Thursday, March 25, 2010

Three's a Crowd

I have been dreading this time since Penny was born. I knew it was coming, I had just hoped it wouldn't come so soon. Actually, I was hoping to somehow avoid it altogether, as unrealistic as that was.

You see, we need a triple stroller, and I really don't want one. Much like some men resist buying a minivan (Sean), I resist the very thought of a triple stroller. It is somehow too frumpy mom-ish. Three kids in one stroller is just too much. I don't care how you break it down, triplets, a set of twins and a singleton, or three closely spaced singletons, like mine, triple strollers are for people who got big families fast. You see them passing you in the mall and you just know those parents have no lives. Their house is all about kids all the time. Although my life is pretty much kids all the time, I resist an object that flashes like a neon sign, I have no life.

However, if we don't get a triple stroller soon, I really will have no life. My one break during the day is to take all three kids on a walk after nap. Up until the last two days, I have buckled the older two in our double stroller (that I loathe), hooked them up with a snack and a drink, lashed Penny to my chest with the Baby Bjorn, grabbed my cell phone, and walked for thirty to forty minutes (depending on how many times I have to stoop to pick up a wayward shoe or cup). It's my "me time".

Penny now weighs around seventeen pounds, and she's getting long, too. She's really heavy to carry for that long and her little legs flop between mine with each step, so I feel like I'm tripping all the time.

So, for the last couple days I have tried to devise a way for the double stroller to hold all three kids. Samantha is getting bigger and she always wants to walk instead of ride in the stroller, so I thought, maybe she could walk with me some (bonus burning off some of her abundant energy), and stand on the standing platform that the back seat has a little if she needed to rest. Samantha was excited about the prospect, so I've been giving it a try. Penny, in her car seat, attached to the front seat of the stroller, Ella buckled in to the rear-facing back seat, Samantha by my side with the admonishment to keep up.

Yesterday, Samantha walked all the way to the end of our driveway before announcing she was too tired to continue and hopped onto the platform to eat her snack. Today, she didn't even pretend to want to walk. She wanted to eat her snack and ride.

Although I have managed to make it for the two mile walk both days, I am in pain. The weight distribution of the stroller, with sixty pounds of kid over the back seat is just too much. Maybe if I lived in an area where I didn't have to pop the stroller up and down the curbs to cross streets and the walk wasn't so hilly, I could manage. But since the handicap accessible ramps to cross streets are halfway up the block (who planned that?) and I have no intention of walking halfway up the block and back just to cross the street, I am forced to lift the back half of the stroller up every time we cross a street. It's killing my back. It's also very crowded on that back seat and there has been fighting and grabbing of each other's food and screaming both days.

We need some physical separation. I'm not sure the weight distribution on a triple stroller will save my back any, but I'm hopeful. So, I'll probably persist with this double stroller for a couple more weeks until either the stroller or my back breaks. Then it's off to find the dreaded triple stroller, announcing to everyone I pass that my life revolves completely around little people right now.

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