I am good at many things, collapsing and uncollapsing strollers in not one of them. I have a greater chance of grasping quantum physics or solving a quadratic equation in my head than getting a stroller to fold up or open back out without serious help and reminding myself, and the two year old in tow, that I know every four letter word under the sun…even poop. It shouldn’t be that hard, and yet, it is.
I had given up, something I do not easily or readily do, trying to figure out how to collapse the large stroller my friend’s toddler has. The stroller weighs more than the kid and has so many buttons and knobs I wouldn’t have been able to figure it out even with step-by-step directions and pictures. The toddler, who has recently taken to emphatically saying, “You can do it,” when someone is doing something difficult, had stopped even attempting to coax me on during my last attempts with this stroller. Even the two year old had lost faith in my stroller folding abilities, not good.
Then, they got a new stroller. This one is lightweight, small, and designed to be collapsed and carried, it comes with a carrying strap for crying out loud. I got a lesson in how to collapse it the other day, I was not shown how to open it back out. I managed to collapse it with relative ease. Opening it up must be a piece of cake, until faced with a two-year-old wanting to go out and a folded stroller. What felt like hours of struggling, thinking I found the button or piece of plastic to move for an instant stroller effect finally produced a stroller that was open, but not staying open. I needed instructions, the manual, the two-year-old trots to the table and back with the assembly instruction booklet. The damn thing tells me EVERYTHING except how to open the stroller from the folded position. I shake the stroller, I use my indoor voice, but it is a stern, angry, I’m at the end of my tether indoor voice. I finally call my friend. I need to step on this stupid plastic pedal, and hard, she tells me. I hand the phone over to the little one, she tells her mom, “Djuna got angry.” Awesome. I clarify that I was angry at the stroller.
Finally we are on our way. Our adventure to my house has begun. I collapse the stroller with ease at my place. When it is time to leave my house it is also time to unfold the stroller. I take a deep breath. Low and behold I manage to open up the stroller with only minor effort. The two-year-old starts jumping up and down, clapping her hands, and screaming, “You did it! Yay!” This goes on for quite some time. It is only then, in the midst of a slightly too long congratulatory party for my new ability to unfold the stroller that I realize just how inept I am with strollers.