"As someone who is very aware of the people around me, I feel compelled to comment on the stroller entries. A screaming child in a restuarant or any store is an annoyance to the other patrons. A child running free and bothering other patrons in a restaurant or any store is also an annoyance to the other patrons. A calm child sitting in a stroller while his/her mother shops is of no consequence to anyone. Is walking around a mother with a stroller that much of an inconvience? Personally, when my 18 month old acts up in his stroller, I leave the store, not only because I don't want to bother anyone else, but because I don't want to listen to it myself. However, I don't agree that my mere presence with a stroller in a bookstore makes me a Stepford mom trying to fulfill an imaginary childhood that I wish I had.
I agree, however, that the comparison of a stroller to a wheelchair is absurd, but perhaps they were trying to make a point, unfortunately in a rather tasteless and ludicrous way. The reality is that banning strollers from stores would be considered discrimination and in these economic times, I am not so sure many stores would be willing to ban anyone. And what would be the grounds for banning strollers? The annoyance of the other patrons? I am thoroughly annoyed by people who walk through stores, stand on lines, or sit in restaurants and talk on the their cell phones-I don't want to hear their one sided conversations. In fact, I was recently in the grocery store while a woman shopped with her two year old running wild and ripping things off the shelves WHILE she slowly pushed her cart and talked on her cell phone. That kid belonged in a stroller or strapped into the cart!
I would bet that most moms would agree that shopping, of any sort, with a child is not a first choice, but sometimes it is the only option. Perhaps both sides of this Pak Slope coin could use to practice a little more awareness and tolerance of 'the other."