I asked a question regarding use of strollers in Twitter some days back to hear what other moms have to say and I’m quite overwhelmed by the replies I got.
The question I asked: “Should I bring a stroller on our long haul flight?” and “Moms, how do you feel about big kids in strollers?” (because I don’t like it)
I got replies like: Let the kid walk, you’re making her lazy! or “that is the cause of obesity, our stroller-centered society!” or “let her sit on a trolley or wheeled suitcase!”
The misunderstanding is just shocking.
My daughter loves walking, I’m not making her lazy and how can I use a wheeled suitcase when on layover? My wheeled suitcase is checked in and I can only claim it when we’re in our final destination.
I was of course, referring to our long travel next month where I will be travelling with my daughter (statistics: 5 years and 9 months, 20 kilos, 120 cms in height, long arms and legs) to Japan via Singapore. We have to change planes at Changi Airport in Singapore and again at Narita Airport in Japan. The boarding gate distance is unknown but the last time we transferred planes in our previous travels, it was more than a kilometer long!
For the first time EVER last year, when Pristine was 4 years old, we bought a stroller.
I was travelling with her alone and some moms suggested I use a stroller to carry her around – after all, it’s not always a guarantee that she’s perky and awake the time we land. It’s not always a guarantee that I’ll have lots of time available to transfer from one plane to the other. The other plane could arrive late, leaving me having to sprint to the next boarding gate with a heavy, sleeping child in my arms (they’re just heavier when they’re sleeping, are they!)!
In short, I was glad to have brought the stroller with me last year. But this year, she’s older and I feel awkward having to shuttle her around in a stroller but at the same time, I am worried about the ‘airport runs’ that I have to make so I asked the question.
To make things clear, we don’t use the stroller when we go to malls or wherever. It is even gathering dust because we don’t use it at all. We didn’t use a stroller when she was a baby so I feel awkward using it now.
Pristine is a very mobile child. The reason we didn’t have a stroller when she was younger was that she always preferred to walk so, it was kind of hurting to hear comments like she’s being lazy or I’m being lazy because I don’t even like using strollers if only I didn’t need it that much. Last year even if we had the stroller, here’s what happened so I guess she’s not a fan of being in it too.
For me, I’m not a fan of the stroller because of these reasons:
- The need to practice folding/unfolding as quick as possible
- The need to search for an elevator since I find it dangerous to get on escalators with a stroller (I know a lot of parents do that all the time but I’m a sissy, so ok, I’m afraid I’ll fall coz I’m clumsy like that)
- The need to strap/unstrap my child every time
- I can’t see her face when she’s seated in the stroller
- The need to disassemble the stroller when boarding the plane
- The need to assemble it again after landing
- The awkwardness of shuttling an empty stroller when she’s in the mood to walk (when she’s not sleepy or tired from sitting for 12 hours, she’s into lots of walking and sees every airport waiting area as a huge play place!)
Ranting aside, Twitter is a great social networking tool that offers a lot more than just pure fun-whiling-away-the-time kind of things. I’ve learned a lot tweeting. Messages are sent and received across very quickly, in 140 characters or less. It is less daunting than having to write a full blog post. But somewhere along that brevity advantage comes risks – the risk to misinterpret and be misinterpreted.
Bottomline, I won’t be using the stroller in our next month’s travel. I’ve tried travelling with it and now, it’s time to travel without it. Besides, my girl is already big and she told me I can wake her up when we land (in case she’s sleeping) and she’ll walk. Let’s all hope she keeps her promise!