A Laptop Naptime Mama

Monday, September 24, 2007

If Men Did the Strolling

I stumbled on this picture the other day while procrastinating on the internet. My first reaction was “How crazy!” Something about the woman being perched on that weird motorized contraption, trying to maneuver a stroller, whilst in the middle of a road, just gave me shivers. What if a car screeched around the corner at any minute? Would she be able to hop off and scoot the stroller out the way in time?

But then, as I looked at the picture some more, I couldn’t help feeling a growing respect for the mama. After all, there’s been many a time, I’ve been trudging home from our favorite park (which is over twenty blocks away), my feet aching, but the stroller too clumsy and loaded up to feasibly take the subway or a cab; these many times I’ve fantasized about some kind of motorized sit-on stroller much like those snappy little sit-on lawn mowers. How great would that be?! Zipping around the city, trundling up and down sidewalks, Benny’s forty pound heft strapped to some sort of seat at the front, me at the back, steering us where we want to go, the wind in my hair…Plus, when those nasty big cars and cabs speed across crosswalks, as they do so often in the NY, I would be able to put the pedal to the metal and Benny and I would have some chance of survival.

Of course, its just a dream. Something so clever, useful, and kind on mamas is probably a long time coming. I don’t want to generalize here, but I’d imagine the majority of people designing strollers these days are men. Most of the people pushing strollers are women. I’m not implying male stroller designers don’t have a clue. Sure, there’s the bugga-boo which (from my one brief experience pushing one in a store) corners like its on rails. And now there are a whole slew of other sexy looking strollers on the market which have natty wheels, clever hidden pockets, adjustable seats, sexy colors. But do any of these strollers save a mama’s tired feet? No. Would the bugga-boo help you zip away from an oncoming fire truck? No.

The designers of strollers aren’t generally doing the pushing and thus they don’t pay much heed to the pusher! If men were doing the pushing, however, we might see all kinds of sexy, zuped-up, motorized strollers on the market.

If you don’t believe me, just think about lawn mowers for a second. Men are generally the ones doing the mowing, they are also the ones (in general) doing the designing, and thus there are all kinds of wild, fun, and fast sit-on mowers to choose from. They know the hard work involved in mowing a lawn and therefore the design machines that will help them with the task.

In the patriarchy in which we live, it seems that the super-stroller-machine which I often fantasize will only come about when men are the dominant stroller pushers or when women get to storm the design studios.

In the meantime, I’m off to buy yet another pair of running shoes to keep my stroller-pushing feet comfy and blister-free, quick and nimble …

Don’t forget to come visit me at me “Naptime Writer” blog at joannerendell.blogspot.com.


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