Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Off Kilter

Elliana could have cleaned her crayons up 4 times over with the time she spent protesting the task. Twincy and Twinjay were on round two of spit-up and diaper changes. I was attempting to shower before bringing Elliana to school to meet Spencer for a Family Work Day. And so, it was a fairly normal Saturday in our home: typical tasks were taking 3x as long as they might otherwise.

Finally, all tears aside (mine included), we were in the car and on our way. After drop-off, I headed to the coffee shop with the babies. My master plan was for the twins to get extra sleep in the car and, potentially, I’d meet up with some other MoMs (Mothers of Multiples) at the monthly gathering. I realized the latter was a distant possibility, as summer attendance is low, but even so the jaunt provided a much-needed outing.

After parking, I pulled out our double stroller. Amazingly, it has 12 different combinations of seat arrangements to keep everyone happy! Truly, the bells and whistles are kind of daunting. My favorite feature is the ability to snap in carseats so the babies can KEEP SLEEPING! After getting the babies in and settled, I hurried into the shop to avoid the rain that was beginning to pick up speed. A quick survey of the cafe showed that, indeed, no MoMs were meeting today. No problem, still some semi-me time.

Since I don’t drink coffee (Yes, I said it. You can file it under the long list of reasons I might be crazy) I opted for a steamer. After paying for my drink, I set it in a conveniently placed cupholder that eliminated the possibility of spills onto the sleeping babes. Since preventing all potential hazards is just one of the many things that race through a mother’s head regularly, I was silently congratulating myself on our purchase as I nestled the cup in the holder.  

I pivoted to head toward the door and relish in the me-time I had scored, even if it was just quiet sipping in “solitude” in the car. No sooner had I done that then the back wheel fell off the stroller! Truly, the timing couldn’t have been worse.

The kind man behind me asked if he could help. I think if I’d answered anything other than “YES” I would have been committed for insanity. I am now trying to make the stroller stay upright without spilling this drink and cannot let go to reattach a wheel! The man replaced the wheel, I thanked him profusely, and then I reassured him that the car wasn’t far away. My errror.

I managed to get out to the sidewalk only to realize I couldn’t risk angling the stroller off the sidewalk for fear the wheel would detach and we could all tip right over. Thus, I parked the stroller on the sidewalk in the now pouring rain. As fast as possible, I began to ferry each carseat to the car while reassuring myself that glares from any strangers were unwarranted: they had no idea how much better this option was than the alternative parking lot plunge!

It took about 6 racing trips, back and forth, just to get everything in the car. To add insult to injury, the newly attached wheel fell off, again, just as the stroller was hoisted into the trunk. I began to curse the day we bought this thing (literally, less than a month ago) and put the car in reverse.

Since I don’t frequent coffee shops, claiming my energy levels would be intolerable if I consumed caffeine regularly, I wasn’t familiar with this parking lot. My current state may cause me to question this argument, but, nevertheless, I was backing up, in pouring rain, on a steeply inclined driveway.

As I pulled out, and down the hill, I found the lighting system rather peculiar. None of the traffic lights seemed to face me directly so it was nearly impossible to determine when I should enter traffic. After craning my neck, and wondering if I’d pulled forward so far that I was under a light, I realized there was a DO NOT ENTER sign to my right. Oh, and it was intended for people like me! Similar to the large arrow painted on the driveway indicating all traffic was to go in, NOT out. Aaah, got it. So, I backed up the hill, in the rain, redirected the car, and exited the lot.

In my head I was whipping off a letter to the company imploring them to consider better workmanship of their products. Surely, parents care more about the basics, such as wheels staying attached, than the numerous features advertised on this Rolls Royce of strollers. And, if they haven’t had many complaints to date, it’s probably because parents with multiple little kids are TOO BUSY to write these letters! We just need stuff to work. In fact, I have several ideas for how this stroller could be improved. Better yet, let’s start from scratch. I’m sure I could describe features that really matter to parents. Like, for example, 12 seat arrangements but no adjustable handlebar??? Really?

That’s about as far as I got. By this point I had reconnected with Spencer and my mental tirade came to an end. I knew, in all reality, this letter wouldn’t get written. Sadly, my expertise will be sitting idle until I’m discovered.

Now, Spencer is usually very good-natured. He befriends most everyone he crosses paths with and genuinely likes to keep the masses happy. However, by the time I relayed the story to him he was livid. And, before I knew it, he had keys in hand and was dashing out the door. I began to question that logic since heavy sheets of rain had been pouring down for over an hour, but he was gone.

All I know is that a fuming Spencer arrived at the store, looking like a drowned rat, with the stroller in one hand, the wheel in the other, demanding to see a manager.

We have a different stroller now.


  1. Ms. Mac, you have a wonderful way of putting unpleasant experiences into words and making them hilarious!! Thanks for the tears (from both laughing at you and crying for you)

    1. It's great to have "company" as I go through these things! Thanks for the feedback:)