I am an overachieving mom. I wanted my daughter out of diapers before she was two, reading by four, and definitely not sitting in a stroller at five. Sometimes it takes a funny mishap, like your daughter peeing on her daddy’s head at Disneyland, to take a step back and realize maybe it is okay to push a five year old around in a stroller! Since that happened we have a stroller at Disneyland and I don’t feel badly when I get odd looks for pushing my only child in a stroller when she is clearly old enough to walk herself.
Happy babies strolling along in a stroller in Disneyland are the cutest. Five year olds capable of walking, not so much. I’ve wondered myself why parents would push around older children in strollers. With so many parenting milestones to hit, I was proud of the first time we went to Disneyland without a stroller. Requiring my husband to be in the park by himself with our five year old daughter is quite a different story.
Earlier this year I attended the TECHmunch LA conference in Disneyland with friends. My husband and daughter flew out the last day of the conference to join me and extend the week to a family vacation. My daughter had just turned five and already having conquered Disneyland without a stroller once before I convinced my husband not to pack it. He would be spending the day at Disneyland with our daughter alone while I was attending the final day of the conference but I assured him it would be no challenge without the stroller. He called me when they arrived and mentioned the long walk from the parking structure. Our daughter was five and perfectly capable of walking but her steam ran out early. They had been on an early flight from Arizona to California that morning so she was already exhausted by the time they arrived. Just an hour into the park she was sitting on his shoulders. He text me a cute pictures sharing their enthusiasm for a daddy daughter day at Disneyland. Next he sent me a picture of her falling asleep on his shoulders. Finally, she was sound asleep and because she was with her daddy who rarely remembers to suggest bathroom breaks when they’re having fun, she had an accident while sleeping on his shoulders. She peed on his head while he was taking that long walk back to the parking structure. We can laugh about it now but that day, my husband wasn’t so thrilled I had convinced him to leave the stroller at home.
Almost a year later, family vacations without a stroller are no longer an option. Yes, I’m the mom with the five year old happily strolling through Disneyland in her stroller. Of course she doesn’t always sit while we’re moving through the park but sometimes her little legs get tired. I’m over trying to be that overachieving mom tackling a theme park without a stroller. In addition to making it easier when she gets tired, her stroller is the perfect seat during a hot day watching a parade.
Our vacation days are long and most times my daughter falls asleep before we make it back to the hotel. Rather than falling asleep on her daddy’s shoulders, she cuddles up in her stroller and takes a nap.
How old were your children when you stopped using a stroller?