Rage Against The Stroller

by farrah on October 1, 2013 · 10 comments

I am over using the stroller. If it were up to me I would be listing that thing on the NL equivalent of Craigslist (called ‘Maarktplaats’) and say ‘tot ziens!’. I should clarify and say that I mean I want to get rid of using it on a daily basis when we walk to school. The days we don’t bike we typically take the stroller but I think that the twins should be able to walk the seven minutes to school (about 4-5 blocks) without too much of an issue. Am I being heartless? Selfish? Pushing them (no pun intended) too hard?

197044_1749876360479_6606976_nAh, ye olden days

So how does one wean the stroller? I don’t remember having an issue with B. He was just done with it which was fantastic because we went from a 3 seater to a 2 seater at the time of moving here. He must have been around 3 or 3 and a half. It wasn’t a big production, he just stopped riding and wanted to walk everywhere. The twins though.. man. Those two are really out to get me. They can turn any situation into a dramatic episode and a full-blown fiasco. Sometimes it’s just easier to use the stroller but I also want to break from it if possible.

Mixed Messages

For example, Saturday we took the bikes to the train station, then the train to Eindhoven for some shopping. It was great- except clearly when you bike to the station you can’t also bring along a double stroller. And of course the entire time that we were in Eindhoven L and C were begging to be carried, crying and pouting over having to walk. I did bring a carrier which was fine for one of the children, but then the other two weren’t happy. Then on Sunday we went to Cologne in Germany and had to have the stroller for a 9 hour day trip. It would have been insanity to go without one and besides the fact that it carried the boys, it also holds all of our other treasures accumulated for the outing. On the one hand I say the stroller isn’t necessary, but on the other it’s fine. I’m confusing them I think which is adding to my problem.

943701_10201133011561172_213972044_n-1For a nap on the go, I’m not ready to say goodbye.

But on a daily basis, I want to get away from using it. At the very least I feel weird taking the twins to school (well, it’s just the peuterspeelzaal) in a stroller. Not so much because of what other parents think (I do see them here and there at school) but because I really think they should be able to walk the 4-5 blocks. It’s a pretty tree-lined street- and the weather has been crazy beautiful. Who doesn’t like a lovely fall stroll?!

note: We do also bike some days which solves some of the issues, but also creates new ones. 

I asked my friends on FB to tell me if they still used a stroller and at what age did they stop. 18 of my friends responded and the consensus all seems to be that they stopped using the stroller around age 3.  Interestingly enough, my friend K in Ireland said:

Now that I am living in the country that invented the word coddle I see kids riding in strollers at like 6 years old with their feet dragging on the ground. It’s ridiculous. There was a kid in O’s class who would pick him up after school and strap him safely into his stroller…at almost 5. I haven’t seen her bring it in a few weeks, maybe she’s realized he could walk or something.

Also I think it’s the awkwardness of having three littles (well, really two littles and one medium) when out and about and a stroller is just easier to get everyone to the destination. Meh. Ok. Guess I’ll just hold onto it for a little longer. We may even end up on this funny-yet-sad tumblr that seems to be no longer active.

So now I’m wondering how this differs between cultures. Where are you and what’s your status with a stroller (still using/age/age giving it up). Purely curious. 

 

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Becca October 1, 2013 at 11:08 am

My oldest was four, but she was tiny. She just refused to use it anymore. The youngest was three when she was done with it. My reluctance came from not wanting to carry them. You are in a unique situation though, with 2 littles and one not much bigger. I say just do what is best for you.

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2 farrah October 2, 2013 at 6:39 am

I think that’s the plan. It does make life easier, most of the time!

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3 Jen October 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Well in defense of the huge kids in strollers, my autistic three year old looks like he’s in kindergarten, he’s so big, but he still has to ride in the stroller if I’m taking anywhere that he could get lost. I actually had to find a stroller with a high enough weight limit that he could even fit in it. He can walk, but he can also run. Fast. In places where it’s really dangerous. Don’t get me wrong, I judged those moms too back before I knew any better. Things aren’t always as simple as they look.

Having said that, now that he’s in school for his special ed program I don’t need the stroller except for the occasional weekend jaunt, because he’s in the car all the time. We took it to Sea World with us this weekend because there’s no way he’d walk around the whole day. And he still likes to nap in it. With Catie, she stopped using the stroller once she was potty trained, mostly because it felt weird to me that she was old enough to be using the bathroom but not walking. She was about 3.5.

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4 farrah October 2, 2013 at 6:47 am

I hope you don’t think that I am judging. I don’t know other moms’ situations and I know that we all have our own baggage to carry around (literally and figuratively)! The twins do still like it- but I need them to be less dependent on it for the times we just can’t have it, you know?

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5 Leighann October 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm

we stopped using the stroller around age 2 1/2. I think just because she wanted to walk. I some times miss it because she gets into everything.

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6 farrah October 2, 2013 at 6:49 am

There’s a double side to everything I know! Once we say goodbye to it, out naps on the go will stop- so this I know is very true!

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7 Leanne October 1, 2013 at 10:32 pm

I’m right there with you! My son (just turned 3 yesterday) is totally addicted to the stroller, which is great when we’re out all day, but awful that I have to take it across a huge, bumpy field every single day to school to drop my oldest off. On the other hand, I let him walk today and our 15 min walk took over 30 min… In the pouring rain.

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8 farrah October 2, 2013 at 6:49 am

The walk home (usually it is home) kills me. It takes FOREVER and someone is always crying and wailing. Every day I say ‘I just want to get home, guys. Can we just get home?’ EVERY DAY! It gets old!

And yes- that sounds like the exact same situation- albeit much longer 🙂 –> give us a few weeks and it will also be pouring rain! Ha!

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9 Chasing the Donkey October 2, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Hell, I have no clue given my little man STILL isn’t walking. I’d say unscrew a wheel, and tell the boys ‘ooops it’s broken’. That way it can be magically fixed for the next time you want to use it.

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10 Julie October 3, 2013 at 2:16 am

We walk a bunch around Boston, and stopped using our jogging stroller from about age 3 until 4.5. We considered giving it away since the kids wanted to walk, and we could take public transport if needed, but have recently pulled it back out for longer walks/runs around the city in our beautiful fall weather. I am glad we still have the option and have had great adventures this fall. My twins have enjoyed the view from the stroller but definitely still walk appropriate length walks.

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