February 22, 2011

Double-Stroller Dads

I remember when my wife announced we were pregnant with our second child a couple of years ago, I couldn’t escape this overwhelming fear. No, I wasn’t afraid of raising another kid—I’d mastered all the dad-ly things with our first daughter, like changing diapers, playing peek-a-boo, ending arguments with a stern “Because I said so!” But no matter how much I tried to focus on all the positives, one great, big realization haunted me:

I was about to become a Double-Stroller Dad.

Maybe this would never concern you, but it certainly concerned me. The difference between Single-Stroller Dads and Double-Stroller Dads was monumental.

When you’re a Single-Stroller Dad, life is good. You’re cute. You’re hip. You’re fun. Women look at you like you’re Brad Pitt. Why? You’re the adorable guy pushing the adorable daughter up and down the center aisle of the mall, which causes an uncontrolled chemical reaction in every woman within a five-mile radius to put one hand on her chest, tilt her head, smile and say, “Awwwww…HOW PRECIOUS!” It’s one of only two reasons dads are willing to go to the mall. (The other is Chick-fil-A at the food court).

When you’re a Double-Stroller Dad, women look at you like you’re Steve Buscemi. They no longer dote on you. They run for the hills. They cry out to others: “Watch out for this clown!” and “Move out of his way!” and “I bet he’s covered in Play Doh and snot!” And, if you’re lucky, snot is the only bodily fluid you’re covered in.

When you’re a Single-Stroller Dad, you can zoom around corners like a racecar driver, impressing friends with an agility and maneuverability that rivals former NASCAR champions.

When you’re a Double-Stroller Dad, you’re just hoping to get through the doorway without having to use a crowbar.

When you’re a Single-Stroller Dad, you can lift it in and out of your car without breaking a sweat.

When you’re a Double-Stroller Dad, you have to build an intricate pulley system with ropes and levers, and then pray you can find at least seven available friends to help you hoist the behemoth into your trunk.

When you’re a Single-Stroller Dad, you have plenty of room in your garage for your bobblehead collection.

When you’re a Double-Stroller Dad, the only head bobbing in your garage is yours, wondering whatever happened to your bobblehead collection.

When you’re a Single-Stroller Dad, you can cruise the neighborhood as your baby sits quietly, enjoying the ride.

When you’re a Double-Stroller Dad, you can cruise the neighborhood as your baby sits quietly, enjoying the ride—while your independent toddler wants in the stroller, then out of the stroller, then in, then out, then in, then out, then in, then wants the baby out, then wants the baby back in, then wants back out and wants dad to squeeze his large frame in so the toddler can push. Worse yet, in all this time you’ve only traveled 11 feet from your house. I’ve tripped farther than that.

But you know what I learned once my second daughter arrived? Double-stroller dads have perks that Single-Stroller Dads don’t. Double-stroller dads get twice as many hugs, twice as many kisses, twice as many smiles. They enjoy twice the snuggle time. They get to read twice as many bedtime stories and hear twice as many sweet little voices say, “I love you daddy.”

Double-Stroller Dads may not be Brad Pitt at the mall, but at home they are Super-men.

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4 comments:

sarah said...

We bought the same double stroller at a yard sale last summer and just took it on its maiden voyage this week. That thing is hea-vy!

jennifer said...

so...what happens when you become a triple stroller dad :O

Debbie said...

No matter how many strollers you have, the love just multiplies. Eventually you will have the limousine stroller.

karlaokala said...

LOVE your writing. Thank you. You describe life with children so well.