stroller free, suckas

July 16, 2010 |  Category:   life

NYC is a walking town. On average, we’ll end up walking a few miles a day at the end of the day which makes it almost excusable that we don’t regularly work out (almost). It’s funny that when we hit the burbs or some other city or town where cars rule, we’ll automatically enter into that mentality of taking the car to distances we wouldn’t think twice about walking in the city. But in the city, walking is where it’s at.

But it isn’t always easy with young kids. Mia got out of the stroller fairly early at 3 because at that point I was pushing 2 kids up and around our hilly neighborhood which meant I was hauling close to 50 pounds of kid, stroller and bags filled with baby crap in a double stroller. My back couldn’t really take too much. Mia grew accustomed to walking longish distances because her preschool was 4+ very long city blocks up the hill, an equivalent of 3/4 of a mile. For the most part she rarely complained, though sometimes it took twice as long to get to our destination.

If you’ve ever walked with small kids you know what I’m talking about. They stop at every tree or flower. They’ll take breaks on every other stoop. They’ll run up ahead as fast as they can and then run back down, exerting more energy than necessary which fuels more ammunition to the inevitable “I’m tired” whine (so stop running!). They’ll step onto a ledge while hanging on to the wrought iron fence and creep along, ever so slowly, inch by inch. Sometimes, they’ll stop altogether and just park themselves on the sidewalk.

Still, I’m glad that for a month now, we’ve been completely stroller free. I thought it would be harder. Claudine loved the stroller. She was one lazy baby who never learned to crawl, didn’t like to move much and didn’t walk until she was almost 18 months. She LOVED the stroller. We’ve been leaving the stroller at home a few times a week when walking Mia to school. We’ve been leaving it behind when taking the train to Manhattan. And now, the old Maclaren, the same 6 year old stroller we used to push Mia around as a baby before we had Claudine, has been permanently folded and stored in the closet.*

(*can’t part with it just yet. It’s there just in case. This is NYC after all).

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  • Nani July 16, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I cannot wait for the day Sae is no longer a stroller baby, at the same time it means she’s growing up and I get a bit sad.

  • ChantaleP July 16, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Yay for Claudine! Actually, more Yay for you. lol. Yikes, we’re really bad. Our kid’s 5 and we still lug that stroller around with her legs practically tucked up under her chin! I used to look sideways at those parents with their obviously outgrown kids in strollers and now.. it’s me! lol. Ah well, we are definitely bringing the stroller when we hit NYC. No shame here…

  • Roos July 16, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Great post!! The way you describe how to walk with kids, spot on.
    My eldest son (2,5) now walks a lot, since his little brother (11 months) deserves the stroller way more 😉 Luckily Bugaboo has made a “kiddy board” which allows the elder child to sort of hitch hike behind the stroller. For our summer holiday (Italy!) we take a flimsy cheap foldable stroller with us on the plane instead of the sturdy B’boo + board. We’ll just have to see how it goes with all the walking – taking it slow I presume ;-D

  • Annie From Seattle July 16, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Yea! Being stroller free is right up there with being diaper free. I had to laugh about the descriptions of walking with kids — so true! And Seattle is a big dog town and we stop…and…pet…every…freaking…one….
    Cheers to Claudine!

  • unha July 16, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    nice. A likes to walk so we will see how long. cant wait to get rid of stollers!
    oh, i forgot to tell you A goes to bathroom for #1 now? (*doing circle dance*)
    made a mistake of telling that to staff at CB (no kids. never mind even married) because i was so proud. i got one long silent reaction. duh…

  • scentual soundtracks July 17, 2010 at 7:31 am

    That picture of Claudine so captures the progress! I’m a big girl now, it says. Aww. Love it.

  • Suzanne July 17, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Gosh, I can’t wait to be stroller free! But, I think I’m still a few years away!

  • bronwyn July 18, 2010 at 1:48 am

    So true! The stroller NEVER goes on the bus. It never has. I don’t know how people do it. I had my daughter in the ergo until she was 2. Now she’s 4 and we only use the stroller when I’m going to be walking farther than she is able (San Francisco is a walking city as well and I don’t drive) or when I’m in a hurry. I don’t usually mind stopping to pet every dog and smell every flower but sometimes if we walk to the playground, it’s almost time to go home by the time we get there. But it is so nice to be able to just walk out the door with nothing but a purse and a kid. 🙂

  • cheryl July 19, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Your description of a child hanging on to a wrought-iron fence, inching along a ledge, made me laugh. That is exactly what my son does when we walk home from daycare. Sometimes I’m able to convince him to forgo the inching, but not often. Not often enough.