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Friday, 8 March 2013

Mevrouw, I think you forgot your children!

Now that we have the new daycare schedule, with the children at home in the mornings and at daycare during the afternoon, I tend to run the majority of my errands alone. This way, the probability of forgetting something is much smaller than usual. Although, I must confess that in my current hormonal state I always tend to forget something. But I digress.

Almost every day, I have to go grocery shopping. I don’t plan for the week, and prefer to buy smaller quantities and go to the store more often. However, there is one thing I need to buy in bulk, and that is milk. While I am not much of a milk drinker, and my children can only drink so much milk, my husband is a real milk monster. He consumes quantities of milk that scare me. My marriage practically depends on whether there is enough milk in the fridge, and I am damned if there isn’t.

So, I have to go buy lots of milk. And how do I carry these huge milk bottles? In plastic bags? No. In a backpack on my back? No! I don’t cycle and I don’t drive, so I had to come up with a solution that would be easy on my back. And when I found it, the simplicity of said solution blew my mind.

You see, I am a parent. And what does every parent have that can manage big weights without breaking said parent’s spine? A STROLLER. Simple and brilliant at the same time, isn’t it? A stroller has lots of space, wheels, and can be pushed so your spine can relax. It is so perfect.

But not everybody is so convinced. When I take my stroller grocery shopping, I get weird looks, people laugh at me and occasionally ask me whether I forgot my children. This is not a very polite question to ask a stranger, is it? And I wish I had a better answer. For example, I could pretend to panic and thank the kind person for telling me because I obviously haven’t noticed that my children went missing. I would love to see the look on their faces.

But I don’t do that. Instead, I calmly explain that the children are at daycare and that I’m just grocery shopping and I take the stroller so I don’t have to carry all that stuff with me. But if there’s one thing people associate with strollers it’s children, and they can’t deal with an empty stroller! Imagine the horror! A stroller without children inside! Because it is such a bad thing that a woman can go grocery shopping WITHOUT her children, while shamelessly reminding everybody that does have children, they're just not with her? Oh, the nerve!

I can’t think of a better answer to these people, so I’m using my blog as a platform to vent. Thank you blog for being there when I need you, and for allowing me my occasional rant about certain people. Yes, older gentlemen at Hoogvliet, I’m looking at you. Yes, older lady in the Reformhuis, I’m looking at you. Would you rather I carry all of these things in my hands? Would that be funnier to watch?

So, we have a deal. You get your entertainment, and I get to keep my spine healthy. But it would be much nicer if you weren’t so entertained by this situation, because clearly I am not. But since I don’t really care about what you think, I’ll just let it slip and confess this to thousands of people on the Internet. You won’t read this blog anyway.

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  1. Until the baby is born you can gesture to your belly and say, "I just want to be really prepared, you know?"

    I used to have this problem, too, transporting my daughter to and from preschool (she could walk that far, but she couldn't last the trip home without falling asleep and I couldn't carry her). I had to take the stroller with me, so ended up making a lot of trips with an empty stroller. Got a lot of funny looks, some "Did you forget something?" and one nosy cashier who would NOT accept that I had considered all the options and this was really the best one.

    I always thought it would be fun to put a doll in there and act like it was a real baby.

    1. Hi Melissa! Yes, it's a very good option for shopping. I just don't see why people even care what you do with the stroller? And, yes, I suppose I could tell them what you suggest, after all when you first get a car, you want to try it out, and this thing is supposed to carry your child in it so you want to make sure it's really good, right? And the idea with the doll-brilliant! Thanks for the tips :)

    2. Or you could say nervously, "The doctor/midwife said it could be ANY TIME now" (and imply you might just need the stroller to carry the baby before you get home from the store...)

      I understand the people looking or making jokes, because it IS funny to walk around with a stroller and without a child, but when it gets into hostile third-degree questioning something has really gone wrong.

    3. Thanks for the tips!This one is pretty cool, too. NO, I don't think anybody means it as an insult, it's just somewhat annoying if you have to hear this all the time. And do I have a choice in how I am going to carry my groceries?Not really? When I explain that I am just grocery shopping and my children are safely at daycare,people usually smile and acknowledge that it's very convenient inedeed.

  2. Funny post! Where I live in Spain it is commonplace to see empty pushchairs around. Parents push their kids to daycare, then push the pushchair to a bar for second breakfast ;)

    1. Thank you very much for your comment and welcome :)I love the idea of women going for a second breakfast after they brought their children to daycare. Maybe I should do the same? Not a bad idea at all!


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