Saturday, October 4, 2008

A million reasons umbrella strollers suck, I hate them, and vow to never touch one again!

I must warn you, this gets ugly (as you could probably tell by the title) and super long. I try not to do negative posts. I even try not to think too negatively, or even worse, dwell on it- but I must get this off my chest. Perhaps if half the world (or more accurately, half a dozen) people know of my absolute disgust for umbrella strollers, I will feel a little better. (I'm actually not sure disgust is a strong enough word for how I feel, but I just can't think of a word strong enough for this hatred!) A few weeks back Nate made a comment about not wanting Tayvin to get used to us lying down with him to go to sleep. Not that we usually do, in fact he is very not used to it. But it was kinda funny because the week before, Nate had just volunteered to lie down with him right after saying prayers. So when he made the comment, I naturally called him a hypocrite. Well, tonight I'm sitting on my bed with my laptop waiting for him to come to bed. Guess where he is? Yup, lying down with Tayvin oh, for like, the last hour or so. Volunteered too. But hey, I'm an understanding wife (every now and then,) I get that he wants some quality time with his here I sit, so ready to write this post that has been brewing in my head for exactly 33 hours and 45 minutes. Here's the background: Yesterday we went to the zoo with my mom, sister and her family, and her husbands' cousin. I was supposed to be going to a meeting afterwards so I was a little scatter-brained (as I seem to be a lot lately) while I was getting ready. This resulted in my sweet husband (who skipped his run to get ready so that I could go running instead,) having to move the car seat and get the stroller in the car. I actually didn't mention either of them, he just did it. I tell you this because it WAS greatly appreciated. In fact, I forgot all about needing a stroller until we had been gone 45 minutes. So when I asked if he got the stroller he said yes. Now, just know, I have bought 5 strollers and still own 4 because I gave one to Jeanne to have at her place. But Nate totally knows I prefer one of them over all the others-the original, most expensive one. The others are just kind of random- a double stroller, a jogging stroller, and an umbrella stroller. Now you can see where this is going, right? Yah, Nate put the umbrella stroller in the car. He said he knew I didn't "prefer it," but didn't know of my utter disgust for it. So basically I was just PMSing anyway and that was it! I was livid! Not necessarily at Nate, just the fact that I hate the umbrella stroller and absolutely do NOT like using it. It's only there for emergencies! So as I walked through the zoo, trying not to be ornery to everyone that made me push the stupid stroller around them, I was blogging in my head-even told Nate so. (He thought I should be grateful for his support of my blogging by giving me something new to post.) So here are my million (well maybe more like ten) reasons why umbrella strollers suck, I hate them, and vow to never touch one again (at least until our next trip where I pack the trunk so full of other junk, that I can't fit my "preferred" stroller in it!)
  • No cup holders. I didn't actually have a drink, because my water bottle was in my huge purse (which we'll discuss later) but my mom always has a coke with her. And since she didn't really have a reason to bring a stroller, we really could have used a cup holder for her coke!
  • The handles are too low. I'm not exactly a tall person-5'6" is pretty average for a woman. I know there are plenty of women and maybe even a few men that are that short, but those handles are so low even I have to bend down to push them. But not enough to lean on them, just enough to make my lower back hurt (which happens plenty without the dumb stroller.)
  • Lack of storage! After we were out of the car and headed into the zoo, I realized I had forgotten my sunglasses in the car because it was cloudy and I hadn't been wearing them. I told Nate I was going to go get them so I'd just meet them in there. Know what he said? You might want to shed your jacket when you go. Are you kidding me? If I had MY stroller, I wouldn't have to worry about it because not only could I hang it on the top of the stroller, but if I wanted to I could put it in the basket on the bottom of the stroller! Bringing me to my next point, what the heck am I supposed to do with my big 'ol purse?

  • Now, I like to think I have graduated from the diaper bag stage-at least temporarily. So I have a big purse. Granted, most of the time I have a few snacks, toys, and diapers in there. But it's a bangin' purse and it's leather and it's heavy! I most definitely don't want to be carrying it around the zoo all day anymore than I want to be carrying my jacket. But forget hanging it on the back of the stroller! The handles of the purse were just a little too short to fit over both handles of the stroller without pulling at the seams (which we all know would usually constitute a small lecture from Nate) but a little too long to hang off of one handle without dragging and scuffing the bottom of my new cute purse. What's a girl to do? Oh, and if one of the kids wasn't in the stroller, it could not be left unattended or the stroller would tip backwards because of the weight of the snacks, toys, diapers, and massive amounts of money in there! :)
  • Seat belt (or whatever they want to call it.) I suppose, it would hold a child in the stroller, were it to tip (which Autumn and I know a little about) but not very comfortably. I guess we've been a little spoiled with our other stroller, but ya know, it's got padding around the straps and all and it's so much easier to fit to the child, and to do up and undo. Enough said.
  • What about nap time? When we have outings like this, it's just a little hard to schedule nap time. So often, I call upon my trusty stroller to make this more convenient for me. My "preferred" stroller has three different levels at which it reclines. The (because I don't even want to claim it as mine) umbrella stroller doesn't even have one level at which it reclines, because let's face it, it sits a child straight up. Resulting in the bobbing of the head neck kinks. Why would I force something like that on my child?
  • Tiny wheels that barely make it over piles of dust, let alone the curbs or rocks. When I was in the airport on one of my last few trips, grabbing the stroller after the flight, the pilots were teasing me about having the 4X4 edition and kindly reminding me of the checkups that need to be done on the chassis or something like that. It was actually pretty funny but they weren't joking. That stroller will pretty much go through anything a jogging stroller will. So once again, MY stroller has spoiled me and umbrella strollers suck.
  • Brakes. On most nice strollers, you lock one brake and both of them are locked. Not on umbrella strollers. Gotta take the time to lock/unlock both. Otherwise, your kid will look like a dog chasing his tail.
  • "Look Ma', two hands!" It just doesn't have the same ring to it. I often drive my stroller with one hand, and sometimes if I'm really feeling gutsy, I'll stick out my stomach as far as it goes and drive with no hands. (I'm pretty sure that will be tons easier once I'm pregnant.) So having to devote the only two hands I've got, when I really need several more, to driving a stroller-just not convenient!
  • 2-handed folding and opening. And my last reason, is probably the one that bugs me the least right now but I know if I were in the airport, that would differ. Ya know, most strollers now days are 1-handed folding and quite frankly, I'm just too lazy and too busy to bother using two hands to fold and unfold a stroller that I don't even want to be using in the first place!