Saturday, January 27, 2007

A Stroller Down Memory Lane

Miss Baby took her first stroller ride when she was two days old. I could barely walk, but dammit, I was going around the block if it killed me. We had an enormous, gorgeous, bells-and-whistles carriage that I was eager to try out, and I was anxious also to start on what I imagined would be a wonderful summer of long walks with a slumbering baby, watching the pregnancy-pounds evaporate. Here's the photo: bear in mind that this is June.

Mommy, I'm too hot.

Please note that her eyes are open. Our baby is very alert.

Well, for the first six weeks, we were golden: the weather was nice, and not too too hot, and the baby was cooperative. Sure, she hollered when you put her into the car seat, but once the seat was hooked up to the carriage and the carriage started rolling ... zzzzzzzz. And she would stay asleep even if I stopped moving.

Wake me up when it's time to get crabby, ok?

However, by the end of July it was getting hotter and hotter and Miss Baby was getting crabbier and crabbier about the whole stroller thing. She wouldn't sleep; the sun made everything too bright and she would holler; she didn't like to have all the shades up and she would holler; it was too hot and she would holler; she hated the car seat angle and she would holler. We barely left the house all of August as a result. There are no photos, because I was not in a mood to take any on the rare occasions we ventured forth. (This was also the period of the most intense car screaming as well. I was stir crazy at home, but afraid to leave ... good combo.)

With the cooler weather of September, and Miss Baby's maturing eyes and brain, stroller rides became once more bearable for both of us. But only if she was going to sleep. This required careful timing and constant--CONSTANT!--motion. In fact, as this was the month where the nap strikes began, stroller rides were my nap of last resort, and more than once we made impromptu visits to The Dada's office, a good 45 minutes hike away (nice scenic walk, though). If she wasn't sleeping, she was hollering. This is the period that I call 'extreme strolling'--very long walks in constant terror of a wakeup. Here's an action shot: I didn't dare stop the stroller to take the picture, so I'm pushing with my belly while steadying the camera, and, in fact, you can see the camera strap in the photo. Stoller vérité.

Keep. It. Moving. The Mama!

All this is to say that I have been forced several times since Miss Baby's birth to downgrade my expectations with respect to long walks and fresh air and exercise and mother/baby bonding and all that. Mostly, Miss Baby has not really liked to stroll, and indeed spent most of her tiny-infancy in the sling, attached to either Pynchon or I. Which is nice in its way, but you can't, for example, nip out to get groceries and a 60 pack of diapers when the 12 pound baby is strapped to your body rather than to a nice wheeled carriage with a sturdy and capacious storage basket. I'm just sayin'.


The good news is, Miss Baby, in all her 7.5 month old wisdom, has decided she's now loving the carriage. Especially in airports and malls, but also, in a pinch, in the liquor store, down a snowy street, into the Starbucks, the grocery store, the Shoppers Drug Mart. I don't even care that it's deepest, grimmest winter. The Quinnysaurus bucks snowbanks nicely, and that's what snowsuits are for, right? I'm just so happy she's finally into this whole walking thing, that, January be damned, we're going out!

Are we going, or what, The Mama?



NotSoSage said...

Yup. Mme L was a car seat- and stroller-hollerer as well. So many people used to stop me and say, "She's hungry!" Or "She needs a change." Or "The light's in her eyes." NO, NO, NO. She just hates the stroller...but right now, she doesn't have a choice but to be in it.

I remember one day, walking through the park with her hollering away, when I saw another mother approaching me with her toddler. She looked at me and I just knew she was going to say something and I was preparing my snarky, yet witty response. What she said was, "Yeah, I haven't fed her in days and she's too cold and blah blah blah." I was so grateful for that acknowledgment of everything I was feeling, I nearly burst into tears.

Hooray for happy strollerizing with Miss Baby!

Beck said...

Hahaha. I'm so cracking up over that first photo of poor, overbundled Miss Baby.
And meanwhile, two of my three acted like we were setting them on fire if we dared put them anywhere near their stroller AND my small rural town doesn't believe in clearing the sidewalks, so we're currently indoors. Grrrreat.

kittenpie said...

I was a fiend about walking when Pumpkinpie was a young thing. We went out for a walk EVERY DAY, even in an insane blizzard once. It was my sanity. We'd walk for half and hour or an hour until she fell asleep and I could nip into the coffee shop and - oh, bliss of bliss - read with a coffee for half an hour. She got to know all the Second Cup regulars well, so we'd hang for a bit until she needed to get moving again.

Mad Hatter said...

Like sleep, healthy, outdoor exercise, is one of the key vexing issues for a new mom. I am so thrilled that Miss Baby is finally gaining a sense of the stroller's role in preserving a mother's sanity. Miss M was and still is pretty good in the stroller but she went for a 5 month stroller strike at around 5 months old. She wanted to sit up but she couldn't do so comfortably and she was no longer content to lie back lifeless in the car seat. Out came the sling and along came the lower back problems. I was so thrilled when she got her stroller groove back--just in time for winter.

nomotherearth said...

"Extreme strolling"! Ha, ha! Are you me?? We would have been excellent walking partners. Most (if not all) of the Boy's early naps were in the stroller, perfectly timed and without stops. My mom friends didn't quite understand that you couldn't stop and you had to go a certain speed, so the Boy and I ended up walking alone most of the time

Mimi said...

You guys are funny! And also, I notice how everyone is describing the stroller ride as essential to MOM rather than to BABY. Truer words were never spoken.

Everyone is always telling me how babies love strollers and it's like the magic baby soother, and clearly, it AIN'T -- thanks for backing up my suspicions on this.

I'll wave without slowing down as we extreme-stroll past each other in the park ...

ewe are here said...

The first pic made me laugh -- all those layers! ;-)

The stroller was my best friend when MF was born. It's just a basic MacLaren, but MF would nap in it happily so I could walk and/or browse the shops. And, believe it or not, if you time it right, he still does!!

Of course once we switch to the stroller for 2 in the very near future, I don't think this is going to be happening... his new front row seat won't recline. Although he does seem to like climbing in and out of it.