The 20-minute walk to daycare every morning with my son is something I enjoy. We breathe in the fresh(ish) air, chat away while looking for garbage trucks and school buses and we both get some time alone together before we start our day.
But when it's the middle of January and I'm late for work again, I sometimes forget to enjoy this time. And when a wheel fell off the stroller yesterday, I was mightily pissed off. Normally I would have had a full-on meltdown but I had reached my quota for the week and was bored of freaking out. Instead, with uncharacteristic calm, I tested to see how the stroller would work with five wheels instead of six.
There was a weird clunking sound as the axle scraped through snow and ice and the lone wheel on the right side spun around alarmingly to compensate for its lost twin.
I half expected we'd have to abandon the stroller at the side of the road, but with a bit of extra muscle and manoeuvering we made it!
We got where we needed to go and Xavier was as happy as he always was. And when the wheels stopped propelling us forward, I tipped the stroller back and pushed it chariot-style for a while, which Xavi thought was great. It's amazing what you can make work when you need to.
I gave up trying to be a yummy mummy long ago and our broken stroller ain't no Bugaboo. But in the face of stroller adversity, I was able to make it work. It gave me a confidence in my parenting skills that I hadn't had in a while and renewed my wonder in where they came from.
As I pushed the shaky stroller through the slush and snow, it reminded me of a mother I met when Xavier was only a few months old. We were at a support group getting our babies weighed and she was visibly anxious that hers was underweight. When the public nurse declared the baby's weight acceptable, the new mother broke into a smile and shouted to him, "We're doing it baby". "We're doing it!" Sometimes that's all you can hope for.