Our lovely family was to go to homeschool soccer last night, 33 degree temperatures not withstanding. And I, in my new found "let's not be an out-of-shape mom" phase decided that while my adorable husband drove 5 of the children to the field here in town, I would walk with the youngest two in my prized double stroller.
Now let me tell you about this double stroller: I LOVE it. It has been my source of sanity for the last 8 years. My blessed mommy bought it for me the Christmas I was expecting my second child, and I cried. That might have also been the Christmas that my blessed mom-in-law bought me the world's greatest breast pump. I cried over that too. I was pretty desperate for the right tools to do my job and a pump and a stroller fit the bill. But I digress. That stoller saved my life. It freed me to leave the house when I was going stir crazy in the spring. It made errands easier by walking instead of buckling and unbuckling children in the car a million times. I used it to hold 3 children actually. When we had our 3rd, our 1st was still only 2 (whoa) and so I could get all 3 of them in and still pound the pavement.
And pound it I did. For two years we had no car at all (except on weekends when we borrowed our fantastic parents' van...and yes I meant the parents are fantastic...the van was too, but the parents take the cake). I would walk EVERY DAY just because I could with 2, 3, and then 4 children all the way from our little house to the nearest grocery store. Looking back to that big city walk from the perspective of a now small town girl, I can't imagine what I was thinking taking such little people across such ridiculously busy corners....however, we survived. I also used that stroller as a means of getting my groceries home from that store. On several occassions I would walk to the store with an empty stroller and come home with it loaded to the brim with 2 weeks' worth of food. Good times.
Then there was the time that we accidentally left the stroller behind at a splash pad. I thought Chris put it in the back of the van. He thought I did. It was left on the wet concrete pad at a very busy place in said big city. I freaked out when I realized it was gone. Chris did too, but only because his WALLET WAS IN IT. I thought "who cares about your wallet. We can replace the cards. I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT THAT STROLLER!!!" Slight overreaction. still.
Thankfully some kindly lady took it to her house and left a note at the park saying that if someone lost a stroller we could retrieve it from her house. So glad we got there first!
And now, after 7 kids, the stroller is getting old. When I put groceries in the storage basket in the bottom it drags on the sidewalk (really annoying). And when I tried to fold it up to fit in the van, it doesn't exactly work as smooth as it once did. But she's a beauty.
So back to last night. In my energetic frenzy I smartly put the not quite 2 year old in the front as usual and laid the wee baby down in the back. One of the things I love about this stroller is how excellently the back lays down. One hand control, a foot rest that comes up and "locks in place" to hold the baby nice and horiziontal, and the very all-covering sunshade so baby can rest without the sun beating down on his face. Many a nap has been had in that stroller. Our 2nd born even slept in it overnight once in a hotel in Ottawa many moons ago. Love.this.stroller.
I was really truckin' it. I love walking. I love walking fast. It is as close to atheletic as I ever get. Suddenly, my boy is crying. Funny, he never cries in the stroller. Heck, he practically never cries at all. Wisely, I stop (once I've finished crossing the train tracks) to check on the boy. Remember: I can't see him due to the all-covering sunshade.
The foot rest, after 7 children and 8 years, apparently had enough last night. It 'unlocked' and there was my wee boy, all of 4 months old today, sitting in the storage basket under the stroller with his head firmly wedged under the front seat where his tender scalp was being, well, scalped. nice. Praise the Lord my other children weren't with me, because 1) this is the kind of thing that just adds fuel to the "look at the freaky family with 7 kids" thing that I am always paranoid about (remember the Tim Hortons/Walmart fiasco?) and 2) I think I said a bad word....out loud.
So after rescuing him from the basket that (remember?) drags on the ground when weight in put into it and kissing the scratches on his scalp, I put him in the front seat that reclines slightly with a more strudy support between his legs and put child #6 in the back where she could just sit and continue sipping her water bottle like nothing had happened.
Now what, you may be asking, was the title to this post all about? I'm thinking that it is a good thing I didn't buckle him in because when he slipped down, I'm envisioning the seatbelt getting quite snuggly wrapped around his neck. So it could have been worse.
sigh. A day in my life. Gotta love a laugh at the "mother of the year"! I'm considering adding a "donate here" button on the side bar of this blog so that you can all contribute to a new stroller for me. Any takers :-)