Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

My Stroller Doesn't Have An Airbag

Today around the corner from our place a tragic accident took the life of a 2 year old girl who was out in her stroller with her mum and being pushed across a crosswalk when a truck hit the stroller. You can read the article here. I have decided to postpone my usual 'Product Placement Wednesdays' and re post something that I wrote a few months ago about my feelings about being a stroller mama walking around Vancouver city. In relation to this current local news story some parts of my post are trivial but the bottom line is that inside these wheeled carriages are our babies.

Watch out! Here I come! My journey with 'Stroller Rage'

As I walk around the city, pushing Ben in his stroller, I sometimes find myself getting full of annoyance and anger. Why are people cutting me off? Walking out in front of me? Not moving off the sidewalk ramp? Argh! As I go about my day and push my precious cargo I often find myself taking on the same shoulder checks that I would do when I drive. Did I check my blind spot? Anticipate that car up ahead? Do I have enough time to make the light? I'm sure you get the idea; defensive stroller pushing.

It is surprising how many people don't seem to realize that you are pushing a BABY and not just an object on wheels. Of course I feel protective of my little cub and will yell any obscenity to show you just how much I do if you were to cut me off. I haven't really done any yelling but I do have a good list of rude words in my head just in case the moment comes. Most of the time I just become over assertive with the 'excuse me'.

The other day I was pushing Ben downtown along the sidewalk. We were waiting for the light to change so that we could cross the road. Green light and time for us to go. However, all of a sudden other people started stopping around us to get ready to cross for the other side. The sidewalk ramp was getting clogged up with people and my stroller seemed to be getting pushed to the back. I wanted to make this light but I had no path to move! I might be assuming but I am pretty sure that the sidewalk ramp is for people in wheel chairs, strollers and other wheeled things. This is when my stroller rage surges and I feel fiery with passion. Usually I do my best loud 'excuse me' and push through the crowd. I am pretty sure my husband would be embarrassed if he was with me.

I also have a beef with The Baby Gap on Robson St. and feel some stroller rage just thinking about it. Why does a baby/child's clothing store have an absolutely horrible set up of display racks in their shop? It is so badly set up that you can not physically push your stroller through the maze of racks to look at the clothing you might want to purchase. This does not make any sense to me. A children's store will usually bring parents and their children. I know this is not just my problem because I see other parents sighing or parking their child in a corner while they look at baby jeans and onesies. The result of my stroller rage is that I have been known to move the display racks to fit through the aisles and maybe making a few exasperated sighs too.

So, if you see me strolling down the street your best bet is to just move out of the way. Kidding! Kidding!


Jillian said...

This is really a horrible news story and I feel so bad for the mother. How many times do parents push their children across a street. This could happen to anyone. The poor mother will never forget this day. The outfit she dressed her daughter in that morning and the last sweet kiss she gave her. Thanks for posting this news link.


August 27, 2009 at 8:00 AM  
Sarah Mauza said...

I was so terribly saddened (as we all were and still are) to hear the horrible news yesterday. What a tragic accident and my heart goes out to the mother so deeply. I hope that she will find the strength to carry on forward when time allows. As a mother this hits way too close to home and I shed some tears this morning thinking of it. Just as I was being told of the story yesterday in my driveway, my little Eric went tearing down to the end as a car was speeding past. (completely oblivious to the world outside his car) My heart stopped and I was there quicker than Eric was, but that's how fast it can happen, it is so scary. Let's all take that extra look around and keep ourselves and our precious cargo safe (not saying that the mother wasn't). Stay safe on those busy Vancouver streets Andrea!

August 27, 2009 at 11:09 AM  
Alex from said...

In Europe they either considered or have a law that strollers must enter the intersections behind their pushers... they have to pull them.
The world is so busy- I have three kids to get across the street- one more than I have hands.
This story scares me to no end.
I can't imagine being this Mother and my heart breaks for her.

August 27, 2009 at 4:27 PM  
Mama in the City said...

I have heard this before, just recently actually, and gave it a try on my last stroller outing. I ended up being a bit clumsy with the whole turn around part! Thanks for your comment :)

August 30, 2009 at 9:34 AM  

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