While walking home with my daughter today, hurrying to get out of the winter wind, I noticed a double running stroller outside on the sidewalk in front of the local mini supermarket. Now, seeing as I live downtown Toronto, I was thinking how brave it was for someone to leave their stroller outside, since there has been a huge problem with stroller theft for the last few years. As I approached the stroller, I realized that the stroller had not one, but two sleeping toddlers in it. I slowed as I passed the supermarket, looking for a parent that may belong to the children (hoping to catch a caregiver’s eye and express my disdain for their parenting choices). However, there was just a lone clerk at the checkout counter and not another adult in sight!
It boggled my mind for the remainder of the afternoon. I posted it on my Facebook, curious to hear what other parents had to say about this risky behaviour, and I was directed to an interesting blog about stroller parking in Denmark.
Danish parents frequently leave their sleeping babies outside of restaurants and coffee shops in their prams. They feel the cold makes for better sleeps, and it allows parents hands free time. The parents try to position themselves in the shops to keep an eye on the pram. However, there is an etiquette around it, and as a patron enters the establishment, they will let parents know if there is a pram with a stirring baby, signalling for the parent to check on their little one.
This is a lovely idea in theory, but there is a safety issue in a lot of cities and towns in North America. I mean, just this week, a child in my daughter’s class was attempted to be bribed into a van with chocolate by some man with a mustache. At least a 5 year old can resist and run; these babies in strollers are just sitting ducks.
Interestingly, a Danish mom visiting the United States attempted this practice in NYC, and found herself arrested. So, assuming it is legal in the city or town you live in, what are your thoughts on stroller parking outside of business while you are inside?
Thanks to Joanna Goddard and her Cup of Jo blog with so much information and great photos about the Danish practice of stroller parking.
Bianca Sprague is bebo mia’s CEO and co-founder and the mother of her fabulous daughter Graydon.
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