Why did I wait so long?Because of the age separation between my kids, I have almost always had to think critically about EACH errand. How am I going to maintain control over BOTH kids AND accomplish what needs to be accomplished. The grocery store was always the BIGGEST fiasco. When Ben was a newborn Kayleigh rode in the front of the cart and Benjamin's carrier was in the back. If I had lots of groceries and they wouldn't fit around him, I had to strap him to me in the Moby and let Kayleigh ride up front. THEN when Benjamin could steady his head, I carried him in the Baby Bjorn and Kayleigh stayed in the cart. By the time Ben was 5 months old and well over 20 lbs, I couldn't carry him (it wasn't just the strain on my back: lengthwise he kicked my KNEES!!! and his head hit my chin) in the Baby Bjorn any longer. So, we switched him into the cart, and Kayleigh walked alongside, holding the cart. Since then we've discovered the "fun carts" (aka the impossible to steer without crashing repeatedly ones) with the benches for older children, she plays her iXL on the bench while Benjamin rides in the front of the cart. Well, at any rate, grocery shopping was always a well-oiled machine. BUT any other errand or store that didn't provide shopping carts was a nightmare. Benjamin is simply TOO BIG to carry on a hip and shop. PLUS, if Kayleigh so much as steps out of line, I have no hands to grab her unless I drop the basket or items I'm carrying. And either way, I'm chasing her with a 25+ lb infant.
The drs office was especially difficult. When I went in for their 6 month and 2 year joint check up, I carried Benjamin (he hasn't fit into the removable car seat carrier since he was 4.5 months old) and Kayleigh held my hand. This was fine (because Kayleigh sat in a chair playing games and reading for most of the appointment) UNTIL shots. I totally hadn't thought about shots. I couldn't set Benjamin anywhere while Kayleigh got hers, and I couldn't put Kayleigh down after her shots while Benjamin had to be held for his ... SIGH .... The nurses helped and held a child who was waiting. Nevertheless, I vowed that next time I went in, I'd have a better solution.
Not a single one of our 3 (yes, 3 strollers) was a viable solution. The offices are too small for the double to fit through, the carseat attachment is too bulky once its inside, the single jogger doesn't turn sharp angles well (and is still bulky). ENTER: need for a 4th stroller. Steve didn't care what the cost was, it's ridiculous that one family, in a small home, should have 4 strollers (and in his defense they are truly EVERYWHERE around our house). Well, I waited patiently, at each viable opportunity, mentioning how convenient having a thin umbrella stroller would be at just this precise moment. Steve always rolled his eyes but finally, he gave in.
We purchased a $16 collapsible umbrella stroller. It's as long as a golf umbrella but truly slides right underneath the back seat of my van. Ahhh the bulky strollers are gone and I am now equipped for the drs office, the mall, errands into school or businesses without carts, AND I can keep my back seat up all of the time ... sigh ... just in time for tennis season. And guess what? I'm not the only one who loves it.
Benner slept through half of Air Jam (don't ask me how ... I thought he'd wake up with the screaming and the loud music, but nope, out like a light) and chilled out while we ate at Taco Bob's that night. Not a bad first two outings. The only lingering question is ... how long can my big man fit into an umbrella stroller with a 40 lbs weight limit?