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June 11, 2010

Stroller instructions stump lucky winning mama

DC Metro Moms Blog stroller giveaway Leave it to me to win a $500 stroller and not be able to get the damn thing into my car. 

It was a lovely afternoon at the DC Metro Moms Brand/Blogger event at the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton. I got lots of wonderful freebies and coupons for fancy stuff (more details here), and I got to talk to other DC Metro Moms bloggers plus learn about working with brands, something I've been too lazy to pursue.

Then, I was lucky enough to be a raffle item winner, and I walked away with a snazzy Quinny Buzz stroller. I should really say that I glided away, because this piece of equipment is like the Fred Astaire of strollers; it gives a mama grace. As I walked out with sister blogger Elaine, she shared that folks who live in real cities like New York all have fabbo strollers like this. Me, I carried my son in a Hotsling and then an Ergo forever; he hated the stroller until he was close to a year old, so I made do with a cruddy little umbrella number and used Baby Jogger for more athletic outings.

As a local who frequently parks in Pentagon City mall if I'm headed onto the Metro, I had just parked in the regular mall lot for the blogger event.

Elaine had accidentally first gone to the downtown DC Ritz but then was smart enough to park not at the mall but at the hotel, where bloggers had free parking for the day. So we parted ways, and I tooled out with my swag-loaded stroller into the now-closed mall to pay my $2 fee in the machine before entering the garage, which was now mostly deserted. But when I got to my car, I realized I had to do some engineering research and actually collapse my fancy new companion.

Despite the directions that looked fairly straightforward, I just couldn't do it. No one was around to ask, and I couldn't have fit the thing into my Honda Civic even if I'd successfully hoisted it, which was a challenge being seven months pregnant. I called my husband, almost ready to ask him to come rescue me despite the fact that our son was winding down toward bedtime -- and despite the fact that the idea that I couldn't figure this out was, well, ridiculous.

I finally spotted someone who looked to be some kind of mall employee, perhaps a security guard. After putting my event nametag back on so I didn't look like I'd just lifted a high-end stroller, I hightailed it over to him and explained my predicament. He handed me his sunglasses, didn't even give a glance to the directions I had out, and promptly collapsed the stroller, wrapping up by showing me how I could pull along the stroller like a carry-on even now that it was closed. Very cool. As I walked away, I shouted back to be sure I had his name right and that he was a Macy's employee so I could send a thankful email.

Of course, when I got back to my car, I saw that I was still holding the man's sunglasses, so I had to hoof it back to the Macy's loading dock or whatever it was and hope that the guys there would pass the glasses along to the right person.

I wish I'd taken a photo of my lone stroller waiting to be ushered into the car, but I kept worrying I'd exceed my 15-minute grace period and have to fork over another $2 to the parking gods, if I ever got out, which was looking doubtful for a while there. That would have taken my winnings down to a measly $496.

I was a little worried about promoting prenatal sibling jealousy when I got home and my four-year-old son wanted a spin in our new wheels. His legs dangled well below the footrest for the 18 seconds we let him ride in the thing. But today he offered a solution -- that I will push him in the jogging stroller and his dad will push the baby in the "Quincy."  Let's hope this transition to a family of four rolls as smoothly as the stroller, and as my son's predictions.

Original to DC Metro Moms Blog

Jessica Claire/Claire Jess is almost as excited about her new blog as she is about her new stroller. All the content from her previous blogs -- on alternative health, nutrition, activism, and mama creativity -- is now part of Crunchy-Chewy Mama, where the tagline is "Living naturally, most of the time."

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