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Former Secret Service Wanted

Anybody know any private security firms that specialize in stroller walks?

Madeleine’s been so alert and interested in her surroundings recently that she’s imitating an owl, twisting her head as far around in a perfect circle as she can go while I’m wearing her in the Bjorn.  So I thought it might be time to crack open the “big girl” stroller, our forward-facing Maclaren.

Up to this point, I’ve been using our infant car seat attached to one of those universal stroller bases, and it’s got some good things going for it.  Maddie and I can maintain eye contact, for one; I can take her from car to errands quite easily for another; and the stroller base we picked out is surprisingly light and maneuverable.  But she’s hit the point where she’s straining to sit up all the time, so we cracked open the Maclaren for the first time.  I strapped her in, dropped down the bonnet, tucked up a blanket, and we popped confidently down the stairs of our apartment, heading out to meet the day.

 At first, everything was great.  Wow!  Look at the trees!  Wow!  Feel the sun!  Wow!  This stroller is so easy to handle, so lightweight!  But then we hit the enemy:  the Outside World.  Suddenly, every stranger on the New York street could see my baby girl; there she was, exposed to the world.  I thought I received stares and comments in the old stroller, but they were the tip of the Uninvited Opinions iceberg!  Two strangers told me she looked underdressed, one in the form of a kind question; “Do you think she’s wearing enough clothing, dear?”  One soul informed me she was overdressed and would melt down.  And all of them loomed above her with what appeared to me to be germ-laden hands, hovering and ready to grasp her in their (in my mind) diseased embrace.

But the people weren’t even the worst of the terrors.  No, that distinction’s left, literally, to the dogs.  Every Chihuahua and Great Dane within a two-mile radius received news of Madeleine’s outward-facing status and rushed to meet her.  None actually climbed up on her lap, but only because owners intervened at the last possible split second.

I am so used to being Madeleine’s first line of defense; the sentry that guards the gate to her presence.  And here she was, exposed for all the world to see and comment upon and interfere with.  She had become the picket line, drawing the enemy out and exposing their numbers, while I was the general in the back, out of harm’s way.  I know she has to grow up, and I know I’ve got to expand the borders I’ve built around her, but it’s so hard!  And this is just a literal walk in the park!  I’m already preparing myself for when she starts dating.


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