There are a few things that still hold strong in my memory of the early days with Molly & Jack. Two of the most frustrating were the colic (Molly) and the lack of mobility involved with managing two very tiny babies. Molly was a colicky infant and as such we spent countless hours trying to soothe what one of our sitters coined as her “siren scream”. We would rock her, we would walk her, we would take shifts, we would sing to her, we would wear an ipod to block out the noise, you get the idea.
There were three things that seemed to calm the savage beast (sorry Molly, you’re really quite lovely nowadays): 1) Television: specifically the static “fuzzy” channel turned on high volume or hockey. 2) The vacuum and 3) going for long, long walks.
In summer and fall it was quite easy to go for lengthy strolls around our fair city of Toronto. Jack would usually fall asleep or blissfully look around. As the weather turned cold we had fewer options, so we turned our routes indoors to malls, greenhouses, bookstores and other places that could house our motley crue.
The more time I spent travelling with my double stroller the more I came to realize how many businesses or public places are not well equipped for double strollers (let alone wheelchairs). A particularly frustrating trip out was when I couldn’t fit my stroller, the store clerk and myself into the elevator of a bookstore at the same time (the infant/children section was on the second floor). I literally had to run up the escalator so the staffer with the key to operate the elevator could meet me with my children on the second floor. I was exhausted, with limited options and absolutely livid at my situation in general and the store. This was a place meant for children and I couldn’t access it with my stroller without compromising the care of my children (even if it was just for 30 seconds).
When I commiserated about this with a fellow MoM she told me she had templated a letter that sent out regularly to complain about stroller/wheelchair access issues at businesses that she wanted to frequent, but couldn’t because of her needs. Because of my unique stroller needs, my eyes were opened to how little effort so many places put into accessibility. For me the double stroller was just temporary, many other people face these roadblocks daily and for their entire lives.
Nowadays I notice when a business has ramps, automatic doors and adequate door space and I try to reward these places with my business (even now when most of the time my children are walking). How have your experiences as parents of multiples changed your perspectives on mobility?