My wife and I enjoy getting out of the house when we can with our son. Strollers or buggies are one of the most useful tools that we have with us when we go out. There is great debate online around forward-facing versus rear-facing strollers, with a main concern being the ability to communicate with your child as you walk. We have a forward facing stroller and make a conscious effort to talk with him and narrate what we see and experience on the walk. Our son generally enjoys riding in his stroller as we explore the world. He must have an interesting perspective at that level as we roam around. If the weather is cold, we go out to large stores and malls.
Some days, however, the experience isn’t so great for the driver of this chariot. It is estimated that 13,000 children under the age of three are involved in stroller accidents each year. I didn’t realize how dangerous it can be. There are specific issues with the actual stroller, such as lack of supervision or not fastening the child. Both of these I have control over, however it didn’t take long to learn that there are no standard driving rules for other strollers, shopping carts, or surrounding pedestrians. In fact, there are times when other people are oblivious of their surroundings and it keeps us on our toes when we go out.
There are a lot of things to think about when we go for a stroll and getting through pedestrian traffic can be difficult. I often open the door for my wife and the stroller, but people quickly get through the opened door before she can navigate the doorway. Although occasionally someone holds the door for us, and we politely thank them each time. Shopping carts roam everywhere and can be a dangerous collision for a child. A stroller isn’t a shopping cart, so I am careful to keep extra space between us and the other “drivers.” I find that it could be easy to have some “stroller rage” from what appears to be inconsiderate people at times, but I try to focus on being patient. There is no need to rush through life with my little one. I want to soak in every moment that I can. Although, I would encourage everyone to share some kindness when you come across your next stroller. If we are all patient with one another, whether we’re casually walking through the park or busy shopping at the store, it will help us all to have a better day!