January 25, 2011 9 Comments
So Shireen and I have always marveled at how some parents push their strollers across the crosswalk with the intention of stopping traffic flow. I am no physicist but I don’t see a 10 lb baby and 15 lb stroller stopping any moving vehicle, SmartCars and scooters included. So why do these parents do this? It’s not a question I am going to try to answer here.
What it did lead us to consider is putting a light on the stroller for our night walks. Having a winter baby makes us walk her around at night. Especially if we have to wait until I get home from work. Our stroller and car seat, while very functional, cool and interchangeable don’t have any reflective material on it.
So the next time I went to the bike shop I picked up a standard red tail light for a bicycle. It cost me less than ten dollars. Now pay attention fathers: I get home and attach this to the front of the car seat. It has a clip. I clipped it on the shade. That’s it. That’s all I did.
Now check this out: I turn on the blinky red light with the lights off….and then, from the wife, “Omigod, I LOVE it! It’s great! It’s perfect! You’re so SMaaaaaart!……” a pause and then “You know what? Everyone is gonna want one. Watch.”
Now I am thinking like I had just invented the color red or something. It was like I had completely changed the baby’s night time availability altogether. Now maybe the fact that we have a baby outside after dark is a subject we need to address in and of itself at a later date, but let’s work with the given we have here. It’s 5:30 pm in the darkest time of the year. Cut me some slack.
So we leave. We go outside. We push the stroller through the park and through a couple crosswalks. The baby doesn’t get hit. If that’s a function of the light I’ll never know. As it stands though, my ingenuous safety precaution is working at 100% efficiency.
The first people we encounter who are not in cars, are, I kid you not, parents of a newborn being pushed in a stroller. At night. With no light. As we cross the street, my wife says out of the corner of her mouth “watch this.” As she says this, the mother whose intersection we are approaching, spies our carriage and it’s rudolph nose. She says to her husband, who is blithely aiming his child for the street crosswalk, “honey…HONEY! Did you see that? They have a light!” He half-heartedly looks and continues walking as she runs to catch up with him undoubtedly thinking about her next Google search of “baby stroller lights” or “car seat night light.”
We push on, completely full of ourselves. Shireen was right! It WAS a great idea! Let’s shape some like a turtle and make millions! Of course, not completely satisfied with our focus group of over-protective first moms with deer-in-the-headlight dads, I was hoping to get validation from a different data set.
We were now walking home from Safeway, crossing Lombard near our apartment when I saw another couple approaching. Both kind of swaying from the evening’s happy hour, the guy was ahead of the girl looking back at her and talking when she stops, looks and points.
Shireen and I keep moving forward. We pass the guy who just catches a glimpse of the front of the seat. And he exclaims back to the girl “check it out they gotta LIGHT!”
BAM. We even impressed the alcohol saturated, hormonally liberated, young couple. Maybe we even got them thinking about making a baby… Or maybe they already did that.