Saturday, April 5, 2008

Stroller Hell

Now that the Cherry Blossom Festival has arrived, I am once again made aware that children actually exist. While I don't dislike them, I have just gotten used to living in a child-free world. I often tell my friends in other states how I never see kids in DC. It is rare to see kids who are not tourists. I noticed this soon after moving here from the Midwest where kids are a regular part of life. And for me, it would be rare to see them anyway. First of all, I'm a night owl and you don't usually find kids out at night. I'm even lucky enough to have a job that requires me to check out things to do at night. While I am sure that kids live here, in the past six years that I've lived in DC, I've lived in four different apartments all in different neighborhoods and rarely if ever saw kids. They don't live in my building and they are not outside playing. I don't go to the grocery often but when I do, I don't see them there either or actually any of the places I frequent. I avoid shopping malls because of screaming kids and strollers but the malls are not even in DC so that doesn't count. I do see the loud, annoying teenagers on the train, but babies and stroller dwellers are rare - until this time of year.
It is always evident that tourist season is in full bloom when I see them - kids in mega-strollers and the parents who push them around. What is up with these monstrosities? They're on the train blocking the aisles and the doors, clogging the streets, in the stores, at restaurants. And the kids in the strollers sometimes appear old enough to have their own children. What's the point of learning to walk if you don't walk? It's like strollers have become the equivalent of rickshaws and the kids are the elite while the parents are the peasants. I overheard a woman at a restaurant the other day ask the hostess if she would help her lift the stroller up the steps and to her table. What? Do I ask a hostess to help me with my stuff? Why not hire a babysitter? And let me tell you, there really is something disturbing about a kid at a bar. I don't do the daytime touristy stuff in DC but my friend Megan often does. She attempted the Kite Festival but found herself in stroller hell and just left. Here's an idea: kid-free zones. Kind of like non-smoking sections. And even smoking is now banned in DC.

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DC Newbie said...

Rickshaws! That's too funny...and true. As soon as I learned to walk, my ass was out of the stroller. Kids these days have it way too easy. And you're right: kids do not belong in a bar...even if their mother is dancing on one of the tables.

Judith HeartSong said...

Yes, and getting banged in the calves repeatedly by parents who think that pushing a stroller is equivalent to driving a tank.

Having raised two children, there are some places where strollers just aren't appropriate, and some places where the kids just don't need to go.

Having emerged from parenting I look at the sense of entitlement some parents seem to exude (while their kid is screaming and running up and down the metro car) and I wonder how things are going to go for this next generation.

Jamie said...

The worst case scenario is Two Amy's, which has been entirely annexed by the baby crowd. It's basically become a gourmet Chuck-E-Cheese, and as a result is now completely dead to me. How anyone could work there boggles my mind, it's a complete madhouse. I fear that the same could happen at any point to my favorite casual restaurants.

TiaBia said...

OMG...I totally agree with your disdain for strollers. It's probably because I am 100% NOT maternal, but gee-whiz I hate strollers...especially the 3-wheel variety, LOL.

City Girl DC said...

I say, keep the babies and strollers in the burbs! :)