‘I’m late’. These are people who have noticed you, but walk on quickly as if they are late for a very important date. The world will stop if I spend 10 seconds holding the door open for you, don’t cha know?
3. The ‘backflip’. They’re about to go through the door. They feel you coming on their heels. In their heart of hearts they know that they should hang back and hold the door for you. But instead they give it a half-hearted push on their way through, which is almost worse than doing nothing as there’s a good chance the door will swing back, hit the stroller, and jolt your sleeping child.
4. The ‘weaver’. This is every stroller-mum’s worst nightmare and was the first rude person I encountered post-babies. Mum has approached a set of double doors. One is being held precariously open with one foot. She has reached across the stroller and given the other door a push. It swings open, giving mum about three seconds to push the stroller through before the door swings back. In those three seconds a nimble fellow pedestrian nips through the gap between the stroller and the door and walks on without a backward glance. Door hits stroller. Mum is furious, and rightfully so.
After that first encounter I was despondent. How was I ever going to manage transporting my children around? Would I be stuck indoors (or alternatively outdoors) for want of being able to get through apertures? Thankfully, there are ways, even if you have no obliging member of the public to help….we’ll have a chat about those another time.