So mind you, I don't have babies any more. I have teens. But, believe it or not, those teens used to be babies at one time, and they used a stroller. And I think I have officially become old, because I found myself the other day thinking about the evolution of those good old small human transporters.
I was using public transportation with a client of mine, when a young mom boarded, pushing what appeared to be a small tank. It wasn't a tank, of course. It was a stroller. But as I kept sneaking glances at it, I realized it was nothing like the strollers of my "baby days". It was like a custom 18-wheeler!
The bottom shelf was holding a bottle of Vitamin Water, three blankets, a teddy bear, and two boxes of wipes. The back side cup holder held a 32 ounce soda, a baby bottle, twelve rattles and three different kinds of crackers. The main compartment had a case of diapers, another six blankets, fourteen binkies, a flat-screen tv and stereo system, an X Box, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, a paramedic on high alert and, I assume, a baby. It was powder-coated with reflective paint and had the baby's name lettered in script. The entire thing was surrounded by a protective clear plastic rain/snow/tornado/flood cover with a sign that said, "In Case of Emergency, Break Cover. Paramedic Will Assist".
Okay, so by now you have figured out I may be exaggerating a teeny bit....but it does make me think back to when my kids were little. We owned a stroller...an umbrella stroller. It had room for one small person. It had silly handles that allowed for very little hanging room storage, so if the kid was lucky we threw a small diaper bag around the handles and if not, you would see us pushing it with a plastic grocery bag flapping around in the wind. In the bag there was usually a diaper or two, a ziplock baggie full of wipes, one binky, a juice box and perhaps a container of animal crackers that their father had already broken into, leaving only a zebra with two legs and an elephant missing his trunk.
Now, I will admit, I had a twinge of stroller envy the other day, and I'm sure my teens would wonder why they got the short end of the stroller stick in the '90's. But the weird thing is....it was easy! If we needed to get on a bus, plane, train or automobile, we removed the child, folded the stroller up and carried it on. We pretty much only carried the bare necessities and just dealt with it, and all of our friends were the same way.
One of these days when I become a grandma, I'm sure I will get the Deluxe Side by Side Dual Axle Hybrid Self-Sustaining Model 383, but I can tell you this: By that time, it darn well better come with a paramedic who will be available to not only push it, but be willing to treat my arthritis and listen to my, "When I was a young mom, we had these things called Umbrella Strollers" stories.