Too big for stroller, so I might as well drive

No kindergartner rides to school in a stroller. That’s what we told our daughter last summer, in a desperate attempt to shame her into walking. Cue a Rocky-style training montage complete with red-faced grunts, tears, and anguished cries. And then!—“incentives” like popcorn and (ha!) new shoes. Step by painful step, she managed to work her way from zero to .7 miles. By the time fall rolled around, she was ready.

Audrey's very first stroller ride

10 weeks old: acceptable.

And guess what? We were right: no one rides to kindergarten in a stroller. They ride in cars. Now, we live in a geographically compact neighborhood of Portland. Every kid lives within a mile of the school. While I’m glad we finally Rocky-trained Audrey to walk to and from school every day, I can’t help but rail against the stigma “advanced stroller riders” face in this car-centric world.

Still Car-free after All These Years: Life with an Advanced Stroller Rider

On Thursday I re-ran my vintage post about a car-free living with a baby. So what’s life like over two years later?

I never thought I’d be one of those parents wheeling a four-year-old around in a stroller. In fact, I scoffed at parents who didn’t make their kids walk, instead opting to push them all over town like little princes and princesses. Why, I practically joined the track team by the age of two! My nephews escorted my father for three-mile hikes when they were still in diapers!

Fast forward to 2010. My daughter is four and a half and can’t walk more than half a block at a snail’s pace before stopping dead in her tracks and begging to be carried. I’ve tried leaving the stroller behind on errands, only to resort to carrying her thirty-pound body hither and yon. She simply won’t walk—she’ll stand in place, sit on the sidewalk, and moan and groan.