Friday, September 28, 2007

The Perfect Stroller... and finding contentment...

May I just say that I have spent hours, literally, trolling the Net in search of the Perfect Stroller. There have been many evenings that I've sat, reading user reviews, hoping that this will be the One. I have now discovered why so many women I know have three or four different strollers. At first, I thought it was because they were eager to run out and throw their money away on multiple strollers that looked just the same to me. Then I became a mom, and I learned the truth. One stroller will not do everything you'd like to do when you have a little one who can't walk, and you want to get out of the house more than twice a month.

There are multiple activities that you do with baby, and it's a little bit hard to do them all with the same stroller. For long walks over bumpy terrain, you need a stroller with big wheels and good shocks. I have that in my Graco Quattro Tour. Check. But, this same stroller is big and bulky, and it weighs about 30 pounds. It knocks into everything in a small store, so mall trips can be very frustrating, much less the thought of hefting it in and out of a car without bruising oneself. So, the Graco Quattro Tour is not the only stroller on Mommy's wish list. One also would like a smaller stroller that can go through security at an airport, is lightweight for lifting in and out of a car, and in my case, has a nice, large basket for hauling all my/baby's stuff, and has a cup holder for the ever present Dr. Pepper. This stroller should also not be as ugly as sin, should not be incredibly cheap or flimsy looking, and should not be made by Italians who want to take many, many $$$$ for it. =)

Let's face it, ladies, your everyday stroller says something about you, the mom. If your stroller is really old and really dirty, it reflects on your appearance, just as not brushing your hair would. If your stroller is really, really expensive, say, a Bugaboo for example, it says that you have money, and you want to spend it on the nicest baby products on the market. You're probably also wearing an outfit from Ann Taylor, and your nails are done. If you push a middle of the line Graco which is relatively clean, you're a normal gal without much to prove. If you have the lightest stroller around, then you're a minimalist... Etc., etc. Yes, these are gross generalizations, but I think there's some truth to them. At least a little, anyway.

I found the perfect stroller for me for the infant stage. I wore it completely out, and I'll be using it until David prys it from my fingers and makes me move on to something else. It's a Baby Trend Snap n' Go. I LOVE this stroller. I want to marry it. It does everything I have wanted it to do, and more. It is small and narrow, so it doesn't knock into anything in stores. It has a huge basket that I can access from the front or back. (This basket used to hold 50 pounds of groceries every week in D.C. I'm not kidding.) It weighs about 8 lb.!!! And it has two cup holders and a compartment for my keys. It also cost $50. The folks at Baby Trend are genius' for making this item. And then they stopped being so smart. They don't make anything even close to as cool for when you get past the infant carrier stage. So, here I am, looking for something that I can like just as much, that does the same things that I've come to love about my Snap N' Go. Something that doesn't cost a small fortune, and that isn't ooogly. Because I want to be a stylin' stroller mommy, I confess. I think I may have found it. Now to convince David that I need it instead of a $15 umbrella stroller...

But I was strolling Seth this morning on the walking trail, enjoying the greenery all around me, and plotting how I could get my hands on this new stroller. All of a sudden, I realized that I was so intent on this line of thought that I was ignoring the beauty all around me. I thought, "You know, do I put even half this much concentrated thought into appreciating all the wonderful things that I already have? Instead of spending all this thought on obtaining something, I need to be thanking God for what I have already." After all, it won't be the end of the world if I don't get a new stroller. I have sooo much already. So I stopped thinking about that, and I started praising God for all the good gifts He has already given. I thought, "I have a great stroller that I'm pushing right now, when many in the world don't have a thing to use to transport their babies except their two arms. I have a beautiful little home, a lovely back yard, a nice minivan, the ability to stay home with Seth..." What more do I really need? I have been so blessed. More stuff won't make me truly happy. Sure, it might make things a little more convenient sometimes, but I have so many conveniences already. God has already spoiled me completely rotten.

This morning was a good wake up call for counting my blessings. How about you? How many moments of the day do you spend planning and plotting for the next item that you think would make your life so much better? How much of that time is wasted time? What should you be thinking about more instead?

5 comments:

Kiddies in the Sun said...

I too have spent many hours searching for the "perfect stroller". It doesn't exist I now believe! I don't know, maybe the ones that cost $600 would actually be perfect, but I doubt it! No, I do have my eye on a chico stroller, about $35 at Target. It looks like it might be what I'm seeking right now in a stroller! Good luck!
And as you said, we have so many blessings that even if we don't get our dream strollers or other baby stuff, we can certainly live without it. Life will go on and our babies will grow up fine without them!

Momma B. said...

This is what we have been focusing on this week in our leadership/mentorship program that Dan started in the youth group. Isn't it neat when he posts reminders all around us to help get the point across?! Thanks for being one of my reminders to be Thankful! Love you!

Shannon said...

Have you found a stroller that you actually like for that post-carrier-but-can't-walk-yet stage??? I'm searching too and haven't found anything I like, so if you have, DO SHARE! :) I'm almost resigned to just getting a regular cheap umbrella stroller and trying out my skills as a pack-mule...

Sherry said...

Hey Ellen,
I don't actually have anything to say about a stroller since I don't have kids yet, but I did want to let you know that I still enjoy reading your blog and hearing about what's been going on with you. I don't know whether you would care or not, but just in case you do, I also wanted to tell you that I have given in and started my own blog. I just have a few posts on there right now, but if you would like to hear about what all has been going on with us, check it out at www.davidandsherryh.blogspot.com.
I hope all is well with you there and I hope to hear from you soon!
Take care,
Sherry

Queenzgal said...

Hello Ellen,

I have been through plenty of strollers. I am a peg perego fan, but they are expensive. Graco has just come out with a new stroller called the "IPO". I absolutely love this stroller. When looking for a stroller, make sure it is wide enough for your son and that his feet won't drag on the ground or hit the wheels as he grows. I learned that lesson. I had gotten a stroller when my son was younger and as he got older, his shoulders would be hunched in and his feet hitting the wheels. One other thing I like about the IPO stroller is that it helps when you are tall because the handles are longer than the ordinary strollers. Lots of luck in stroller hunting if you decide to buy one.

Diane in NY (Wendy's friend)