We Are Both Right

When It Comes to Strollers, Bigger is Better



Never, in my whole life, have I ever travelled light. I don’t even really understand what that means or why I would want to.

I can’t go to the grocery store without bringing a diaper bag loaded with at least eight diapers, two changes of clothes, a pair of pajamas, two types of diaper rash cream, nursing pads, about 50 wipes, assorted toys and three burp cloths. Not to mention my wallet, keys, cell phone and whatever C. and A. hand me on the way out the door.

An hour-long trip in the car requires snacks, juice boxes, books and an assortment of video games (but no DVDs of course). And forget it if we have to go on vacation. For my husband, loading up our minivan turns into a life-size game of Tetris and I need him to win.

Seriously, my younger son and I took my elder son to his hour-long basketball game over the weekend. This is what I brought with us into the gym, no exaggerating: 1 bottle of Gatorade, 2 bottles of water, 1 water bottle, 1 juice box, a small sleeve of crackers, a small bag of Sun Chips, a package of cheese and crackers, a bag of Cheez-Its, a granola bar, a banana and a large hot chocolate. This was for me, the 20-month-old and my son, who really just needed his water bottle because he was playing in the game, not noshing on snacks. This list by the way, didn’t include S.’s diaper bag, packed with the aforementioned above items plus three books in case he got bored.

I may have a problem. And a reality tv show in the works.

Anyway, this is my very long-winded way of saying that when it came time for us to pick out strollers for our babies, there was no question. I needed one of those big travel systems. The bigger the better with as many baskets, pockets, hooks, cup holders and places to put things as possible. Sure, the extra protection for baby is helpful, but I really just needed a vehicle for my mobile hoarding problem.

Is it heavy? You better believe it. But for me (and my son), the stroller becomes a home away from home. It carries everything (there’s even room for a kid in there!). And if something is able to rest in or on the stroller, that means one less thing that is strapped to my back or wrapped across my shoulders. We put everything in there  – winter coats, shopping bags — when I push it around fully-loaded, I might look like a crazy bag lady, but if the apocalypse goes down while I’m at the mall, guess who everyone is going to be coming to for supplies?

Is it clunky and awkward? Surprisingly not. When we were testing out models for soon-to-be-born S., T. and I purposely brought C. and A. with us so they could try out everything we registered for. While the stroller is primarily pushed by a grown-up (a good thing, given C.’s affinity to pretend he’s trying out for NASCAR) on occasion, we ask one of S.’s siblings to take the wheel. Despite the stroller’s large size, they do fine with it.

So yes, I’m a big stroller kind of gal. Laugh, poke fun, that’s fine. Just don’t ask me for a ride if we are out together and you get tired.

Do you prefer a big stroller or a little one? For Suzanne, smaller is the way to go. Which is OK, because if she runs out of room I can hold things for her.

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