I was reading "A Modern Infant Armada", a humor column in Maclean's Magazine written by a fellow humor columnist. Writing about it now is a bit like a painter painting another painter or a singer singing about another singer (but it not like a cook cooking another cook.).
David Russell (yes, another humor columnist named David)laughs at his neighbor for parking both cars in the driveway to make room in the garage for four strollers for just one child. I laughed with him. Four strollers for just one baby is ridiculous, right?
However, David Russell becomes a parent himself, a condition that afflicts many unsuspecting homo sapiens, and he concludes that a call to his neighbor is warranted: "I need to see if he can help me get a fleet rate."
"Traitor!" I cried out. "Stroller monger!"
"Who's a traitor?" my wife asked as she walked in the room. "And just what is a stroller monger."
I resisted the obvious answer ? that a stroller monger is somebody who mongs strollers. "David Russell. He says that one stroller is enough for any child, but then he decides to buy an entire fleet."
"Say, we could have saved a bundle if we had applied for a fleet rate," my wife mused.
"What? We don't have four strollers."
My wife smiled. It was a sweet smile you could just fall in love with...if you did not know that it meant, "Oh yes we do!"
"We do not."
"My wife took out her counting fingers. "First there is the car seat," she said, pressing down the first finger. "We snap it into the stroller base whenever we go anywhere."
"OK, that's one."
"Then there is the SUV," she said, pressing down on a second finger. The "SUV" is a full sized stroller. We bought it when we were still squeezing it on a downtown apartment. With no storage space, it stood in the entrance area, blocking our path to the kitchen and any hope of escaping if the place caught fire. The SUV is the Hummer of strollers.
"OK, that is a stroller, I will grant you. But that's just two."
"We also have the fold-up stroller," my wife said, pressing down a third finger.
"But she's not even using it yet."
"She will soon and we have it now," my wife pointed out. "Then there is the old fold-up stroller we kept as a backup. That makes four."
"You can't count duplicates. That's double counting."
"It takes double the space," my wife insisted. "We have four strollers.
I stared in silence. Slowly it sunk in. Yes, there were two Davids who were humor columnists, but there were also two Davids who were stroller-mongers.
Uh-oh. My wife was smiling again. She was watched for just the right moment to strike. "Our baby has more seats in this house than anybody else has."
"That's ridiculous." No sooner had the words left my mouth than I remembered the boomerang rule. Words like ridiculous, ludicrous, silly, stupid and big mouth usually apply only to the person who speaks them.
My wife rhymed off our seats, "Three on the couch, two chairs in the living room, six in the kitchen, one in the bathroom and one at each of our desks. Plus the three red chairs Little Lady has in the living room. That makes 17."
"Ha!" I knew it couldn't be true.
Then came that deadly sweet smile again, the smile that said, "Take my hand while I lead you around the house to see why you should think first and shout 'Aha!' later."
In the kitchen stood the high chair and the sit-in play saucer. In her office sat the rocking chair that never rocked and the bouncy chair that never bounced. There was the swing seat, and there were two cushion seats for sitting upright on the floor. She opened the door to the enclosed porch, and there were the four strollers and the car seat she would soon be using.
"That makes 12," my wife tallied. "We each have fewer than six."
I thought really hard. "Aha!" I said again, proudly pointing out that this time I had thought first and shouted 'Aha!' later.. "We have three chairs on the balcony, and six on the patio. There are also six folding chairs for the fire pit."
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and there was no reason to forget all the outdoors furniture at a time like this. Unfortunately, there was no reason to forget arithmetic, either. Our baby still had the most seats in the house ? and outside the house, too.
"Uh, do toilet seats count?"
My wife smiled her sweet smile again, a smile that could only mean, "So, stroller monger, what do you have to say for yourself now?"
I knew that another humor columnist named David had just been labeled a traitor. Meekly, I mumbled. "Lawn tractor seat?"
About The Author
How many strollers does one child need? This scientific study has determined that stroller-mongers need four.
Q. My teenage son is turning 16 early next year... Read More
There is no doubt that mothers play an all-important leading... Read More
On a bright Sunday morning, a couple of weeks ago,... Read More
It's a familiar scene: Kids screaming at each other, complaining... Read More
Parents are losing their self-control to anger. A friend called... Read More
Suppose that you rearrange your life to homeschool your child... Read More
It can be difficult on all family members to have... Read More
"My son won't go to bed at night without a... Read More
As a parent, you probably know that the birthday party... Read More
Q. What's the right age to start giving a Bible... Read More
Parents play a critical role in their child's success. These... Read More
The distressed adolescent often has feelings of abandonment, emotional detachment,... Read More
How on earth can you help your family cope with... Read More
Moms, did you ever question your value as a role... Read More
This article on parenting is by a practicing relationship counsellor/therapist,... Read More
I never dreamed that I would be in a position... Read More
We've got spirit, yes we do! We've got spirit how... Read More
Mother's Day is important for children.This Mother's Day take note... Read More
Do you know what these famous people have in common?Alexander... Read More
There is no doubt that the benefits of being a... Read More
Moving house can be an emotional experience for adults, so... Read More
For over fifty years, public-school officials and politicians have tried... Read More
An address given by Rev. David B. Smith... Read More
The successful preschool idea behind many successful preschool learning centers... Read More
Maintain CommunicationEven though teens need to separate from their parents... Read More
'And all because of a damned cat! It's only a... Read More
"You can learn many things from children. How much patience... Read More
Q. My daughter is a junior in high school and... Read More
Q. My teenage son is turning 16 early next year... Read More
Everyone in a private practice setting who works with children... Read More
Parents, do you have children who do poorly in school,... Read More
Annie easily slipped into becoming the sole caregiver of her... Read More
Dear Sir, It was with some interest that I read... Read More
As a mother of two sets of fraternal boy/girl twins,... Read More
Diagnosing children and teens with ADHD can be a challenge.... Read More
Q. Things have been relatively calm and OK with our... Read More
If your child is to derive the benefits of physical... Read More
There is little doubt that reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic are... Read More
Cardiovascular endurance is one of the five health-related components of... Read More
You have two kids who are 14 months apart. How... Read More
Children are moral and make moral determinations... at least until... Read More
For parents, keeping our kids safe is a constant top... Read More
Q. What is the best way to teach safety awareness... Read More
Ever blown your top to your children, only to regret... Read More
Blink. That's all we did, blink, and summer is ending... Read More
Many parental units are not "techies" and openly admit they... Read More
Self esteem in an important quality for all children to... Read More
If you are a parent, then more than likely you... Read More
The public school system in America has become a dismal... Read More
1. Encourage Questions.Don't answer every question, instead ask what do... Read More