Tall Boy, Small Stroller

My 3-year-old son is tall, very tall. He is often mistaken for a 5-year-old and the normal antics of a 3-year-old can seem like the behavior of a troubled first grader.  But this doesn’t bother me as much as the looks he gets when he falls asleep in the stroller.  He still takes a midday nap, and when we’re out, he falls asleep in the stroller, perfectly normal for a 3-year-old. Except when I’m coming home with my napping boy splayed out in a stroller that is just too small, it looks like a have a drugged child in a wheelbarrow, or worse, another spoiled “Park Slope brat” who refuses to walk and needs to be chauffeured everywhere.  Hey gets stared at as we walk by. People actually stop us and tell me “he’s too old to be in a stroller.”  My wife usually snaps, “he’s only 3.”  I usually ignore them or say “Then I’m glad your opinion means nothing to me.”  But the worst was when a deranged homeless guy followed us yelling “get up and fuckin’ walk!”
And this is with the biggest stroller available.  What’s a sleepy tall boy too do?


Baby Slings: Mothering Bond or Smothering Bind?

After a sling trip to the Met, my back felt like I built the pyramids.

Apparently, wearing your baby is either  an in vogue way to bond with your child, or incredibly irresponsible, depending on which article you read in the New York Times this week.

The Latest in Strollers, Mom and Dad” talks about how more parents are getting baby carriers and eschewing strollers.  In addition to “fostering a strong attachment,” baby carriers are popular with parenteratti, “with celebrities like Brad Pitt and Keri Russell” seen wearing their children. (I guess this helps justify buying a $540 designer sling ?!, which is essentially a piece of cloth.)

Yet a few pages deeper in the paper was the article, “Govt to Warn on Baby Slings Because of Deaths.” The Consumer Product Safety Commission is about to issue a warning about the possible suffocation risks with certain baby slings.

It’s enough to make an overprotective parents head explode!

From my own experience, a slings are safe and great for short trips, but would never replace my stroller.

I know other babies love the child to parent contact, but my son rarely slept while strapped on, and we tried 3 different carriers.  But he always napped soundly (and still does) in the stroller.

He outgrew his Baby Bjorn at 13 months(the Bjorn has 25 lb weight limit , you’d think the strapping Swedes would accomodate a bigger baby), he kept slipping through the Moby (you need to take a lesson from the Merchant Marine Acadamy to make sure that thing is secure,) and by the time we got the Ergo, which mom, dad and baby all liked, he was just too heavy to carry around for any extended periods.

And the usefulness of a carrier diminishes after tour child is a year old.  Maybe the mothers of !Kung San tribe in the Kalahari can carry 25+ pounds strapped to their body all day, but my back can’t take more than a couple of hours max. I leaned this the hard way. “We don’t need the stroller,” I arrogantly told my wife before a trip to the  Metropolitan Museum of Art when my son was less than 6 month old.  The next day my back was so sore I could barely get out of bed (although Nate did really like the Egyptian wing.)

Quasimodo never used a stoller

Maybe all these people who never use a stroller and call them “isolation pods” are all married to chiropractors. Because if I had to rely on a sling to get my son around, I’d look like Quasimodo after the first 6 months.

I am interested to see what the official Consumer Product Safety Commission warning says, but I’m guessing common sense will apply, ie. make sure your baby’s airway is always clear, and don’t let them curl up in a ball at the bottom of a rucksack.


That Guy

I wasn’t sure what kind of father I would be, but I didn’t want to be “That guy.” You now the guy, a dad who looks overwhelmed, lost his individuality, lost will will to live.

Merrell merrell jungle moc

Jungle Mocs, hideously comfortable

Looks like he just rolled out of bed, wears fleece everything and overly comfortable shoes.

Oh, no, I wasn’t gonna be that guy…

In the last year I wore my first fleece sweatshirt and my first pair of loafers,  Merrell Jungle Mocs, (possibly the most comfortable, yet ugliest shoe created.)

The fleece was a gift from my mom I never worn, I had to run out to the store one morning and needed to throw something over that oatmeal stain.  I grabbed the Old Navy fleece, and it was so soft and comfortable, and suddenly I didn’t care that it was made from  toxic plastic bottles. I have since gotten 2 more.

I stumbled across the loafers on sale at DSW. They were so hideous looking, like suede potato-bugs, that I tried them on as a joke.  They slipped on and off so easily, they were waterproof, warm in the snow, and made my Converse feel like some kind of GitMo torture shoe.  I wore them out of the store and relegated my Chuck Taylors to the back of the closet.

So yes, I am slowly morphing into “that guy.”  But I can still clean up “purty good,” but if I’m going to be chasing a toddler through the zoo all day, I better be dry, warm, and comfortable.

Besides, I draw the line at draw-string pants…actually, do you think those Penguin lounge pants are stain resistant?