So it happened again today. I was pushing the stroller with 4 year-old MF sitting inside while 2 year-old MY trotted along at the side. A stranger came up to MF and told him, “Aiyoh… You’re so big, why are you sitting in the stroller? Should let didi (younger brother) sit.”
I have lost count of the number of times I have encountered a similar situation. Remarks along the lines of, “So shameful, didi so small not sitting, why are you sitting?” MF was not someone who would talk openly about his feelings or rebutt a stranger, so he would just sit there without a reaction and subject himself to these unnecessary insults. I would, however, come to MF’s defense and politely tell the stranger that I was the one who asked MF to sit inside.
I am a SAHM of two extremely energetic boys, and very often I need to go out alone with them, be it sending MF to school, or running some errands, or just going for an outing. I invested in a Peg Perego P3 stroller for this purpose, because it allowed one kid to sit in front and the other to stand at the back and it was not as big or bulky as a twin stroller. In fact, the Peg Perego P3 could even accommodate two kids sitting inside together.
As to why I even needed a stroller, umm… Try bringing two wild boys out on your own, taking public transport while lugging a heavy diaper bag and going back with a few kg worth of groceries without a stroller.
So IDEALLY, our outings with the stroller should look like this:
Or if MF really wanted to sit, maybe something like this:
Or like this:
I would be more than happy if the above scenarios happen! My errands would take half the time to complete!
But if you notice, those photos were taken when MY was not able to walk yet. Once MY was able to walk, all he wanted to do was walk. He refused to get into the stroller most of the time. Have you ever tried making a 2 year old get into a stroller against his will?? Sure, I could con him into sitting with food bait, but there was only so much he could eat. I could try to distract him with the smartphone or tablet, but that would probably just attract equally sarcastic remarks. So when MY refused to sit in the stroller, I would ask MF to sit inside instead (because I cannot have BOTH boys running wild). MF, being obedient, would sit inside cooperatively. But some stranger just had to come along and call him shameful. How would a 4 year old feel??
So to the strangers out there wondering why it was my elder son in the stroller and not the younger one, my elder son was NOT being shameful. He was being HIGHLY OBEDIENT and COOPERATIVE, making his mother’s life easier by staying inside the stroller.