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The Baby Thing I Can't Give Up

Photograph by Getty Images

The other day, another mother of an almost 4-year-old was telling me how she never uses the stroller anymore. I nodded in agreement. I mean, seriously, what kind of mother still carts her kids around like babies when they are totally capable of walking?

Um, ok, me.

Even though I agreed that it's better for our twin preschoolers to walk, the thought of being without my City Mini Double gives me the chills. After all, it's so much more than just a stroller. In many ways, it's my lifeboat.

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On any given day it holds my bag, their snacks and drinks, water shoes, sand pails, ingredients for tonight's dinner and possibly a bottle of wine. It's like a 100-pound caravan that I push.

Without it,where would I put all my stuff?

There's a peace of mind knowing that if one (or both) of the kids is melting down, or being unsafe or just doing any of the normal crazy shit that happens on a daily basis, I can throw them into the stroller, strap them in and catch my breath for a second.

Not to mention that, aside from the car, it's the only place either one of my kids will ever take a nap.

Also, I simply can't imagine getting my twins to walk with me—in the same direction—on some of the regular trips we take. Living in Brooklyn, we walk almost everywhere. Preschool is a good 25 minutes away, and that's walking at a fast clip. When I meet my husband at the YMCA so one of the twins can go swimming, that's another 20-minute stroll. These walks are nothing to me—just another part of daily life.

But I can imagine that if my little guy or gal were walking alongside me, a short walk would turn into an all-day adventure. We'd be stopping every two blocks to smell flowers, pick up sticks or investigate used toys people put out on the curb. We would need a team of supports to line up along our path and cheer us on, offering small Dixie cups of Gatorade. Inevitably, I'd end up carrying someone. It would be a nightmare.

But then I remembered that popular Tumblr TooBigForStroller, which featured pics of big kids being pushed by their parents, the simple directive "Walk." obscuring their faces. The pictures are hilarious, and I definitely don't want to be pushing a pair of preteens around our neighborhood.

So for now, we'll attempt to walk shorter distances and use the stroller less and less. But, to be honest, giving up the stroller completely right now seems unthinkable.

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While I admire that stroller-free mom, for now we'll be keeping our wheels. In addition to all that it does for the twins, I've found that it makes a really great chaise lounge while they're playing in the sandbox.

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