There’s a brouhaha online. And I’m here to tell you about it. A week late, but still.
First, Laura Miller started a website about big kids in strollers, Too Big For Stroller, which posts photos of children who appear to be too old. To be fair, it looks like the most boring website out there, because they’re all just SITTING THERE.
Then Salon published an interview with the website owner, Why Do We Hate Seeing Big Kids In Strollers?
And Jezebel weighed in about Judgy Mommies Getting Worked Up Over Big Kids in Strollers.
Because apparently being judgy is bad.
There goes my favorite pastime. (Is it really not okay to judge, though? When you see a mom giving her toddler soda, do you not shudder?)
How old is too old, I don’t know, but if your kid is sitting in a stroller and smoking a cigarette while on a conference call, he should get the fuck up.
Of course I say nothing to these kids, nor do I take their picture, because I’m not an animal. Besides, I’ve been walking and expending energy while these kids have been sitting back and resting. They can totally kick my ass.
But I do pass a silent judgment.
Silent judgment along the lines of “If I am correct and appearances are not deceiving and this child does not suffer from a disability and neither does the parent, she is too old to be pushed in a stroller, she should walk and the parent should encourage it.”
It’s amazing that more people don’t seek me out to hear my wisdom. Or that I haven’t been shot.
I’ve been trying to think why it bothers me that these kids are in strollers.
After all, they’re not mine, shouldn’t I just rejoice in that my children are stroller-free and go on with my life?
Yes, and mostly I do.
But it bothers me to see older kids in strollers because rightly or wrongly, I see it as lazy parenting. It bothers me in the same way that parents who don’t ask their children to perform chores around the house bothers me.
It’s absolutely none of my business, but to the extent that we are all part of the same society, and no man is an island, aren’t we all affected by the choices that we make within our families?
For most people, it’s harder to have a child out of a stroller than in. And to be fair, for the most part, I’m talking about people who have one child or two, who can get a hand on a kid in an emergency.
And it’s true, I have no idea what that particular parent has been through, I haven’t walked a mile in her shoes, I do not know how close she is to snapping. If that’s what is at stake, then by all means. But I suspect that there’s a good number of older kids in strollers that isn’t attributable to disability or parental over-exhaustion.
At the end of the day, I recognize that it’s none of my business. And that’s why I don’t say anything.
But it doesn’t mean that I’m not thinking it.
Disclaimer: The above sentiments are my own. They are not intended to apply to people with disabilities, seen or unseen, people suffering from any condition, parents who are exhausted, hungover, or really pissed that All My Children has been canceled, people who have more than one child, well, maybe two, if they also have a dog that they need to walk, people that I know and like, and you.
One year ago ...
- Wait Watchers - 2010