Baby · Holidays

Christmas Shopping: The Stroller Obstacle Course

What trunk space?

Christmas shopping. We all dread it in some sense; the crowds, the lines, the scrambling. It’s bad enough when we’re on our own (or god forbid, pregnant) but with a baby in a stroller, it can be nightmare.

It doesn’t matter where you go, what time of year it is or how wicked your baby taxi is, running errands with a stroller is cumbersome. We have the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Travel System w/SnugRide Click Connect 35, and it’s incredible, but doesn’t account for indecent people. Strollers are convenient at times when you need to carry more than an armful of things, but painful when surrounded by ignorant people with a deficiency in spatial sense.

Of course there are those who go out of their way to hold the door, to move aside to let me pass through but not everyone gets it. If I have the space, sure, I’m happy to move. If I don’t, get out of my way. If everyday shopping is an obstacle course, Christmas shopping is a mine field.

Christmas Shopping? Bring it on B!

Jamming in and retrieving the stroller from the trunk is pretty habitual now. The trouble comes when I’m loading/unloading my kid. I need space to get the stroller between cars to click his car seat in. On more than one occasion, I’ve had dirty looks for taking up the spot next to me while I’m making sure he’s in safely. Ok, I know you need to get that wicked deal on a TV to have it under the tree, but it doesn’t take long. It’s two or three minutes to make sure my kid won’t die on the way home. If I’m in your way, just wait. I’m sure this is something that only gets worse the more kids you have. Better to thicken the skin now than to be afraid of leaving the house.

Certainly the biggest obstacle. One hand on the door, one on the stroller, hoping I don’t hit anything on my way in. I don’t expect people to hold it for me, but I do expect them not to try and squeeze by me when I’m going through one. I’ve been caught in a foyer going out of a door while people are coming in and I’ve been expected to move. This of course earned those super considerate people an earful.

Ever walk through a mall and have to swerve out of the way of the people who’ll stop right in your path instead of moving to the side? Annoying right? Try it with a stroller. It takes an extra few seconds to swerve, more if we’re in a crowded place and there’s nowhere else to go. If I run into you for slamming on the breaks, you’re the idiot. Not me.

Clothing stores are the worst. I end up taking half the rack with me when the displays are set up too close together. The best is the people who move closer down the rack, expecting me to move my shit. No. I’m not backing out for you, it was hard enough to get in here, go the long way around.

Despite this bitching, I like to think I’m pretty considerate of people. Having to cart around a baby through tight corners, idiots and doors has definitely hardened me though.

I still have those moments of meek withdrawal, where I’ll avoid an area of the store if I know I’ll be in someone’s way, but Christmas shopping brings out the beast. Just move.

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