The hullabaloo surrounding the Park Slope Barnes & Noble's request for parents to park strollers upstairs in a designated area is exactly the kind of tempest in a neighborhood that brings out the haves (having children) and have nots (having no children). But what's fascinating is the dialog created on both the part of the parents who want to wield their strollers and those who want to be free of strollers while writing their Great American novel at the B&N. Here are some of our favorite comments on Brooklyn Record's post:
Rule of thumb: If your kid is too heavy to carry on your back (which you should be doing, instead of wheeling it around in a mini-SUV), then it's time the brat started to use his lil' legs. If he doesn't WANT to use his lil' legs to go shopping/socializing etc . . . with you, maybe you should postpone those activities until he can share in them with you.
And: ...I've seen a lot of pretty cool parents in Fort Greene & clinton hill. Maybe because the baby-amenities are not so readily available here (yet), it attracts a more hardy and sensible type of person. And they generally stick to themselves, strap their kids on like little koala bears. It's not a big deal to them!
Also: the other day, i was walking down the street with my kid in his stroller and somebody walking by (another parent with a stroller) told me i was being abusive cause i hadn't put the plastic rain cover down over the stroller and it was cold out and my kid was going to get frostbite. the thing is, he screams when i put that thing down, so i try to avoid it whenever possible.
We have to say this much: Keeping strollers upstairs near the door sounds reasonable, although there probably is a fear that the stroller will be stolen. Of course, this debate lends itself to a new area of products:
- Stroller Lojack
- Strollers with removable wheels or handle bars
- A "boot" for strollers
- Stroller alarms that sound like your child's crying
- Fake baby vomit so the stroller is super unattractive to would-be robbers
- Smelly diaper pail for strollers
The NY Sun points out that Tarzian West has banned strollers in its aisles - but it couldn't get away with making parents leave the strollers outside.
Photograph by Jean_Lafitte on Flickr