I have long since put my schlepping days behind me, but today, I made an exception for my nine-month pregnant friend Kara in NJ. Not only is she operating with a handicap, but she’s always crazy generous with me, so I decided to not bother her husband and her, and return her stroller myself via subway.
The stroller itself is an amazing piece of work with large wheels, sturdy bassinet, NASA-strength frame — in other words, colossal. I put Kara’s baby gift, a baby football, and other sundry items she had loaned me in the part where the baby would normally go, making the whole thing a push cart special.
I’ve never brought a stroller on the subway before, I’ve always carried Baby in his baby backpack pouch, because of the nightmarish mix of dirty looks and heavy lifting. Turns out that is an accurate assessment. Honestly, the physical demands of the day wasn’t so bad, but the dirty looks galore were hard to take. There was one point when I was slowly making progress up a long flight of stairs. A woman volunteered to help me carry the stroller. So sweet! I told her she didn’t have to because it was just my stuff, no baby, but I think it must have been difficult to understand me in my awkward position, over the mountain of transported items, because when we got to the platform, she peeked in, saw no baby, got ticked off, and walked away cursing at herself.
At the PATH station, there was no exit for handicapped/stroller people so with as much He-Man grunting I could muster, I lifted the NASA stroller into the air above the turnstiles. Sadly, I’m not that strong, so I got stuck. A very nice senior citizen man helped me untangle myself and haul the buggy up the last flight of stairs. He actually helped me up two flights of stairs. I told him he should actually run when he sees someone like me.
But finally, I made it and swore I would never do this again.
My friend Becca was trying to make me feel better, saying that the dirty looks were probably in my head, but then I said, “The only people who use strollers as push carts are homeless people,” and she agreed.
P.S. On Thursday, a woman offered me her seat on the subway. I think it was because I was reading a baby sleep book (at least I hope that’s why), because I feel like I’m actually exhibiting a waist line these days. Yay ambiguous insult!