This weekend I noticed a transition from Snugli men to solo stroller pushers. On my way to the gym Saturday and throughout my 60 minutes on an elliptical trainer near the front with a view of the sidewalk on Court Street, I spied no less than ten men alone with their strollers, and those were only noted when I started paying attention.
Many clearly did not know how to operate the baby buggies, wavering off center, navigating stairs too cautiously, standing absent-mindledly while fiddling with a tripod, blocking entire made-narrower-by-snow-piles sidewalks until I stomped loudly enough on approach to get them into high gear.
Are they giving the moms a break, a little alone time or do they have weekend custodial visits? I would have to say the former, a stroller-sized tot (well, the issue of big kids in Brooklyn strollers is a whole other topic that I had no idea was an issue till I noticed it coming up as a typical complaint in the online parent/childless wars. Evidence of coddling. I have distinct memories as a toddler of being dragged around on foot with my mom running errands in Burlingame, California because she didn’t have a car, or maybe it was that she didn’t drive a stick. I still don’t know how to drive a standard transmission and my mom got exasperated trying to teach me in high school, so obviously she learned at some point. I know I couldn’t have been older than four because that’s when we moved to Oregon. I enjoy bringing up these tales of woe to dismay my mom. Once I kept feeling like there was sand in my shoes and complaining about it, when we finally got back to our apartment, I took off my shoes, shook them and nothing came out. When I was older I realized that it was pins and needles from my feet falling asleep. I’m not sure what that says about the circulatory health of a child who loses sensation in her feet from walking long distances. I would also get very hot and thirsty and ask for water during these journeys. I was told, “Drink your saliva.” That actually makes me laugh now and goes a long way in explaining my callousness towards humanity.) seeming too fresh for cracks to have already formed in a relationship. Especially the aggressively planned families of this corner of Brooklyn.
Though, you never know. In my earlier days in this building, a pregnant-and-young-for-Carroll Gardens couple (not sure if they were married or not, the entire apt. is partnered up but all parties have their own last names on the mailboxes) moved in upstairs and the woman moved out sans baby not so long after it was born. The guy quickly got a new girlfriend, too, and would spend romantic dates pushing a stroller around the neighborhood together. Single men with babies are total chick-bait over here.