So, after this year's Coconut Grove Arts Festival had come to a close, I was reading a post about the event in my favorite local blog, the Coconut Grove Grapevine. This, my friends, is how I learned that we have Stroller Haters here in Miami. I mean, I've long known about other members of the..what should I call them? In honor of the current political goings on, I'll anoint them The Anti-Kid Party : the people who hate kids in restaurants. At movies. On airplanes. In grocery stores. And at bars (yes, bars. Apparently in New York this is very common, the stroller set rolls up to happy hour at the local bar,and of course there is a backlash among the folks that think bars are no place for toddlers and infants. Go figure.)
But until I read the Comment section of this Grapevine blog post, I had no idea that there were actually people who hated kids...IN STROLLERS. I mean, seriously? Isn't a stroller one place a child undeniably belongs? Yet it's true--read some of these excerpts from the Comments section of the original post:
"Ok, I'm going to say it. WHY do people torture their young children/infants and the rest of us by bring strollers to the Show. Do they really think the kids enjoy riding around at knee level getting bumped and shoved?....And even worse, the kids in strollers who are big enough but just too lazy to walk. If they're not old enough to walk, do them (and everyone else) a favor and leave them with Granny until they can enjoy the show. Strollers should be banned from the show just like bikes and skateboards."
"I agree about the strollers. Weren't they banned several years ago?...small children don't like crowds...the strollers, especially the double-wides, take up way too much space, and they force the people who are walking onto the curb and away from the exhibits. I vote for banning them. Get a babysitter." -Missbetty
"And yeah, all the kids and strollers. Why would you do that to your children?" -Anonymous
Ummmmmm....speechless. Apparently strollers = Torture. Abuse. And inspire calls for stroller prohibition. What's next, a movement to ban children from Disney World, Chuck E. Cheese, and public parks? I seriously had no idea about this stroller-rage, so I had many questions--Are stroller haters exclusive to Miami? Is it widespread? Is it reaching epidemic proportions, like kids-on-airplanes-hating did a few years ago, resulting in this?
My in-depth research (google) revealed that stroller haters live everywhere. They want to ban strollers at farmers markets, festivals, and outdoor events all over the country. They are furious about these strollers ruining their good time.
My 3 1/2-year-old rode in a stroller at the Arts Festival. Yes, she can walk. No, she is not lazy. We live in the South Grove, and we walked 1.5 miles to the Festival, and then all around the Festival, and then 1.5 miles home. No, we were not torturing her. I believe she saw more than knees at the Festival. And Missbetty? Many small children, by the way, DO like crowds. Elle does not like thunder, or salad, but a good crowd? She's all for it. As a family of four, we enjoyed every moment of that gorgeous afternoon, including the walk there and back, which we would not have been able to do without the help of our...say it with me everyone....stroller! And for what it is worth, in crowds, especially where there are people enjoying beer, wine, and cocktails, I actually prefer to have her in a stroller. If someone bumps into or steps on part of a stroller, no harm. However, if someone doesn't see a 3-year-old because she's, well, short, she could get hurt.
I have a MacLaren umbrella stroller, which doesn't take up too much real estate, but seriously, Missbetty, Anonymous, and Anonymous, even the bigger strollers aren't that big of a deal. Are they? Is it that much different from two people holding hands as they walk? Or a small group of adults stopping to chat in front of a booth you'd like to visit? Should we ban hand holding and chatting? Well guess what? Instead, I think we should ban grumpy, crotchety, impatient, self-centered grouches from the Festival next year. Roll on, mommies!
photo credit: sxc.hu/islomek