Wives With Baby Strollers

I was at huge party at bowling alley a little while back and I saw two different women trying to thread their way through the melee pushing baby strollers. They both looked new mom stressed with the stroller wheels constantly catching on chair legs. In thick crowds no one looks down, so basically everyone was clueless to the infants behind them. Half a dozen times people backed into the strollers or simply jostled the poor women as they tried to get through.
In both cases,  walking behind the wives… were their husbands.
Dudes…
Correct protocol is to walk in front of your stroller pushing wife and using your all purpose protective menace create an invisible shield around them both and guide the crowd out of the way. The family stick on your tail and follow you through.
Helpful is using a firm voice and saying something like, “baby coming through”. Most people automatically move out of the way. You don’t ask politely, you just announce it. Also being a male you are probably taller and look a greater threat than your wife, so you automatically get a better dominant profile to get people to move out of your way. You’re definitely taller than a stroller so people can see you better.
Jennifer and I do this sort of thing in thick crowds even without a stroller. I’m tall so can see where the gaps are, she just sticks close behind me as I pick a way through. The best way to do this sort of thing is to look at her directly in the eye and using your best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice say, “come with me if you want to live”. Then just grab her hand and start pulling her through the crowd.
It’s perhaps a little much for the grocery store on Saturday morning though.

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Comments

  1. Mike says:

    I think you must have picked that last move right from my brain. The girlfriend jokes that all my impressions end up sounding like Ahnold anyways, so I use that line whenever appropriate (and often when it's not). Whenever she's rushing out of the house for whatever reason, I'm also a fan of throwing out a "GET TO THE CHOPPAH!"

  2. Demonspawn says:

    I've gotta disagree.

    Correct protocol is baby in left arm, folded up stroller in right hand (assuming right-handedness). Attempting to use a stroller as a stroller in a crowded location is just an exercise in futility and frustration. Once you get to the door/wide open space, then you unfold stroller and place runt inside.

    Now, other than how to handle the stroller, I agree.

  3. BobW says:

    I have to agree with D.S., particularly if you have the wrist strength. An umbrella stroller can be wielded much like a broadsword, but a tandem double handles more like a mace.

    "to crush your enemies, see them scattered before you, and hear the lamentation of de women."

  4. Pickle says:

    OR the EVEN better way to handle this is A) Don't take a damn full sized stroller into a crowed place. I totally hate that. B) You carry your baby in a front carrier. Its safer and your baby will be more comfortable. (IMHO)Then C) This at least leaves the dude in a position to be CLOSER to his family.

    I used my stroller only a handful of times and I won't bother to get another with our next. The carrier proved to be a much smarter choice and people aren't going to roll their eyes at you when you are trying to push a whale sized stroller thru a sardine can sized venue.

  5. Mama says:

    ALL men–whether fathers of new babies, husbands, or singles–should be considerate of women with babies. It's no small feat to lug a baby and all that equipment around, especially when the woman is by herself.

    So hold the door open, give her the right-of-way, or help her get through a crowd. She'll appreciate that you noticed her. Our self-esteem tends to need a boost in that stressed-out, too-tired-to-care-how-I-look period after giving birth.

  6. Badger Nation says:

    Mama,

    I don't exactly agree with your "obligation masculinity" comment. I am considerate to parents lugging children, absolutely, but it doesn't have the slightest thing to do with whether your self-esteem deserves a boost. I do it because it's a nice thing to do and I hope people will give me a hand if I need one sometime, it's an opportunity to practice good beta traits and in a group it has a bit of a DHV effect.

    One of the problems of today is that women (en masse) have asked to be treated like men in certain areas while asking for deference in others for simply having a vagina. So there is a bit of a backlash, it hurts the chances of people who really need a break to get one.

    I'll give a lot more leeway and help to a woman on a plane with a baby who's having a tough time managing, than to some single chick who overpacked her carryon roller and asks me to lift it into the overhead bin for her.

  7. Mama says:

    Thanks, Badger. You've hit what I was going for: be considerate.

    To clarify, there's no expectation of "obligatory masculinity"–only consideration. Men are especially suited to help, as Athol said, because they are taller, stronger, etc.

    My point about self-esteem was simply that, as a woman, I find it nice to be noticed even when I'm not all 'made-up'/dressed provocatively/hitting on you/etc.

    Also, I readily admit that I've seen BOTH men and women oblivious to a struggling person right next to them. In either case, it's unfortunate and strikes me as self-absorbed.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly that the 'equality' thing is out of control. I expect no special favors because I'm female–no woman should. Too many women take "equality" to mean "the right to be unequivocally bitchy without reason," which should earn them a fat lip just like it would any man.

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