Lesson #13: "Double Stroller" is Code for "Instrument of Evil". Also known as "The Double Stroller Debacle".
So the other day it was wicked hot out (I'm from Maine, we use wicked as an adverb) so I thought I would pick up a frappe after work on my way to get the kids. That's when I got the brilliant idea that instead, I would pick the kids up, load them into the double stroller, and walk down to Dairy Queen where we could all enjoy an ice cream together. It would be so great: I'd get some exercise so it would totally cancel out the ice cream (work with me here), and we'd get some family time while the boys had a special treat. Brilliant!
Do you ever have an idea of how something is going to happen, and then when it happens it's totally the opposite of what you thought? I should have known things weren't gonna go my way when the first thing both kids did when I arrived to pick them up was crap their pants. I'm not even kidding.
We eventually got home and I went looking for the double stroller. I thought it was in the trunk of the car but it wasn't. When I finally found it on the enclosed porch I remembered why it wasn't in the trunk of the car: the thing is so freaking huge nothing else fits when it's in there. I wrestled it out of its corner, through the house, and out the front door, only to realize that I couldn't remember how to set the stupid thing up. After spending a good five minutes flipping it every which way I finally figured it out.
Then I realized that I still needed the canopy and the bar thingy with the cup holder that goes across the front. Which I then had to find. And figure out how to install. The canopy was no problem but the cup holder bar thingy was a whole nother ball of wax. It simply needed to be snapped into place; the problem was that you apparently have to be a bodybuilder in order to have enough muscle to GET it to snap on. I ended up flipping (throwing?) the entire stroller onto either side and pounding it on.
Once the stroller was assembled and we were all lubed up with sunscreen it was already 4:45 and I really should've been starting supper instead of spoiling it with ice cream but I had a vision, ok? I took the first step of our fun family walk... And the stroller didn't budge. In my hurry to find, figure out, and get two children into the stroller, I hadn't paid attention to where I had placed it. I had set it up on the front walkway, which is topped with pea gravel. Every try pushing anything on pea gravel? Not so much. I had to grab onto the cup holder bar thingy (good thing I took the time to hammer that baby on!) and haul the ginormous stroller with two kids in it down the walkway like a tow truck pulling a car from a ditch.We'd come that far, there was no way I was going to unload Yin and Yang just to move the stroller 10 feet.
Finally, we were off. I should tell you that we live on a busy road on the main drag and there are no sidewalks, just a wide lane on either side of the road where people frequently walk and bike. The thing about that? It means it's not completely level. There's a slight slant for drainage, which meant the stroller kept listing to the left the entire time. It was like pushing a grocery cart with a faulty wheel and 50+ lbs of cargo. My arms got quite the workout. By the time we got to Dairy Queen I was a hot mess. As I trudged up the drive, a shiny red SUV with a woman driver and a boy about my older son's age in the backseat was pulling out. I thought about carjacking them for the ride home in air conditioned comfort, but I hear law enforcement frowns upon that sort of thing.
We got our ice cream and sat at an outdoor table to enjoy it... For about two minutes. That's when the baby started fussing because he's not a real big fan of just sitting the stroller. I took him out so he could sit with me and gave him a little taste of my chocolate ice cream. He really liked it! In fact, he liked it so much that he started fussing because he just couldn't get enough. As I was tending to the baby, my 3 year old ran around the table, grabbed my ice cream, and ran away to another table to eat it. At that point I didn't care anymore. I told him he could keep it if he'd come get in the stroller (Lesson #6 again!)
Despite being a comedy of errors, the whole event was worth it.When I'm old and gray I'll think back and smile as I remember my babies' chocoatey smiling faces... And how much I got on eBay for that damn stroller.