When Big Papa and I were trying to decide what type of stroller to get, we had some specific things we wanted: a travel system, real wheels, a nice size storage basket, and preferably a jogger. We asked a lot of people and even "test drove" a few strollers (aka driving strollers around campus), before settling on the Baby Trend Expedition Travel System. After using it with our little Goob, it has definitely fulfilled our expectations and requirements. But even getting the stroller with all the bells and whistles I wanted did nothing to prepare me for the frustrations that come from pushing a stroller on campus.
When walking up to campus, the Goob and I go along some bumpy sidewalks. This isn't really a problem thanks to the stroller's fabulous wheels, but when it snows, nothing can help us. Many of the property owners on our street do not shovel their walks, and with no shovel attachment on our stroller, we easily get stuck. The people who do shovel their walks only shovel a path about a foot wide, making our peaceful walk to school very turbulent. Poor Goobie's head bounces up and down, and side to side. No naps for her on the way to school!
Once on campus the paths are clear of snow, but more perils await us -- perils lovingly referred to as "bludgers". Bludgers are students who get their kicks from darting in front of strollers, forcing me to pull my stroller to a violent stop. I always thought that you yielded to the larger person when walking around -- definitely me with the stroller -- but apparently not. I guess I could always run into the bludgers, but that probably wouldn't be very courteous...
Getting into buildings on campus is another tricky maneuver. First you have to find a ramp to get up the stairs (some buildings only have one), and then you have to get in the door. I've made good use of the buttons that open the doors automatically, but even that hasn't been perfect. I'll press the button and then another person, with no stroller, no wheelchair, crutches, or anything, will walk through it, giving me a "thanks for opening the door for me" smile. Hmm... well... your welcome... I guess... except now I have to push the button again so my baby and I can get inside.
But the worst thing about getting through doors are getting into the bathrooms. I breast-feed, so to feed the Goober I need to go to bathrooms that have a seat or couch. Most of these bathrooms will have double doors to go through or small hallways that are very inconvenient for strollers. To get the stroller in I push it in halfway, squeeze around it, keeping the first door open with my foot and opening the other with one hand so I can push it into the room with my other hand. My Twister skills have improved greatly since figuring out this maneuver.
Even with all the frustrations that come with having a stroller, I sure am glad to have it, and the Goob doesn't seem to mind it so much. In fact, it looks pretty comfy.