This is a comment I posted on the Park Slope-based blog, ONLY THE BLOG KNOWS BROOKLYN, in response to a series of postings about the Barnes and Nobles bookstore in Park Slope attempting to control the traffic of SUV-sized strollers anywhere in the store and the protests of the parental lunatic fringe out here in Stepford. The comments are quite unbelievable, even to the point, I swear, you can't make this up, but some even go so far as this: "Strollers are vehicles for people who cannot walk - some cannot walk at all, some cannot walk for long distances reliably. If B&N banned wheelchairs because they clogged the aisles, imagine the outrage. But what is a stroller if not a wheelchair?"
Anyway, here's what I wrote on the blog:
How utterly disingenuous so many of the "pro-strollers-anywhere" postings are here. The reason the Stepford moms in this enclave are so militant is because they have found themselves in an untenable situation - trying to vicariously fulfill an image of what an imaginary perfect childhood would have been like if only they had the overly-indulgent, enmeshed parents they're trying to be, while simultaneously trying to live a gratifying, boundless 21st Century lifestyle. And who's suffering? Well, not just the other patrons who are either single or are mature enough parents (like me - father of 2 young ones) not to bring their kids to coffee shops, bars or yes, most bookstores (at least until they're past stroller age). No, the annoyance of other adult human beings who want to live in peace in Park Slope is not horrific. The real tragedy here is what is being done to the kids. And how telling is it that some parents are trying to classify children in strollers in the same category as disabled people in wheelchairs? Doesn't that kind of perfectly symbolize the sad plight of these kids whose parents do in fact treat them like disabled princes and princesses? (See "THE LITTLE LAME PRINCE" by Dinah Maria Craik)