I apologize for my site being down all of yesterday – simple hosting issues were all it was.
I found myself eying strollers this past Thursday in one of the largest outdoor stores in the New York metro area. I was waiting for my bike to get fixed, and instead of drooling over the latest in bicycle technology and imagining all the cool stuff I could do with a fourth bike I was checking out the latest in stroller innovations and wondering how cool I could be wheeling my kid around in something with 4 cup holders and anti-lock brakes.
I don’t have any kids, nor will I likely have them for several years on the track I’m headed, but I couldn’t help but examine the several fashionable and indestructible looking strollers featured in the store.
All of the strollers had pneumatic wheels, and all sorts of flashy technological goodies. Like I-pod holders so you don’t have to listen to your kid screaming, or telling you that you are about to walk into the path of an oncoming bus. I couldn’t understand why one of the strollers had 2 full sized cup holders by the kids tray table preventing the child from leaving the safe confines of the cool looking stroller. I wondered if open container laws pertained to strollers as well? What about hot containers, could a mother drink a piping hot cup of coffee while wheeling their kid around the park?
I was at my buddies house last week when I learned how your stroller type determines your socioeconomic status within the frum community. Stroller style and cost is a big deal, because they cost tons. My friends have a Valco, that they are mighty proud of, they are trying to custom order 8 inch spinning rims so they can pull of to shul ghetto style and throw in a little individual style to their frummy game of Sarah Palin sheitles and kosher sippy cups.
The problems start when you get the stroller on sale, you move up ranks within your caste system but are really just as poor as the next kollel family, suddenly people think your rolling in the dough, because your inlaws bought you Buggaboo, but really you found the neon pink ones on sale at some thrown together clearance rack at your local outdoors gear store.
I started taking notice to strollers ever since I learned of their status and labels. They just make it easier to judge people, I started thinking of the different ways to judge people based on their strollers. Like maybe, folks from Brooklyn have larger wheels because of the rough streets and constant going up and down curbs. But maybe in Lakewood where its all suburban cul de sac style streets they don’t need as large wheels and can therefore afford to spend less money and the traditional strollers that are about as fun to drive as shopping carts with the always lazy wheel – that one wheel that refuses to go in the direction of the others.
Then of course I started wondering about safety features, because I know that if I would have one of these strollers, I would go nuts. The big wheels and the hand brakes would cause me to go a little nuts and I want to know my kid would be safe. What would happen for instance if I decided to take my kid up a steep incline, or down through a rocky patch, would there be rollover protection and side airbags, or its every baby for themselves as sippy cups, bottles of formula and bags of animal crackers fly out of the stroller along with the kid during a rollover.
I also started thinking of all the cool innovations you could make on a stroller. Solar powered phone chargers or bottle warmers. Missile launchers to clear the playground of any unsavory individuals. What about an automatic siren warning of sex offenders in the area? Maybe I could get some hydraulics if I wanted to show up in a more ethnic part of town?