As a mother I understand how tiring it can be to carry a sleeping child in your arms and the seeming convenience of a stroller seem to offer relief of the burden however some parents take the convenience a bit too far. One evening while waiting for the bus on the last leg of my trip home from work I saw a South Asian woman with her daughter in a stroller. The little girl was clearly too big for the stroller yet there she was with her knees almost to her chin and arms stuffed to the sides, head to the side as she slept and the mother struggled to push the stroller. I thought ‘good Lord, can’t she see that the child is too big for that thing’? As we waited for the bus the child appeared to fall into a deeper sleep by the apparent slouching of her body. The mother let go of the stroller and it almost tipped over, as the child’s weight tip the balance of the stroller, the mother quickly righted the child and rebalanced the stroller.
I shook my head thinking, ‘you need to hold onto that thing if you insist she is going to stay in it’. The mother let go of the stroller and took a seat within a few moments the child’s body began to slouch forward again heavy with sleep. The mother paid atention and before long the child and the stroller tumbled over. The little girl began screaming, the mother jumped up to assisted and sooth her only to put her back into the stroller and again let go of it. She sat there oblivious to the impending disaster. I shook my head and held my tongue.
The bus came and the woman looked to other passengers to assist her in lifting the heavy child and stroller into the bus, once inside she sat and again let go of the stroller. The bus pulled out of the subway and the stroller moved forward, I quickly stopped it with my foot and looked very seriously at the mother, she was getting on my last nerve, again I held my tongue. Within a few moments the little girl was leaning forward in heavy sleep and I thought, ‘this child will fall again if’…. before I could finish the thought the child and the stroller tumbled to the floor of the bus. At this point I was so angry I moved back a few seats to contain myself because I just wanted to slap the woman. I simply prayed for patience, I was releaved when the bus to reach my destination and could have wept with joy just wanting to escape.
The one grace I could give the mother was that this time she held on to the stroller for the duration of the ride. As luck would have it (or the faiths testing my endurance), the woman rang the bell to get off at the same stop. The driver made no move to assist her in exiting the bus and she struggled with the weight of the sleeping child and the stroller to leave the bus. She set the stroller on the sidewalk and the child and the stroller promptly tumbled over again. The little girl erupted with screams and I just stared at the mother hard, sucked my teeth making a loud sound and walked off.
I couldn’t believe the woman’s stupidity, the child had already fallen out of the stroller more than twice and she continued to put the child back in the too small stroller. The little girl was so big for the ridiculously small thing. She was at least 60/65 pounds and looked like she was folded in it like an accordian. Hell the mother didn’t learn a damn thing from the child's prior falls and the poor little girl continued to pay the price as she fell out hitting of the stroller yet again this time hitting pavement. The child cried painfully while the mother attempted to sooth her only to shoved her back in the blasted contraption. I looked at her so hard and for so long I think i saw her shrink a little.
This idiocy of too big children in little strollers seems to be a growing trend here in Toronto. All these parents have these big children in these little strollers and they wait expectantly for someone to help them lift it. What ever happened to letting the children walk? I have witnessed some parents trying to pass the kids off as 3 or 4 so they don't have to pay the bus fare (60 cents) for the child. Some driver’s hip to the tactic would clock them asking the parent for proof of the childs age.
Heck when my daughters were growing up they walked because lifting those things plus the weight of a child was hell on my back and difficult to maneuver on the buses and streetcars with bars in the front entrance. If they were tired I allowed them to sleep on me in the bus however when we neared our stop I woke them and we exited the bus hand in hand.