How many of you felt your breath catch just reading that word? Shoes are to Carrie Bradshaw what strollers are to, well, most of the people who socialize with me. It’s a short list, but we love our strollers.
I’m not a stroller snob. I had an Evenflo travel system with my first child, and got a Combi Twin Savvy when my boys were born, even though what I really wanted was the Mountain Buggy Urban Double. (You should click that link just to see the price. It’s worth the chuckle.) I needed a double stroller with a sit and stand but they didn’t exist when I was cranking out my brood.
When we found out I was pregnant with #4, the twins were 1.5 and A was 3. I mentally calculated my boys’ ability to walk alongside me plus my daughter’s capacity for obedience, multiplied by my anxiety level and divided by the number of hands God saw fit to give me, and found that I was lacking. I knew I could make do for a short time with the baby in a sling and the boys in the double stroller, but my aptitude for sling use drops off sharply once a baby moves out of the limp doughy phase.
I wanted a triple stroller, and scoured the resale shops for one. Instead, I stumbled upon a J Mason Quad Carriage for $100. You can bet I snapped that thing up and dragged it home. I want to make some shoes reference here, like, “…Carrie Bradshaw finding a pair of vintage blah blah somethings at a thrift store,” but I don’t know enough about high end footwear, plus I bet Carrie Bradshaw would never step foot into a thrift store.
The quad stroller – or “four stroller,” as my children call it – wasn’t perfect. But alas, what union between parent and stroller is? The quad was heavy, bulky, and a real beast to maneuver on uneven terrain. But for trips to the zoo, for example, it was a godsend. And let’s be honest: I was staying home with four kids 4 and under. I wasn’t going much of anywhere.
Three days before the twins 5th birthday, I sold the four stroller. The kids were devastated. They wept in protest as they watched me clean it up, and they begged me to keep it. We settled on one final ride.
A’s gangly legs didn’t fit in the back; she had to throw them over the lap bar in the front seat. The boys climbed into the back, I placed baby #4 into the open front seat, and we set off. As I sweated and gasped for air, I reflected on my maiden voyage with the quad stroller, three years ago. Then, too, I sweated and panted my way around the block, Braxton-Hicks contractions kicking in as I pushed my 90 lb toddler payload. This 2009 haul was more like 150 lbs, and left me grateful that I don’t have to do this anymore.
When the couple purchasing my stroller arrived, I was happy to saunter back inside and watch from the window as they wrestled that mammoth into the back of their van. Never again will I watch my husband sweat and curse quietly while struggling to fold it. Never again will my children stream out from the quad stroller’s depths like it’s a clown car. Never again will we look like a circus sideshow in public. The moment was bittersweet, until I remembered I’d just made $75, and then it was only sweet.