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Stroller Ballet

For a couple of months Maddie’s been noticing the toy strollers coming out at the park. At first simply mildly interested, she began expressing more and more curiosity until Brian and I added it to her June birthday list. Fortunately for Maddie, it turned out she didn’t have to wait that long.

One day while I was at work, Naomi showed up in the park with a brand-new dolly stroller. As Brian reported later, Maddie went stroller crazy and both girls cried every time they had to relinquish the stroller to the other girl. Not a pretty sight, and that evening we sat down and ordered a stroller for her. She’d still have to wait, we thought, but at least we’d have it on hand.

Not an hour after I’d ordered, Ingrid called with the news that, bless her generous heart, she’d gone out and bought Maddie a stroller as well so the girls would both have identical toys to play with. Even after I told her we’d ordered one, she decided to keep it so the girls could play in the meantime.

dsc00566.jpgSo now, every day as we get ready to go to the park, Maddie says excitedly, “Maddie see Omi in park! MAYBE bring strollers!” We bring along a dolly for Maddie to push around and my daughter bounces in anticipation. And kind, generous Ingrid always shows up with the strollers. Pop them open, and the girls are off to the races.

The funny part about this is that several other moms in the area had the same idea, so we now see maybe a half dozen kids with the exact same little stroller. It’s got a mini bonnet on it to shade baby’s eyes and a little basket underneath to carry important stuff (like rocks and twigs). To watch Maddie and Naomi drive these things, you’d think they’d been born with a Maclaren in their hands; they can pop wheelies, turn on a dime, stop in an instant, and send them flying halfway across the playground. Both girls absolutely adore using them and have a great time executing intricate choreography as they play follow-the-leader with the strollers, chase each other, or simply swerve in and out of equipment. I marvel at how quickly they mastered the thing, and wonder how I can selfishly use that skill for myself –say, pushing the grocery cart.

So far Maddie seems to understand that the toy is not hers; I go to great pains to make her aware that Naomi is sharing with her, and she’s never complained that it doesn’t come home with her. But while in the park, it’s by far her favorite thing to do, and gets a lot of energy out. Don’t take my word for it, though – check out the live performance!


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